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Found 204 results

  1. It happens every year. My birthday. We decide to disappear into Northern Alberta along the banks of the Little Smoky and Smoky Rivers. The weather was not warm, but at least it was not snowing like it was during this same weekend in southern Alberta. Mornings started out about -4C and warmed to +6C by the time we were trudging home with our packs full of treasures. Baculites and Scaphites were our targetted fossils, although clams were not ignored. It never seems to get any easier. The first day on the Little Smoky was the easiest on our bodies, but the mud bog for about 500 yards going in was at test on the Rav4 we'd elected to use as our mode of transportation. The driver, not totally familiar with wilderness/oil lease roads made his own decision to push through so we just urged him on (by yelling "give 'er, give 'er, don't stop!") until we came out at the top of the hill. Coming back through it at the end of the day was better as it was more downhill and we (2 passengers) elected to walk along the road and dodge the mud slinging out from under the Rav4. Okay, Day 1 - check. Day 2 was a drop down into a gorge on the Smoky River, below a friend's cattle ranch. We hadn't been there for a couple years and the dead fall and thorns were a wonderful treat to awaken our senses. A few scaphites depressus were found and a couple baculite stacks. Oh, and a wonderful negative that I photographed and another I brought back. There was also a river otter that wasn't too happy with me being in his area. The climb back up the gorge to the ranch was not any easier despite having placed surveyor flagging on a few trees. Day 2 - check. Day 3 brought us down to the Smoky River further downstream from the previous day. Lots of walking, lots of bear scat but very little evidence of fossils. We did find a few clams. We need a good slump to expose more of the fossil layer so won't head back to this area for a couple years.
  2. Pecan gap chalk ammonites

    Had a pretty fun day here in San Antonio, started off by meeting Dan, talked for a little while before he moved on to go scout some other areas, moved down a ways and found a mosasaur vertebrae (my first), and then a pachydiscus (also a first for me) had to leave for a while but came back and found more pachydiscus chunks and then a giant pachydiscus that I had almost stepped on probably 10 times or more.
  3. I would be very greatful if someone could link me to the artists polish/coating they use to preserve and give ammonites a nice shine. I bought beeswax but it came in a large block and melting will be too messy each time. Also the links to buy paraloid and acetone for presevation of bone material. I dont want to buy the wrong thing. online or amazon if possible! Cheers
  4. Last week I was contacted by Neil Landman at the AMNH regarding ammonites of the Corsicana Formation of South Texas. Before the sites were built over, I kept in mind that any and all ammonite finds might be significant from that formation, and noticed that Kenedy and Cobban showed a different ammonite fauna from the same formation in North Texas. While North TX Corsicana is dominated by Sphenodiscus, South Texas Corsicana is dominated by pachydiscids. I had a bunch of diagnostic partial Discoscaphites (conradi?), pachydiscids, Sphenodiscus sp. as well as complete Eutrephoceras c.f. dekayi nautiloids in my remaining surplus, and Neil seems quite pleased to be receiving them this week. Coupled with a bunch of similar donations made to the MMNS and available on loan, Landman's helpers will have a good sampling available to gain a better understanding of certain ammonite ranges in this poorly exposed interval of Upper Cretaceous in South Texas. 3 tips wash out of this exercise. 1) Teach yourself what is significant and what isn't wherever you collect. 2) Don't let bias for pretty fossils keep you from picking up diagnostic partials of anything that might be significant. 3) Take home enough for you AND for science whenever possible for the ultimate win-win.
  5. This all started over a year ago. I was selected as Member of the Month and a couple of TFF members from Texas invited me down to the big state to collect. I primarily collect in my home region, the northeast, but I've taken fossil forays to New Mexico, Kentucky, and Germany and was willing to consider a trip to Texas and the opportunity to visit some classic fossil sites and collect fossils that are outside my usual focus. I began planning this about ten months ago, contacted potential fossil collecting partners and did my own research on fossil sites, geology, and the types of fossils I would likely encounter. I had never been to Texas let alone fossil collected there. From the Forum I knew there was a lot of great hunting. Then there was all of the logistics, what to stay, what to bring. Since I wanted to bring back a lot driving appeared to be my best option, but I hadn't driven that far solo in over thirty years. Timing of my trip; mid-late September, came right after my daughter went away to college and I was in the middle of moving to a new place. So things couldn't have been more hectic. Finally, early in the morning on September 8th I set out. Things went okay until I was in Kentucky. Just as it was turning nightfall, torrential rain hit, traffic was stopped on the interstate for two and a half hours, and the last two hours of the trip I struggled with wet conditions and poor visibility. I finally arrived at my parents' house just after one in the morning. The next day on my way over to my sister's I took a small detour and stopped at an outcrop I was well familiar with in Leitchfield, the Upper Mississippian Glen Dean Formation.
