Our topographical map was initially quite deceiving, it led me to believe that the channel I had examined on my last visit was the much larger depiction on the map but it soon became apparent that I was wrong.
At a spot where I had seen the swamp water sinking there was now only a mirror-smooth pool the color of burnt amber. I remember that the stream had disappeared down into a two foot wide crevice that was choked by rubble. A few feet further on you could hear the water gurgling from somewhere down below. Today a river flowed into this now elongated pool and as as though in defiance of the natural laws the surface never increased in height despite the abundant flow. The water was going somewhere.
My friend stood rubbing his head. I could see that he was having trouble with the black flies. We had not expected that they would be out so early in the season and we had neglected to purchase bug repellant. My friend was also wearing black and from my experience as a tree planter I knew that they are attracted to that color.
“Well if the water sinks here” my friend said, “Why am I not seeing a gyre?” Being a plumber with a very technical understanding of the theoretical nature of water flow he then went on to explain the mystery. “Either there is a really large hole in the bottom of this pool or the system is sucking air from somewhere else”. “God I wish I had bought a mask and flippers” he lamented.
In the field next to the pool we found a large boulder with a surface of enormous scallops. A scallop in the wall of an underwater tunnel is a scoop-like hollow. It is indicative of the kind of water flow. Its speed, turbulence and direction can all be deduced from the speleogen’s shape. My friend was a former cave diver and he excitedly told me that he had seen scallops like this in submersed Florida caves, “but those systems flowed 10 million gallons a day”.
Feeling as though I had been injected with pure, concentrated enthusiasm I rushed off up a muddy depression hoping to find more interesting natural phenomena. The thorns soon slowed me down and as I type this moment I still have the rather painful sensation fresh in my memory. The edge of my left hand sports painful barbed slivers just beneath my skin.
The depression soon meandered into a large bowl that from the appearance of its lush grass was inundated with water until very recently. most exciting of all was the enormous rock-strewn sink that the depression led to. It was obviously oriented along a sink and of a size that I have never seen in Ontario. It must receive a truly magnificent flow. The tunnels underneath can only be enormous.