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Adventures with a Paddle

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Ancient Hunters

June 5, 2010 Barry held his camera barely two feet away from the back of an Agkistrodon piscivorus. Although a small snake, it was still very dangerous and he positioned his camera based on years of experience with these reptiles. Known more commonly as a Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin, the twelve inch juvenile snake had coloration similar to the closely related Copperhead. However, its patterns were muted by late afternoon shadows in a remote location that was not favorable to an easy medic

JohnJ

JohnJ

Sidetracked

April 3, 2010   Adrenalin pumped through me like it usually does on the way to a new location. While on the road, I enjoyed ‘working out’ the geology I traveled over. The sunny spring morning framed the entire outdoors in vivid color, and from the corner of my eye, I noticed some fresh excavation in the distance. Like many other places, I made a mental note of it and continued to my destination. Dozens of miles and minutes later, my friend, Bob, and I had pulled our gear together and loaded th

JohnJ

JohnJ

Persistence In The Field

March 6, 2010 It was time to paddle one of my favorite places. The water had finally receded from recent rains to make the trip manageable. It was also a test for a shoulder injury that I had been working back into shape. So I waved to my wife and slipped the boat into the cold water. As I negotiated the twisted channel, I noted many changes to familiar stretches of water. A new tree down here, a missing log jam there and fresh, untracked gravel soon became part of things behind me. Yet the w

JohnJ

JohnJ

Tracking The Glen Rose

January 2, 2010 The Lower Cretaceous Glen Rose Formation (Kgr) of Central Texas is roughly 110 million years old. Its classic exposures look like man-made steps or solid blocks that are occasionally interrupted with softer rock or marl. The formation is typically divided into upper and lower units by a layer of Corbula fossil clams. Just below this layer was the destination I wanted to find for my first fossil hunt of the year. It takes its name from the isolated occurrence of an ornate fossil

JohnJ

JohnJ

Treasures Of The Marl

December 7, 2009 Damp cool bordering on cold, breezy overcast was the atmosphere Bob and I charged with anticipation. A day off and a few hours from Central Texas found us in a Lower Cretaceous quarry. Here, the Albian aged Washita Group formations could offer up some uncommon echinoids and other marine fauna. Bob thanked me for the invitation and the chance to find some different species for his collection. He had just shown me an intricate, Edwards Formation matrix piece that had a crisp,

JohnJ

JohnJ

A Matter Of Perspective

October 4, 2009   The Central Texas weather forecast for the day was a wet one. However, a quick check of the radar revealed I had a few hours before dealing with any storms. My wife just smiled as I mentioned going out for a few hours. I told her that maybe all the recent rain had washed out some tiny jewels at my best Eagle Ford Formation site. She knew, at the very least, I would return with some dazzling, pyrite studded, Prionocyclus sp. ammonites and other late Turonian fauna.   Drizzle

JohnJ

JohnJ

A Burning Road And The Dead Cow

October 3, 2009 We have all had those mornings when it seems that our timing is off just a little. This day started that way. Usually, I adjust by trying to focus more on what I'm doing than other things. Dan and I were teamed up for a return to one of our most productive jungle areas. The possibilities of what we might find crowded my thoughts. However, I think it was the forecast for storms that had me a little preoccupied. There were times along the twisted road that I could see Dan'

JohnJ

JohnJ

A Little Flint

September 20th, 2009   In the search for fossils and other treasure, rain can be friend or foe. However, given the historic drought that is affecting most of Texas, you cannot complain about the rain these days. A friend and I decided to see if we could leverage the rain's recent effects on a heavily collected waterway in our state. We ended up rescuing several finds from nature's grinder.   During our excursion, I tried to take advantage of the digital video capability on my camera...it mig

JohnJ

JohnJ

The Unexpected

September 6, 2009 It happens in all areas of life. Yet, sometimes the unexpected is manifested in remarkable circumstances. Last January, Dan and I were scrambling across a rocky bar in a Texas stream. To help keep our focus during a cold downpour and intermittent showers, we joked with various sandstone "fossils" we picked up. The erosive nature of water and gravel creates thousands of pseudofossils, and we were finding them with frequency. "Hey Dan, here's your mammoth tooth! Catch!" (P

JohnJ

JohnJ

A Humerus Trip

August 15, 2009 It all started on a small, secluded Texas waterway in the Jungle of Gigantism (you know better than to ask), we watched a log submerge with purpose... but, it was no log. Big reptiles were only a hint of the giant to come. Shortly afterward, we pulled into the bank and my friend Dan offered, "you want upstream or downstream?" Words he later said would influence a fossil career. It was 7:45 in the morning. I headed downstream to low gravel ledge. Within a short time, I

JohnJ

JohnJ

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