  6. sorry again, i dont know what the species of these specimens are and also sorry for some reason parts of the photos were cropped and made smaller i think its because i put too much on there so they had to cut down the file size (:
  7. My first trip out alone

    Got a chance to get off of work early so I hit a new creek I wanted to check out. I'm glad I did. I was only out for maybe 2 hours. These are my first ammonite and echinoid finds and now I want more!! I'm not use to creek hunting as I'm use to road cuts and mountain terrain
  8. Went out on a hunting trip at the weekend, and came away with quite a few decent finds. These are all in-land finds from locations near Ilminster, and the finds are all from the Toarcian pediod (182-174m years ago). Please forgive me having forgotten most of the names of the ammonites, I'm not great at remembering them. This ammonite, a Dactylioceras of some kind, is covered in clay which is absolutely full of what appear to be trace fossils from worm activity. This isn't uncommon, but I've rarely seen such a vivid example. Close up: The rear of this large, crushed harpoceras is a jumble of mixed up fossil bits, which you often find in the various layers of the beacon limestone. Top left there is quite an interesting bit of shell, which looks as if it might perhaps be part of a crushed teuthid phragmocone. A nice little double-dac. This is one of the scarcer ammonites from this location (I've forgotten the name), especially at this large size. I have one or two locations I can go to and stand a chance of finding these. They are often heavily re-worked, and this specimen was obviously exposed after fossilisation and heavily rolled on the seabed. It's structurally sound, but the shell - which seems to have been originally preserved - has been almost completely worn away. Such a shame!
  9. Hello to everybody! I'm kinda new here, but before I start I must say I really love this forum! It has really great vibes and you instantly can tell that this is a good and friendly community! So, I am ziggycardon, I live in Belgium, close to the border of the Netherlands and when we start speaking geologically, I live on the same cretaceous sediments as where the first major Mosasaurus discoveries where done! Unfortunatly I have never been on a fossil hunt myself and everything currently in my collection was bought or given to me. But I hope to change that soon, as I am dying to go hunting myself. Maybe the Chalk sediments 3 km from my home would be a good place to start! For the rest, my job, my major hobby and my other main interest besides fossils are living animals. I currently work as the head of terrarium & aquarium in 3 different pet stores and I have quite a collection of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and tropic fish myself. In my spare time I often take my own living animals along with my fossils and other educational natural history material to schools so I can teach kids about nature and it's history and hidden mechanics. For the rest are my other hobbies mainly based around movies and televisions as I collect a lot of stuff drom my favorite franchises like "Lord or the Rings" & "The Hobbit", "Game of Thrones, "Pirates of the Caribbean", ... And I also attent a lot of comic cons and other events related to those franchises. But then this topic! In this topic I will show my collection of fossils (and also minerals, stones and meteorites) as it is right now and then I will highlight each group of fossils bit by bit. I am currently starting with a own specialized fossil room, so ofcourse the progress and end result will also be posted here! And ofcourse when something get's added to my collection, I'll show it here as well. Sometimes a photo of my "special" pets or taxidermy specimens might pop up, but this topic will mainly be about the fossil room and my fossil collection. For the rest, if you have any comments or questions about the collection or about me or about anything, feel free to ask! I'd love to reply!
