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Found 12 results

  1. This morning I got up early so I could hit the St. Leon, Indiana road cut before I did my 5 hour drive home. Like all of the other areas that I visited these past couple days, I was the only one collecting. I thought yesterday was hot, but today I spent 5 1/2 hours in 93 degree heat. I only hit a small portion of the roadcut and only on one side. This location is one of my favorite to collect and I could spend 1 week there and not check out the whole area. Unlike the other locations from this week that are mostly made up of bryozoan, this place is mainly made up of different species of brachiopds. I like to take the road less traveled at this location and that means going vertical on the scree to move up to the different levels. Doing this is very sketchy and you have to watch your footing as you can loose three feet of progress with a misstep. If you have not had a chance to visit this location and if you like Ordovician fossils or just fossils in general, this is a bucket list must. Here are some pictures of the area- Fossils are found on all levels of this terraced roadcut, I found a lot of great looking brachiopods that were on the larger site for this location. The farther up that you go, I ran into some really cool small brachiopods, I do not know what species they are, but they are very nice. Hash plates are also all over this site and I you want a glimpse of past life in a plate, you will have your pick. Here are some pictures of the different brachiopods along with some nice hash plates. During this visit I found 1 or 2 of my best Rafinesquina that I have ever found, there are some so so ones also. In my experience, it is not very often that I find real nice ones. I believe that this is an Eochonetes- Here are some of the little ones that I found on the Trilobite layer- if someone knows what species they are, please let me know. I have never found one of these at this location and I am looking for an ID on this one also- it is almost complete. I am thinking it might be Vinlandostrophia. I found several nice brachs that I believe are Rhynchotrema dentatum. Here are pics of other species and Hash Plates- More Brachs on next Post
  2. I was bored this last weekend and decided that I would take a quick 4 1/2 hour drive to Southern Indiana to collect Ordovician fossils at St. Leon and areas around Lawrenceburg. Despite some rain, it was a good couple days of collecting. I found numerous horn corals, various species of brachiopods and bryozoan, Isotelus and Flexi trilobite parts and some really nice hash plates containing all of the previous mention fossils, plus other finds. Here are some pics of some of my finds-
  3. About a month ago, I headed out on two fossil trips to the well-known St. Leon roadcut in Indiana. I was hunting in the Liberty formation (late Ordovician) with the sole goal of finding some nice trilobites (which I definitely achieved!). Along with multiple rare trilobites, I was able to find some excellent examples of other fossils. The spoils were totally awesome, and I am itching to go back. I hope you enjoy. Best for last.
  4. I returned last night from three days of fossil hunting in southern Indiana and southern Ohio. (My specimens are soaking in water, so no pictures yet.) I hunted in two spots: the road cut along Route 1 north of St. Leon, Indiana, and the Trammel Fossil Park in Sharonville, Ohio. Both are Ordovician formations. The first day I hunted on the east side of the cut for about six hours, and found lots of brachiopods, bryozoa, a couple of gastropods (my first) and a lot of shell on shell on shell. The next day I switched sides, and in addition to the above examples, I found trilobite pieces. I just sit on my kneeling cushion and a bucket, and sift through the rocks with my fingers. I'm tellin' ya, I get in a zone and the time flies. So quiet and peaceful. In two days, I saw one other person collecting. The final day was spent at Trammel Park. It's a 10-acre site with lots of the specimens I found at the road cut. I got there at about 9 a.m. A woman walked up to me and asked me if I was here with a group. "No, just me." She replied, "Well, it's fossil day at the park." Peace and quiet were quickly out of the question. I think it's great when little kids get a taste of the hobby. But this is what I heard all day: "Did you find any gold?" "Can I help you look?" "I found a trilobite (pronounced trill-o-bite)!" " I found an arrow head!" "I found a dinosaur bone!" "Look, guys! Silver dollars!" (They may have been referring to Rafinesquina?) Anyway, I had the pleasure of meeting David Meyers, a professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati. It was great to chat with him, though much of his time was spent helping kids identify their finds. "No, that's not a trilobite. Just a rock. But keep looking." We stayed outside Cincinnati, so it was long trip (6+ hours) back to Grand Rapids, Mich. My wife was a trouper, and found plenty of things to do and see in Cincinnati and environs. But I think the six hour trip took its toll, because she informed me that for the next few trips, I would be on my own. "I love that you have a new hobby. But next time, go and have fun. And I'll do my own thing. And we'll both me happy!" Works for me.
