While digging in the garden last week, I found this horn coral which is, at its youngest, 280 million years old.

When you’ve lived in the same spot for nearly 44 years, you log a good number of discoveries about that place. Sometimes you learn things about the house itself, and other times, you come across things in the landscape.

Prior to our house being built in 1975 (two years before we would purchase it), the land where our house is situated was wooded acreage. We have one of four houses that were built in this woods, and by the time we got here, only five native trees remained on our acre – four giant oaks and a shagbark hickory.

We’ve done our best to rewoods the woods by planting nearly 100 trees over the years we’ve lived here. We’ve also created extensive garden areas for both edibles and ornamentals.

That’s a lot of dirt digging and in the process, we’ve found some interesting things, some with a history we’ll never know. But each discovery reminds us that there were others before us and our ownership of this land is but a blip in the ribbon of time. We will also leave evidence of our existence for future discovery. It can’t be helped.

The soil into which we’ve done so much planting varies. We can be digging in one location, cursing at the mucky, heavy gray-colored clay, only to find not three feet away, it’s luscious and loamy. There’s far more of the former, unfortunately, but we work with it, amending as necessary.

One of the first unusual findings we had was a brass peephole for a door. Since our house was the first one in this location and its front door has a peephole, we wonder how the one we found in our front yard got there. What’s the story on that one? Was one of the builders clumsy and dropped one before it could be installed?

Various bits of pottery have turned up. One was a white porcelain piece with a blue marking that looked as if it were part of a Dutch girl. Another looked like a piece of a crock. Because of the nature of the findings, it’s highly unlikely the previous owner had deposited these in the two years they lived here. So how did they get here?

There are the natural findings, too. Under one of the large oak trees, about three inches deep into the soil, I dug up extensive fungi. Truffles? No, not likely, but I’ve yet to identify what they were and we’ve never encountered anything like it since.

We’ve also uncovered many a pupa of overwintering insects, mostly moths. When this happens, once we complete our planting task, we place it back in the ground so that it can continue to live out the rest of its life cycle. We’ve found lots of grubs too, and when we had chickens, we fed those to them as a special treat.

Last week, while working on the dry bed in the middle of our back garden, something showed up that I recognized as a fossil. It had the telltale chambers and its conical shape alerted me that it was something special – a horn coral.

Horn corals are pretty common in NW Ohio. This area was once a sea, and horn corals were present here during the Paleozoic era, specifically the Permian, Silurian and Ordovician periods. The pointed end of the “horn” was attached to the sea bottom and the larger open end once had tentacles that drew in food for the creature contained in the coral.

These corals are now extinct, but they grew here in abundance 280 to 500 million years ago. This is astounding to me. I can’t even remotely fathom how long ago that was and what this area was like then. The early years of our 350+ years old oak trees are difficult enough to imagine.

We are amazed at findings of such ancient objects, but it’s partly because this particular thing can be dated. Much of what’s beneath our feet is ancient. Be observant and you too might find evidence of our land’s history.

Read more about Kylee’s garden and nature by following her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kyleebaumle. Contact her at PauldingProgressGardener@gmail.com.