  10. Monday was Labor Day, a holiday. I was going to be off work and home alone. I woke up early for a day off really motivated to get up and get out to the North Sulfur River (NSR), but I was feeling a bit lazy. I didn’t want to wear myself out too much. I am on call all week and being worn out isn’t a good way to start being on call if you have to stay up all night working. I had not been out to the NSR since June, because I nearly did myself in last trip with heat exhaustion. I had plenty of fluids, but the 100 degree heat with no shade was too much for me. Anyway, the weather on Monday was pretty decent. The heat was bearable. Rain was in the forecast. There was a tropical storm spinning off inland and we were having storms from that. I got ready and drove the 1:20 minutes to my favorite bridge outside of Ladonia. I arrived about 9:00. Rain was predicted to start about 11:00. I didn’t know how bad it would be or how long it would last. So, I figured I had about 2 hours to get some hunting in. Entering the NSR can be a challenge along most of the section of river which was channeled back in the early 1900s. The banks are about 30 feet high and mostly vertical. Normally I enter from the south side of the bridge, but it seems everyone I know who goes there enters from the north side. I thought I’d try that entrance for once. I parked my car along a narrow path next to the guardrail near the bridge. I got out and got my gear ready. Before putting on my pack I walked out to the edge of the precipice of the bank and looked down to the riverbed 30 feet below. To my left was the bridge. I saw a ridiculously steep (80 degrees) path, if you could call it that, plummeting down into the river. I thought “No way! You’ve got to be kidding me!!!” It looked more like a wash and going down it would be more like falling or repelling if I had a rope. There was no way I could come back up that with a 40-50 pound pack. Plus I didn’t have a rope with me. Hum, maybe I need to add rope to my NSR gear list. I am not a rock climbing type girl. I am around a soft 50% marshmallow consistency. There isn’t a whole lot of muscle on me. I am all adventure and no brawn. This is a picture of the river from the top of the bank. IT is not the best pic, but you get the idea that it is a long way down. You can't really see the wash, but it starts behind the pillar on the left and runs behind that bush straight down to the bottom. I turned to walk back to my car and drive over to my usual entrance, but as I turned I saw an opening in the dense undergrowth. I walked towards it. There was a rope tied to a tree at the top of the hill. It was strung downhill and attached to another sapling 20 feet below. It wasn’t much of a rope, less than 1 cm thick with infrequent, small knots of maybe 1 cm in size. They would not be much to grab onto. It would help getting down for sure and it looked strong enough, but man was it steep (60 degreeish)!! It was really steep for about 20 feet or so and then leveled off for a bit and then there was some concrete rubble in the wash that ran along the path. From the level area you had to drop down about 3 feet and then walk the rubble to the riverbed. There was only one sizeable (2 inches) sapling to grab at or break your fall with on the 20 foot part. There were numerous saplings and a poison ivy vine that were ¼- ½ inch thick. There was a rebar type stake sticking up about 8 inches from the ground maybe 5 feet down the hill, I assume for a foothold of sorts. It looked like someone had tried to notch some steps into the hill with a shovel every 3 feet or so, but they were eroded so barely of any use anymore. I think I must be crazy, or ridiculously overdue for an adventure. It has been 3 months since I’d been to the NSR after all. I decided to go ahead and try it. I hoped I would not live to regret my choice. I went and got my pack, which was already about 15 pounds with my 4 pound sledge hammer, rock hammer, drinking fluids, my 40 caliber pistol (protection from wild hogs) and other gear. I put my pack on and walked to the edge of the hill. I took one step and slid. I was wearing tennis shoes with only a little tread. I turned around, went back to my car and put on my hiking boots. I tried going down the hill facing forward, but couldn’t do it. So I turned around and grabbed the rope and wrapped it around my hand and began to lower myself down backwards. In retrospect I can see I clearly did not think my exit strategy out. I will post another part in a couple minutes..
  11. Unidentified ammonites

    Hi! Can anyone tell me what species of ammonites are these? They were found in France and they are from the Jurassic period.Any help would be much appreciated.
