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LEDGES.   95

 

ferns. You will also learn by examining the coal, or by reading the proper books, that this vegetation grew so long ago that there was not a flower in existence, and all the plant life was flowerless, like our ferns and club mosses. This ledge is millions of years older than the coal mines. To prove this we can show that a series of rocks lies between it and the coal, and they are made up of sand that was formed on the sea-shore. In the Annapolis valley at Nictaux one may see these Devonian rocks packed with fossil shells. This ledge was made of rocks still older; it belongs to the very lowest or earliest of water-made rocks. The first rocks were cooled lavas, and when an ocean began to surge and break against the low sides of a crumbling crust then sand and mud were formed, and sedimentary rocks were in the making ; our old ledge that runs along like an ancient rib of the earth was then begun. The sullen waves in ceaseless action reduced the shore lines to material that the undertow and tides carried backward, where it fell to the bottom, and by natural action of gravity and elements was assorted in strata or layers of coarse sand and fine muds ; one to form quartzite like the ledge, the other to form slates that we find exposed or hidden running beside them.

If this earth were a dead body, an unmoving


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