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  1. @stats @Mark Kmiecik @RCFossils @Peat Burns @connorp @deutscheben@fiddlehead I had been in contact with a friend (Bob) of mine that I met over 30 years ago. I met him through my fossil mentor Walter. Bob and Walter would collect in the 70’s and 80’s with many well know collectors, including Francis Tully. The would also bring fossils to the Field Museum so Dr. Eugene Richardson and others, could ID some of their finds. In our talks over the last several months, he had spoke about selling his collection and I advised him that I would be interested. We came to an agree
  2. About a week or two ago I received a phone call from a friend of mine, Marty H., I have known him for more than 30 years and met him through my fossil mentor, Walter. I have collected with Marty many times at Pitt 11 and Pit 4. The reason for his call was to tell me that he had about 10 bags of open concretions that he wanted to give to me. He knows that I like to take various fossils to the ESCONI Braceville Shaft Mine trip that is held 2 times a year. I was not able to make the trip in May due to vacation, hopefully I will make the one later in the year. The bags that he gave me con
  3. I live in Chicago and for a while I’ve been wanting to try Fossil Hunting in Mazon Creek. My first trip three weekends ago I tried to have myself prepared but still wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. I hiked to the tipple area, there I had a really hard time telling rocks from concretions because especially in that area most of the rocks are covered in an orange rust. I collected 5 gallons of what I later realized were almost exclusively rocks. The trip was still worth it though because there were lots of these fast little lizards running around on top of the exposed coal, a
  4. This is a statement that I often make to myself throughout the Summer and the vast majority of the time I decide to stay home. This was not the case in decades past and it is not because I am older and slowing down, which is definitely not the case, the main culprit is vegetation. Today I had the idea of going to the Pit and taking pictures of the area so new collectors can see areas that they collect at and also see the conditions that they will face in the summertime. I usually go to the Pit at the beginning of the fossil collecting season (March 1st), this is your best chance to
  5. Tomorrow (March 1st) is opening day for fossil hunting at Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, also known as Pit 11 to Mazon Creek collectors. The weather has been on an excellent trend running up to now, with many days over the next week predicted to have highs in the 50s and even 60s, although a few days do have rain predicted as well (and things may already be muddy as the soil thaws too). Who is planning on heading out this week to kick off the season? I will be taking tomorrow off work to be there on opening day. I missed out on the 2021 season entirely, and actual
  6. This morning I decided to drive the 90 mile round trip to Pit 11 and do a little collecting. I only spent a few hours collecting and it was one of my least productive days ever. I headed past Godley, Illinois and made a right turn on 5000N, heading to the Mazonia South Unit. This below is a picture of the road as you head to the Monster Lake parking area. I park my car on the side of the road versus the parking lot when I am going to climb the tall hills near Monster Lake. The blue do
  7. Yesterday I took my second trip of the year to do some collecting at Pit 11. A little chilly, but once the sun came out it was a nice day. An idea of how overgrown it is, even this early in the year. The first find of the day A productive hillside A nice handful of concretions I broke my personal record and was able to collect about 3 gallons in the 6 hours I collected. Not many open finds, although I did find this fairly nice
  8. TheRocksWillShoutHisGlory

    Mazon creek "coprolites"

    After cleaning the mud off of what I collected yesterday from pit 11, there are two that I suspect could be coprolites, possibly shark coprolites? These two were found in close proximity, but are both negative halves of separate specimens. I think I see little undigested bits, meaning it's not an egg case?
  9. TheRocksWillShoutHisGlory

    Mazon creek ID.

    I came back across this fossil after taking another look through my Mazon creek collection. It looks like some type of creature with a preserved trail? I had previously missed it, thinking it was part of plant material that it is associated with.
  10. For you viewing pleasure, here are a couple pictures that I took at a friends house showing the Pit 11 area and the type of machines used.
  11. Today I decided to take a Personal Day today and head down to the cooling lakes and do a little fossil collecting at Pit 11, I was only out for about 2 1/2 hours. The day was cool, 37 degrees and with a 13 mph wind, it made the “feels like” temp 30 degrees. Luckily, I was collecting in a bowl like depression at the top of a high ridge, so I did not feel the wind and I only needed a light hoodie to stay warm. Pit 11 is no way near what it use to be. Back then there was no vegetation and the concretions were easily found. After the reclaiming of the land and reseeding, it
  12. MaizyMae

    Mazon Creek

    Greetings! My grand daughter and I are planning a trip to Chicago in May. And we were excited to locate a place close to Chicago to hopefully find a fossil or two to take home with us. We have no idea what we are doing, only that we want to do this. We are looking for someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about Mazon Creek. If this is you, please contact me via PM. Thank you
  13. Current forecast is perfect – rain all weekend but sunny and clear on Monday. Fingers crossed it stays that way! Hope to see some of you out there.
  14. Thomas.Dodson