  12. I cant do any fossil hunting anymore, but i can still prep. My youngest son is a real fossil hunter go gitter. He finds lots of stuff like his father used to do. He worked on this and then called me and asked if I would help out. He has a ME9100 that I gave him and he knows that I have a Junior Jack. A Junior Jack will remove 10 times the rock the 9100 will do. wish I had a before photo, but afraid not. Took me about 7 hours to get this far. Lots and lots of rock to remove. The appature on this Placenticeras is not correct but it was shaped in order to remove rock to expose this male Hoploscaphites crassus? My son May have a before picture. If so, I will post it and then you will understand why ive done what ive done. This rock measures 12 inches. Kinda heavy too! RB
  13. Stunning sutures

    Hi all, Here is one of the Aconoceras nisus ammonites I found in Carniol, prepped. Now unfortunately the center is gone Luckily... it has some incredible sutures! They are very nicely visible, and give the ammonite a really cool look IMO. The real reason for the sutures to be so clear is actually because there is still a bit of clay in between the suture lines. So to be perfectly honest, that means that the prep isn't 100% complete. But I'm purposefully gonna leave it as it is, because this way the wonderful really stand out. Pyrite ammonite Aconoceras nisus Carniol, France "Gargasian", Aptian, Cretaceous (120 my) Found 22/7/2018
  14. South Ram River Alberta scaphites

    Wonderful trip to the South Ram River in between camping and kayaking. While the rest of the group went to see Ram River Falls I elected to check my favourite spot for any scaphites that may have popped up since my last visit a couple years ago. Lucky day.
  15. Four Ammonites Need ID

    I have four ammonites that I cannot identify, and I hope you guys can help I got no information on their age or where they were found.
  16. I was on holidays last week in southern France,Ardéche,really too hot! but few finds in the cretaceous also
  17. Hi all, So after learning of the inaccessibility of the location Lacoste, I was wondering if there was maybe another location nearby. On Fossiel.NET I found the location Carniol, which looks very promising! https://www.fossiel.net/sites/fossil_site.php?plaats=148 Anyone got any tips on how to best find fossils and bring them home? How to look, how to take the fossils out, etc? Any tips or comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance, Max
  18. Hello. Good morning to all of my favorite forum! Last week, I was rummaging through our favorite auction site, it was then that I came across so many absurdities that I felt obliged to make an alert here for the most inexperienced collectors who end up paying rivers of money when they think they have found a rare specimen! ========================================== Specimen Nº 01 I'm going to start with this first specimen, which was originally supposed to be in poor condition, so what they did was make a series of scratches in a completely failed attempt to make the specimen more "attractive". And the seller is bold! He announces using the word "natural"! ========================================== Specimens Nº 02 These types of Ammonites here I call Ammonites HP Lovecraft because they are polished (destroying the original and scientific shell here is nothing left) and then the tentacles are completely carved in the purest Cthulhu style of the Master HP Lovecraft: Is it just me who see the resin made with stone dust here, used to glue the carved tentacles? So in this case, even the base "matrix" is not authentic, but yes, it is also made with resin and stone powder! Here the sellers are moderate, in the ad title, they use the word "Healing", but the funny thing is that before I saw all this, I was grumpy, but after seeing all this, I ended up laughing, so maybe really have some "Healing" power! ========================================== Specimen Nº 03 This is my favorite and it was already a topic of debate here at TFF! Looks like Nasa found her and brought her straight from Planet Mars! Does not appear? I believe they originally tried to sculpt tentacles in this specimen, but the glue could not hold the tentacles, or even, maybe the carved tentacles broke, I do not know, but the fact is that she became hideously beautiful bizarre! But still, it remains a specimen with the shell destroyed by polishing and sculpted! I wonder and have ideas if this specimen were black... ========================================== Specimen Nº 04 And to finalize this post with a golden key, I would finally like to introduce you to this specimen, which I call Ammonite Rainbow ... Perhaps the shell is completely natural, but the fact is that the tentacles, I'm sure they are not natural and were carved! ========================================== I do not know if these Ammonites are being adulterated in Madagascar which is exactly where they all come from, or if the adulteration is in China, which, by the way, imports thousands of tons of them annually from Madagascar. But here I register my appeal to those who are starting to collect fossils now, let them not be deceived with bizarre specimens at tempting prices without first seeking some scientific knowledge on the subject. Of course these Ammonites have great value, but merely artistic value, a beautiful decorative object, but never scientific!