  5. Hello Everyone, Tragedy from an outing this past weekend and I'd much rather a TFF member who enjoys the educational aspect of fossils get a chance to benefit from my misfortune rather than a picker looking to collect and sell. It's been years since I've posted here but I've known and loved all the interactions I've had in the past and hope to give back a little good Karma here. I was traveling to the famous St. Leon IN road cut with a student of mine and I know I left behind a bag of amazing trilobites. For those who live in the area, you know where I'm talking about. I had a small 2x3 inch bag with at least 5 really nice Flexicalymene wrapped in bits of aluminum foil in it and a bunch of Zygospira (I'm a serious brachiopod fan). I'm fairly certain it either fell out of my bag, or I may have set it down and left it on the blue shale bed at the top of the Waynesville Formation (Blanchester Member) likely on the East side of the road cut. I've been finding I have some memory issues lately and I'm paying dearly for this one. I don't want to put too much detail as I tend to be rather protective of sites, even if they are fairly well known. I have basically given up hope of being able to get back down there soon (I'm from Milwaukee) but I would love for someone to find them and at least keep them and enjoy them. It's also possible that they may have fallen out of my truck while parked at the outcrop. If so, look on the curb on the East side of the road, just about one man-made cut tier below where the blue shale meets the road. (maybe about 100 yards North (downhill) of where this shale later meets the road. The trilobites are all wrapped in little bits of aluminum foil. Some are prone, others enrolled. Of course, I would be ecstatic if someone were kind enough to actually find them and send them to me, but I'd still prefer that at least someone finds them and keep them for themselves rather than have them survive 450 million years in the ground, just to get picked up, carefully wrapped and then run over on the curb and destroyed, or crushed on the outcrop. If someone can make it there sooner than later, I wish you luck and hope you recover them! If you do it is entirely up to you to choose to keep them, but I'd LOVE to see or hear that someone from TFF actually found them. I feel there could be a good chance since It was just last Sunday (March 17th) and people usually collect more during the weekends. If you can get there I hope you find them, love them, and above all learn from them! Kindest regards. Scott
  6. Possible Rusophycus

    After reviewing @aek post "Mystery Fossil of the Upper Cambrian" I saw a response by @doushantuo in regards to a rusophycus and it reminded me of a recent plate that I picked up while collecting at St. Leon, Indiana. The reason I picked it up was that it did remind me of a trilobite resting track that I had seen in the past, but thought it might be too large for trilobites found there. Any ideas or info would be appreciated.
  7. Quick Stop At St. Leon

    After I was unable to visit the St. Leon roadcut yesterday, I decided to see if my non-fossil collecting wife would let me stop for a few minutes on our way home. She agreed, so I made a very quick trip up one gully picking up loose brachiopods, horn coral, bryozoan and some hasp plates- no trilobites. After reviewing @Peat Burns trip report, I believe that I also found the bivalve Ambonychia, but he may be able to confirm. Here are a couple pictures of some of my finds. My wife is in the car checking the time- LOL. Possible Ambonychia Bi-Valve
  8. Does anyone know the genus (species, even?) of this coiled cephalopod found at the famous roadcut in Southern Indiana? We found this last spring.
  9. We're just about to take the kids on a big road trip for their 10th birthday, and one of the main focuses will be on fossil hunting (their new interest). We'll be stopping at: 1) St. Leon, Indiana - (1 hour?) Roadside cut 2) Kemmerer, WY - (full day) Fish dig (http://www.fishdig.com/) 3) Glendive, MT - (4-8 hours?) Dino dig (www.dailydinosaurdigs.com) 4) Belle Fourche, SD - (full day) Dino dig (www.paleoadventures.com) Any last minute tips or advice for novices heading out? I think we've got the attire figured out, and the kids have a tool pack that they might use in IN. Not sure about storage/transport in the minivan, or what to expect about how much rock we'll actually be hauling home. Would flat cardboard boxes be recommended to bring? And papertowel rolls for padding? Thanks!
  10. Flexicalyquickie

    I had an hour to spare today and decided to do a quick prep on a partially enrolled Flexicalymene retrorsa minuens that I got last month from St. Leon, Indiana. I have a number of these packed away as specimens for science, so I convinced myself it was ethically okay to go Moroccan on this one and build a fake pedestal on some matrix from the site to make it easier to handle and more aesthetic to display (as you can see, it was loose from the matrix when found). I used a pin vice, air abrasion, and a light coat of Butvar (to help prevent the exoskeleton from popping off). I didn't take great pains to make it perfect, obviously "Before photo": After photos:
  11. Short trip to St. Leon Indiana yielded 5 trilobites. 3 complete enrolled including one that is fairly but for St. Leon and probably the largest one I have found complete at at. Leon.1 complete prone trilo and 1 mostly complete prone. 4 of the 5 were typical tiny St. Leon Trilobites.