    Pit 11 Summer Fossils

    Over the Summer I conducted research in Illinois so naturally I spent as much time as I could collecting fossils. I had a particular interest in collecting Mazon Creek concretions. I had the fortune of making one trip to the area once over a decade ago but that was short and I didn't collect any Essex stuff. Because of that I focused in on Pit 11 this time. Summer may not be the best time for collecting there but my time in Illinois was limited and going in summer beats not going at all. Over the summer I persistently traveled to Pit 11 from Urbana 5 or 6 times. Most of the concretions are now
  15. Hi all, I've been working on the pit 11 concretions I collected this summer and some difficult identifications have piled up. These might not be preserved enough to be identifiable but they seem preserved decently enough that some people might have a better idea for identification. Any help is appreciated. Measurements are the lengths of the fossil and not the concretion. The first fossil measures 30 mm across. This seems like it's probably just a weird shrimp molt? Fossil #2 measures 15 mm across. I don't hold out much hope for this one as it's rather broken up an
  16. Thomas.Dodson

    Pit 11 Poychaete Identification Help

    Hi all, this is one of the polychaete worms from the batch of Pit 11 concretions I'm working on. From what I can see of the conical jaws it most closely resembles Didontogaster corydylina but the jaws blend a bit together and aren't as distinct as some other specimens I've found. The body profile seems a little off (no swollen front section for one) so I wanted to ask for second opinions. Am I getting too hung up on the profile of a body that could just be more outstretched? I appreciate everyone's thoughts.
  17. Hello all, I have been a long time lurker of the forum (simply reading has been helpful enough these years) but have finally decided to request identification help on some fossils. I spent the summer conducting research in Illinois and spent my spare time collecting fossils. I was fortunate enough to collect Mazon Creek fossils about 14 years ago on a trip so I was thrilled to finally return to the area and collect at the Mazonia Braidwood Fish and Wildlife Unit. I have Key to Identify Pennsylvanian Fossil Animals of The Mazon Creek Area as well as Jack Wittry's The Mazon Creek Fossil Flo
  18. bluegilldvm

    Mazon Creek Unknown

    Probably not anything that is able to be ID’d but the “eye” spots make me wonder if it is something worthwhile.
  19. minnbuckeye

    Mazon Creek Pit 11

    Next weekend we will be in Marblehead, Ohio visiting my sisters. I had hoped to stop at St Paul, Indiana on the way to look for some fossils. Unfortunately the quarry does not allow visitors at this point due to Covid. My thought then was to consider Mazon. About a month ago, a post was made similar to this one. It was suggested not to visit due to the ticks and other creepy crawlers. Are the critters still a problem??? Does covid close this park too?? I am all ears to suggestions. Thanks!! If this is not a good choice, there is always the go to Paulding, Ohio!!!! Mike
  20. Roby

    Acanthodes sp. Mazon Creek

    Just opened April 19, 2020. Lock down surprise. Identification source: Jack Wittry (2012). The Mazon Creek Fossil Fauna. Esconi. 202 pgs., ISBN 978-0578111483. Page 134.
  21. Who is going to be heading out to Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife area for the start of the Pit 11 fossil hunting season on Sunday? They are forecasting a high of 58 degrees right now, practically t-shirt weather! (but watch out for those ticks) I am planning to be there Sunday and Monday, my first time trying two consecutive days. I hope to run into some other fine forum members out there.
  22. Cheecheecago

    Newbie ID Help 1 - Snails and a twig?

    Hi, my kids and I are completely new to this, would love some help. Also if there is a paleontology version of "Let Me Google That For You", or Fossil ID for Dummies, etc., we'll gladly take those too! We found this one in Pit 11 of Mazon Creek a few weeks ago, on an eroded slope under heavy shrub cover. It was found as-is (exposed), this was not inside a nodule. The rock is harder than the sandstone of the nodules. To my untrained eye it looks like debris in pond muck: snail shells, and a twig. I found a very similar fossil last summer on a rocky beach of Lake Michigan, thoug
  23. Cheecheecago

    Newbie ID Help 2 - Fish tail?

    Hi, my kids and I are completely new to this, would love some help. Also if there is a paleontology version of "Let Me Google That For You", or Fossil ID for Dummies, etc., we'll gladly take those too! We found this one in Pit 11 of Mazon Creek a few weeks ago, on an eroded slope under heavy shrub cover. It was cast in a concretion/nodule that we exposed through freezing and thawing. The nodule was already broken, so we do not have the whole fossil. To my untrained eye it looks like a fish tail (my 8 year old is convinced it is the claw of a Tully monster, of course). Can anyone ma
  24. Anyone out there have any Tully Monsters they would be willing to trade. Partials ok. PM if you want.
  25. flipper559

    Mazon Creek Finds, ID help please !!

    This first piece is a Mazon Creek fossil from Pit 11. Any help appreciated !! The second one is from the Creek itself, could this be a "fiddlehead" @fiddlehead . Thanks for looking !! Thanks, Phil
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