  19. My little trip to Solnhofen

    Last weekend I used my free time to visit two locations in the area of Solnhofen. Solnhofen is quite a famous fossil location, so many of you will probably know it. During the Late Jurassic, this area was an archipelago at the edge of the Tethys Sea and it preserves a rare assemblage of fossilized organisms. The most famous fossil from there is the Archaeopteryx. At the beginning I was very unsure if it really make sense to visit that location, because I often heard bad things like that its very hard to find something there . And I have to say that it was indeed very hard to find something but nonetheless I found a few fossils and it was much fun. I was firstly for about 3 hours in the visitor quarry Blumenberg. Here is the quarry: It makes sense to bring a shovel with you because you firstly have to put away all the debris before you can extract larger plates. The most common fossil there is the crinoid Saccocoma. Here are some examples: (about 2 cm big) Another very common fossil are coprolites from fishes/ammonites. They are called Lumbricaria: (3-4 cm long)
  20. Categorise this as 'just for fun', and don't get your hopes up for much fun. I've been doing some '[word wrongly auto-censored] packet' calculations (this is British for writing on the back of a cigarette packet, not a slur) about how many ammonite fossils may be extant on the earth. I'm not a mathematician. I'm the opposite of a mathematician, whatever that is. But I started my calculations based upon a single rock formation which I know well, to see if I could use that to work from. If we look at the Toarcian Beacon Limestone formation in the UK - which spans at least twenty miles in a single direction and is around five metres thick (significantly thinner at the coastal end, I think). Ammonites are abundant in this rock, with many layers being packed full of them. In a single square foot of material, you will sometimes find dozens of ammonites. In a single square-foot section vertically through the entire formation, I'd say that you'd easily find 100 ammonites. That's probably an underestimate. So on that basis, if we assume a total of thirty square miles for this formation, we have 836,352,000 square feet. Assume 100 ammonites per square foot (all the way down through the formation), that's 83,635,200,000, or eighty-three billion, six hundred and thirty-five million, two hundred thousand ammonites preserved. Now, that's got to be way out. For a start, the formation varies in different locations, both in thickness and number of ammonites present. It is probably not present at all in many areas (though there are quite a few outcrops). Has anyone ever attempted to make an rough estimate at how many ammonites may be preserved in the earth? It's interesting to think; the Beacon Limestone formation is five metres thick, and represents about eight million years of sedimentary deposition. Barely any of the ammonites that lived during that time, in this area, are preserved in this formation. Makes you wonder how many ammonites must have swam in the oceans over all those millions of years. The Beacon Limestone
  21. Well hello everyone!!! Are trip to the Texas Boarded and Ammonite Beach was one of top trips in Texas. The rumors about large ammonites were very true and our research and friends came thru with some locations. The biggest part of our trip was the work in getting our finds back to our vehicle. We had such a great time on Friday checking out the area as we promised our selves to just look and no collecting until we knew how far our searching areas is and if we found some to be patient. Well that rule went out the window with my wife as the ammonite fever hit her hard. She was grabbing everything in sight... oh lord I needed some extra strength if I was going to make it thru the weekend.... Well I’m use of carrying heavy packs when I go primitive camping. I know my limits and a canoe and pack is about 130-150 lbs but our portage’s are a couple100 feet. But I was tested for sure as as we started hiking to our spots. Location #1 Was a location we hit that allowed us to follow a railroad track for the first 1/4 mile and then on our turn we had to climb a couple of deep cliffs. So I told my wife that if we find any big pieces that she would have to make a choice. Picture or she can carry it out. But after she saw what we had to go thru she agreed and kept her mind on smaller fossils. We found some smaller ammonites at our location and we were pretty happy with the scouting. But we did noticed some tracks of other hunters that were pretty fresh. No big ammonites i cant remember how to insert the picture and keep telling you all our adventures. So I’ll add more pictures to this feed as the sizes are not edited yet.
  22. My wife and I went to North Texas with the main lure being to collect on the N. Sulphur River. Since we were staying in Sherman we also visited Post Oak Creek. Lake Texoma was high on the list since we were so close, but prior posts about Texoma dissuaded us to " not take any chances ". At the time, people were stating the Lake Texoma Army Corp. of Engineers considered it a no-no regarding the removal of Ammonites from Corp. property. Since that time several years ago I have read multiple posts about collecting there but no caveats. We certainly have more trips to Texas from Missouri / Misery, and collecting at Lake Texoma would certainly be a destination. Set me straight...................
