Two Misconceptions

Foam on streams and other bodies of water is very common and sometimes is thought to be pollution. Many plants including trees contain colloids (very tiny, insoluble particles). This “pollution” is commonly observed on both Shivering Sands and Fisher streams. This foam is from plants living or decomposing in these waters. Another term for this occurrence on water is surfactant.

A common plant along Glidden Drive is soap weed, better known as bouncing bet (Saporaria officinalis).  Years ago, this “weed” was squeezed and used as a substitute for soap.

Have you seen the patches and strips of black on the Glidden Drive beaches? This is hematite-magnetite iron ore transported and ground by the glaciers along with rocks to form sand. Our front yard has some of this ore I found in a boulder train (a boulder train is glacial deposit of mostly crystalline rocks).

                                                                                                                                                          Carl Scholz


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