  12. Last week I made my third annual pilgrimage back to the Chicago area to visit family, do a little fossil hunting, gorge myself on great ethnic foods and treat myself to some Chicago-style deep-dish stuffed pizza for my birthday--yum! I had hoped to pick up some more Pit 2 (Braidwood Biota) Mazon Creek nodules from Fossil Rock campground in Wilmington but sadly it is now closed and up for auction with the distinct possibility that it will never again allow fossil hunters to gather nodules from the spoil piles at the back of the campground. Instead, I figured on focusing back on the Pit 11 (Essex Biota) nodules in the Mazonia/Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area where I first had hunted nodules since learning about them several years ago. I had hoped on meeting up with some TFF members but unfortunately this turned out to be a busy weekend for them and we never managed to get out for a group nodule hunt. I did make it out to Mazonia/Braidwood for a couple hours of the weekend. Luckily, this location in Braceville is only a short 45 minute drive from where we were staying so it is quite convenient to pop over there. The weather report did not look good for Saturday afternoon and soon after we arrived the low clouds and mist turned to drizzle and then to rain and we were chased out with little to show for our efforts. We did a little better on Sunday and I have a small cache of nodules soaking in a bucket at the moment before their first freeze/thaw cycle on a shelf in my freezer. I had suggested to the TFF members in the greater Chicagoland area (including far western cities and extending into Wisconsin) that if there were other fossil hunting opportunities in the area that I might be able to replace Fossil Rock campground with some other novel (to me and my wife, anyway) location. Rob Russell suggested a small road cut in north central Illinois as a possibility but stated that a much more certain location would be the St. Leon roadcut in southeastern Indiana. We considered how we wanted to plan our week in Chicago and decided that Friday would be the best day for a roadtrip to Indiana. Google Maps (for some unknown reason) showed this trip as just under 4 hours. I figured that would be only an hour more than we normally drive to get to the Peace River here in Florida and that we could do it as a day trip. We got up early on Friday (easy to get out of bed with the prospect of fossil hunting ahead) and were on the road before 6am. Being reasonably close to the Summer Solstice and at a much more northerly than our normal South Florida latitude, the days were long and we were able to depart in daylight. We ducked under the southern tip of Lake Michigan and once in Indiana headed southeast on I-65 toward Indianapolis. Right away I could see that the Google Maps estimate of arrival time was optimistic. Large swaths of I-65 were under construction and there seemed to be as many large semi trucks on the road as cars. We stopped off along the way for a quick breakfast and continued to make steady progress toward Indianapolis. We had planned on stopping there because in my haste to pack for the Chicago trip I had forgotten to pack a long sleeve shirt. I have had more than my fair share of solar radiation as a kid spending my days shirtless and shoeless running around the country roads of northern Wisconsin with the local kids during my youth and now prefer to spend my time in South Florida covered up from the sun as much as possible. Rather than lathering up armfuls of sunblock I tend to prefer long sleeve shirts for their abrasion protection as much as their SPF. I set the GPS for the address of a Target store in Indianapolis as we had left the Chicagoland area before they were open. Unfortunately, we got the E or W prefix wrong on the street address and ended up some 16 miles away from the store. We managed to find a discount store in the area and after about 5 minutes of shopping (twice my normal preferred extent) I came away with my new "in the field" shirt for the extravagant price of $2.50. Back on the highway again and heading toward the town of St. Leon. We were making reasonable time (as best we could with the traffic and construction) but realized that 4 hours was a hopelessly unrealistic travel time. When I double-checked the distance I realized that it was around 280 miles and a 70 mph average speed would be needed to make this journey in the specified time. As that was the limit on the fastest parts of the highway we would not be arriving mid-morning as I'd originally planned. In the end we arrived for an early lunch in St. Leon where we (surprisingly) found vegetarian food at a restaurant called Skyline Chili. Chili they had--several large cauldrons of it bubbling away in the open kitchen area--but skyline? The only skyline visible in this open rural area was that shown in silhouette on their sign. Post lunch we headed north on Old State 1 till we saw the splendor of the extensive roadcut that I'd seen in Google Maps satellite imagery or in the trip photos of other groups that have hunted here before us. This roadcut through the 450 million year old Upper Ordovician deposits seems to have been an effort to minimize the slope of the highway running through its middle. We parked well off the road on the extensive shoulder near the drainage area and could hear the frequent trucks and cars go by. On their way up the incline we could hear the trucks shifting into low gear to climb the grade and the engine breaking of the trucks making the opposite trip. We were the only ones there, the sun was shining, the weather was pleasant and within minutes of parking the car we saw that the rocks around us were virtually carpeted with brachiopods and other fossils--it was going to be a good day. It had taken us 6 hours to get here (50% longer than originally estimated) but with the prospect of a new and exciting hunting opportunity, we couldn't be happier. For those who have not yet seen the roadcut at St. Leon here is what it looks like looking down the sloping highway with terraced slopes flanking the road. You'll notice the wide shoulder and the shallow drainage trough which make for safe parking well away from the traffic. The photo of the brachiopod slab right next to where we parked the car indicated a productive day was ahead of us.
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