  23. Multi Ammo Rock

    I was moving some stuff around and doing a small bit of cleanup to make some room on my prep bench. Ran into a very nice little finished crab which i had forgotten about, and also ran into this multi ammo rock that ive been working on from time to time and then It got buried and forgotten. Put in about 3 hours of rock removal and its starting to look like something now. Its got a long ways to go still, but at least its finally gettin there. Where ever 'there' is. Ha!!! Anyways, I removed a heck of alot of rock from this rock after gluing it back together. Just glad I wasnt keeping track of the hours! RB
  24. I had the day off of work on Memorial Day and I didn’t have my kids, but I was on call. So once again I couldn’t go too far. I decided to head back over to the Benbrook site. It was going to be another scorcher. So I brought along about 40 ounces of fluids. I drove the hour over to west of Benbrook Lake to the new subdivision going in, turned into the development and parked near where I had found the 2 smaller ammonites the previous Tuesday. Before getting out of my car I covered my exposed areas with sunscreen. Sun damage will age you quicker than almost anything and also increase the likelihood of getting skin cancer. Now that I had my sunscreen on I got out and started hunting. I walked around a few undeveloped lots for a bit and was only finding partial ammonites. I found one small echinoid urchin and nothing else of note. I walked back to my car to get a drink and my bag. Then I searched on the opposite side of the street. I didn’t find anything there either. I guess the first trip I was just lucky to find 2 decent ammonites within 5-7 minutes. Since I wasn’t finding much in that particular area I walked down the street a bit and then crossed it heading towards a rock pile. The lots in this area had not been smoothed over yet. The back side of the lots sloped downward. More rocks had been pushed over the edge of the slope. I had stepped up on the curb and walked maybe 15 feet when I found what looked to be a small Mortoniceras about 5 inches across imbedded in a larger chunk of rock. You can just see the edge of it poking out of the rock below my hand. I didn’t have my hammer with me. I put my bag down by the rock and I walked back to my car to get my hammer. I couldn’t find it. It dawned on me that I had taken it into my house, shoot. I keep most of my hunting tools in my trunk with my rubber boots and a pack at all times. You never known when you might see some spot that needs investigating. So, no worries I had my little sledge hammer and some chisels along with a number of other tools. I was dripping wet from the heat and losing a lot of fluids. The humidity was at 70% and it was 94 degrees. I can take the heat, but I don't do well with high heat and high humidity. The humidity is what does me in. I got the tools and walked back to where the ammonite was. The limestone there was kind of chalky and reasonably soft. Within 2-3 minutes I had it popped out of the rock. One side free of matrix, but the other still had a little on it, but at least I wouldn’t have to carry the whole 40+ pound rock back to my car. The side that was free of matrix looked like it had a touch of pyrite disease. You can see how it is kind of flat on the bottom edge and reddish from oxidation. This is just another chunk of rock with 2 Morts in it. They look like fragments so I didn't bother with trying to get them out. It looks like there is a third fossil between them and possibly another small one below them that is hardly noticeable. I am not sure what this is. It looks a bit like some burrows, but the other burrows I was seeing were 3 to 5 inches in diameter. It may be a little burrow of some other creature, but there is something else going on there too, but not sure what. it almost looks like large leaves fanning out to the top and bottom. the burrow overlays whatever is fanning out. The burrow to the bottom left looks kind of like it is a corkscrew patterns. Then there is a burrow looking thing above those that has a ribbed pattern on it. Hum, now that I think about it, this did not look like the other rocks. There were building a stone wall nearby with sandstone blocks. This may not even be from the formation. This is just another fragment with the septa showing. It is about 8 inches across. This is one of the little Morts that was just laying around. I thought the thing below it was an urchin. Turned out to be a pebble with concrete on it. I just gave the ammonite away to the guy who came and fixed my AC unit today. He is the grandfather of a couple kids my kids were friends with. We actually kind of hunted a little together back in March when I took a group of scout kids, my daughter and his granddaughter out on a little hunt. He had never found fossils before or been hunting for them. He walked over as I was finding echinoids, gastropods and ammonite fragments. He was immediately sucked into the hunt and fascinated with them. This ammonite was kind of cool, because the matrix on the edge had the impression of another little ammonite. It is about 6 inches across. I'll be back in a few with more of the story.
