Bricks, caves, sandstone – field trip!

Yesterday I went on a walk. The trail, used by both walkers and bicyclists, is part of Lilydale Regional Park, on the south bank of the Mississippi River a bit upstream from downtown St. Paul. (The Mississippi flows towards the NE as is passes downtown St. Paul.) The trail led past an old brickyard, around the base of a fossil bed, and past caves that were once used for mushroom-growing and cheese-making. According to one of my walking companions, it was also a swell place for gangsters to hide in the 1930’s. I was on the lookout for textures … and fascinated by the geological as well as human history of this area.  There are 3 primary geological layers here — St. Peter Sandstone at the bottom, Platteville Limestone above that, and then Decorah Shale on top where the fossils are. NOTE: (added 8/12) An optional ingredient in rice paste resist is calcium hydroxide, or lime. A small amount of this highly alkaline ingredient can help give the paste a bit more elasticity. John Marshall notes that if you live on large limestone deposits you probably don’t need to use it because it comes out of the tap.

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Author: Kit

I use the materials and techniques of the Japanese art of katazome (paste resist stencil dyeing) to capture my experience of nature. My work celebrates daily meetings with the wild birds, plants, and lake breezes of my local urban surroundings.

6 thoughts on “Bricks, caves, sandstone – field trip!”

  1. We walked too-no fossils or waterfalls, but good to be out of doors. There’s some fascinating scenery where you are Kit-natural, man-made, old and new..-= judith´s last blog ..Monday blues =-.

  2. I am VERY interested in finding that oven you took a picture of. Part of my work for the Saint Paul Bread Club has been finding local ovens (brick or clay, contemporary or historical, public or private) and documenting them. Learning how to find that oven would be very helpful to me.

  3. Hi David – how interesting that there is a St. Paul Bread Club! The oven is on the walking trail in Lilydale Regional Park, on the trail that leads up the bluff towards the fossil beds. There is a link in the post, above, to a google map of the park, which doesn’t help that much other than to locate it within St Paul. Directions: Take 35E South to the first exit across the Mississippi River: Exit 102 for MN-13. At MN-13/Sibley Memorial Hwy., turn left. Go .2 miles and turn right onto Lilydale Rd. Continue on Lilydale Rd. for .9 miles, and turn left into main parking lot. (there is a sign at this turn that says Boat Launch. Most of this route is flat and paved, but the section of the trail that leads to the fossils, old brickyard oven and cave is unpaved. You can also get to this park via Plato Blvd. near Harriet Island park. The oven itself is part of the cave pictured but opens to the right just around the corner from the cave opening. You can see clear through it — it opens in the back to the cave — so is obviously not functional anymore.

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