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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. Last Thursday decided to get out to Pit 11, Mazonia South Unit, Illinois for a day of collecting nodules and fossils. We've had a lot of rain and Thursday was clear. With all the rain, nodules are easier to see when wet as they jump out as a bright red compared to the green forest floor. And the rain hopefully erodes some fresh nods out of the ground. I sometimes go on foot for collecting but thought I would break out the kayak to get to where I need to go more efficiently. The woods are getting quite overgrown already but I haven't been out much th
  3. Sauropod19

    Mazon Pit 11 ID

    Hello again. I got the time to scrub off my finds from Friday and found one of interest (and a second that I haphazardly split open that I think is a dud). The top one’s shape remained after several rounds of intense scrubbing, and feels slightly 3D in the middle. Other views of top one: Is there anything in the top one or is it just suggestive mineral staining? Additionally, since there is a crevice present around the entire perimeter, would you recommend I try and pry it open or leave the concretion as is? Lastly, just so I can docu
  4. We are slowing finding a few things in our freeze/thaws! Please help ID the six posted below. I am very much a novice on this so my guesses are likely not right, but I tried. 1 & 2: Annularia type? Second pic is how it is also visible from the other plane! It didn't split well, whatever was on top of it crumbled off in the freeze/thaw cycle instead of coming off as a smooth plane so I unfortunately don't have the other half. 3. Probably nothing? I think it's just an unusual fracture, kids are convinced it's more. 4. Coprolite? No clue. 5. Stepanospermum konopeonus?
  5. Hi All! I had the chance to head out last Sunday with my kid and again for a few hours yesterday solo - both times we came back with very heavy backpacks. It’s not easy collecting, but neither of us mind the army crawl in the underbrush. We’re still learning what to take and what to leave - just my 3rd and 4th trip there (thanks to fellow member and friend tom_mo for showing us the ropes and getting me addicted!!) We look for the small water created gully’s in the steep hills, lots of these have been collected over the years but just as many have not it seems. Or maybe the good coll
  6. Howdy all, I'm a pretty new fossil collector (but experienced GIS user) who has been doing some remote scouting of Mazon Creek locales based on some internet scrubbing. I will be heading to Pit 11 on Thursday. Would any of you more experienced collectors be willing to critique my marked spots via DM? I want to make sure I make the most of the trip!
  7. Patrick K.

    Mazon Creek Pit # 11 ID Requests

    Hello all! Had a successful hunt with my 16 year old daughter last week, we both came back with heavy backpacks and smiles on our faces. I have a lot to freeze/thaw, but I had a few open partials (that were not Essexella ) that I was hoping were not weathered past ID'ing. These were covered in deposits and the edges are pretty rounded which leads me to believe some were open for quite some time - and I am not extremely gentle with those ones when prepping/cleaning. But still happy with the 3rd trip out ever! 1 - It has some bumps/raised areas close the the break a
  8. My family (kids 4, 7 and 10) attempted our first foray for Mazon Creek fossils last week. We had a blast! Took it slow, explored the lay of the land and came back with around 300 concretions to freeze/thaw. Definitely a more ideal time of year to go with young kids, easier to see paths/where we were going and keep track of everyone, only one tick and no poison ivy etc. to worry about, just thorns. We ended up derailing onto some deer trails and bushwhacking through, but we also found some fun things that way. Main trails were very easy walking and the kids found enough concretions to stay ente
  9. Hello All- I'm hoping to get some help with a few Mazon Creek concretions recently picked up around Braidwood/Mazonia. I believe this is pit 11. Have had some great help here in the past, so hoping to get some help with these 6 specimen below. I have an idea on some of the below but, but not sure if my eyes are seeing what I want to see- so curious to know if others see the same thing! thanks, -tom
  10. Hi all! Talk about pure luck, on my second trip to pit 11 ever, I found this crawfish(?)! It was in 3 pieces and I was lucky enough to find all 3. Needless to say I super excited…I’d have to guess it’s pretty a rare find. It cleaned up really well after a few 25% vinegar baths and the slightest brushing with a very soft artist paint brush. When it split at some point, part of the top didn’t separate with it, it was covering the tail which I reallllllly wanted to see . I noticed a small crevice on the side of the concretion and figured I might be able to get the imperfect separation to pop off.
  11. Hello from Wisconsin! My husband and I are bringing our 10, 7 and 4 year old kiddos to the Pit 11 area at the end of next week for a couple days to try to find some fossil concretions. I have the Wittry book, joined ESCONI, and have read this forum thoroughly and am grateful for all the info provided by you wonderful experts, thank you! I am realistic however that a 4-year-old is going to limit just how much walking we can do, especially as it's rough terrain. Could someone please confirm whether it is okay to just park alongside the road *anywhere* around the Pit 11 area? Specifically W5000 N
  12. FreePineland574

    Big Mazon Creek Shrimp?

    OK, so I am a complete newcomer to the world of fossils, and although I do have the references, I can't seem to pin this down. Appreciate any help I can get. Warren
  13. Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting out for one of the nicest opening days of the fossil hunting season at Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area that I’ve experienced. The sun was shining, the ground was relatively dry and temps were in the 40s-50s. And I only encountered 1 tick! I ran into a few other collectors over the course of the day, including @connorp. The park was mostly quiet as usual, with the sounds of birds and passing cars nearby, as well as the distant rumble of trains and planes. My hunting area for this trip was south of Monster Lake- after getting
  14. 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
  15. Starting in 2021, I've been going fossil hunting around the Mazon Creek area in Grundy County, Illinois. The site I visit the most so far is the fairly large Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area and at first, I would barley find anything. Then after visiting Monster Lake and another secret location in the area, I started finding more fossils. However, most are around 2-7 cm. In length and I'm still having difficulty getting IDs for them? Would anyone be able to help ID them? I think this could be some sort of Chondrichthyan or a lobe finned fish?
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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
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