The early inhabitants of our garden

We live on the edge of the Wiltshire downs, and these days, apart from birds and creepy crawlies (you can tell I'm not a biologist), the living things we see out there are mostly rabbits (the photo was taken a few days ago, from the window), occasional foxes and very occasional badgers.

However, this chalk escarpment was, of course, once under water, and when we had to dig rather a long way into the chalk some while ago it was difficult to move for fossils of ancient sea creatures. Unfortunately, being chalk, many of them were broken, but I wanted to share a couple of the best preserved.

I'm not sure if I like the sense of continuity, or I'm slightly unnerved by the idea of these things swimming around outside my study window...


  1. Your garden wasn't really your garden when the ammonites lived there, was it? I know it seems pedantic, but this very problem was raised during the following anecdote, told me by a teacher who had been taking a party of small children to a sandstone quarry in Sussex where dinosaur remains had been found.

    "Here, children," said the teacher, "was where they found the Iguanodon."

    "Please Sir," quoth a voice from the back, "how did it get through the gate?"

  2. I like to think of my ownership rippling back through an eddy in the space/time continuum. So, yes, it was my garden. It was just a bit different then.


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