Diatoms | Quincy , WA | 2008

Fossilized remains of single-celled algae rise in heaps (in photo’s foreground) atop the basalt plain southwest of Quincy near the Columbia River. Each teensy skeleton dates to the late Miocene Period (about 5 million years ago), long enough to form huge mounds of silica now used in water filters and other devices. That a county road curves past these ancient graveyards of once-living organisms is nothing short of amazing.