  25. I went hunting Tuesday before last to a new place over in Benbrook, TX about an hour away. A newer TFF member, Cory had blind messaged me telling me about a place over near Ft. Worth. He thought I might be interested in seeing them. He invited me to come check it out. I get messaged a lot on social medial by complete strangers. So that part was nothing new. I don’t respond to the majority of the messages. With all of the messages I have gotten I have never had a stranger invite me to meet him somewhere, but that was basically the scenario. Sounds like the perfect scenario for something bad to happen though. So I was a bit leery. I didn’t intend to go, but I checked out his post to see what he was finding at the site. It was a lot of the typical Duck Creek ammonites and echinoids. The echinoids intrigued me. I had quite a few of that kind, but the quality was better than what I had. Also, the Mortoniceras ammonites were of good size and quality. The ones I have are fairly small. I have more Eopachydiscus than any other ammonite. So those did not hold much appeal. In his post he had invited other people to come check the place out so that made me feel a bit better. I'm still not sure how he found me or why he messaged me. Maybe it was one of my posts from a fossil hunt over in Ft. Worth he had seen. I had requested the day off work for that Tuesday weeks before to run some errands and go to an event, but the event got canceled so I had some extra time I didn’t expect to have. I was bummed that the event got canceled. Nature and the outdoors are my happy places. Fossil hunting cheers me even more. So I thought of places I could go. I had to be back by 5:00 though to pick up my daughter. So I couldn’t heard out to NSR. I decided to take a chance and head over to the place in Benbrook. I PM'd Cory on TFF and he sent me the address and his telephone number. I messaged someone to let them know where I was going and what time I planned to leave. It was in an open construction area and other people would be around so that helped put my mind at ease. I don’t tend to be paranoid about harm from strangers, but I like to be safe. I am a person of faith and I tend to hold the philosophy that if it isn’t your time to go nothing will happen to you. If it is your time to go, there is nothing you can do to stop it. I know a lot of women who limit themselves in where they can go and what they can do out of fear of what may happen to them if they go somewhere alone. I don’t fit in that category of not going out of fear. It may put me at greater risk, but so far I haven't come to harm only by the grace of God I am sure. Since the place was a new development it didn’t come up on my map apps. I had to wing it and used the satellite view to find the general area under development. I pulled into the development. It was quite large. Between the 2 sections it looked like it could easily be 150 acres if not more. Maybe only about 20% of the lots had homes on them. I had no idea where Cory was or how to find him. I was ok hunting without bothering him at work. I was still uneasy about it, but I thought I should meet him to thank him for letting me know about the site and inviting me. I am a pretty shy person. Breaking the ice is the hardest thing for me. I feel awkward and am afraid I won't know what to say, I'll say something stupid or I'll say something and there will be one of those awkward silences. But I let the rules of proper social decorum motivate me to break the ice and go meet him. He had also said he had a lot of questions about the fossils. I told him I wasn’t sure I could answers his questions, but I’d try to answer what I could. I wanted to keep my word. I parked my car on a corner surrounded by vacant lots. I messaged him to let him know I was there providing him with the street names on the signs on the corner. I got out and walked around. Within the first 5-7 minutes of walking around I found 2 decent little ammonites, which I believe are both Mortoniceras. One has more prominent tubercles than the other. Here’s the first I little ammonite I found on top of a fragment from a large Eopachydiscus. I am holding them my hand, but the fragment is so big you can barley see my hand is there. The little ammonite is 9 cm across. About that time he messaged me back and then tried to describe how to get to him. I told him I’d hunt where I was a bit longer and then come over to where he was. While I hunted around I snapped pics of the flowers and plants. Here are a few. This looks a little like phlox, but I’m not sure if it is since phlox was out in early April. Also, these are on a single stalk densely covered with small leaves. The phlox I know don’t look like that Not sure what this, but it looks cool. The leaves are fuzzy. The shoots are 12-15 inches tall. This is a Texas thistle. Believe it or not this is my favorite wildflower. The blooms can be up to 2 inches across and occasionally 2.5. They look a bit like pompoms, but aren’t quite so round. The color is just a bit off in the pic though. They are slightly more of a fuchsia color. They’re pretty cool looking. The plant is very prickly as you can see in the pic. They are difficult to pick. I usually have to take thick rubber gloves and use garden clippers. The look is not what made them my favorite flower though. It is their behavior and movement that I find so intriguing and mysterious. The first time I picked a bouquet of these I arranged them in a vase and made a nice rounded bouquet. When I got up in the morning they were completely rearranged. I asked my kids if they had played with them. They had not. I rearranged them into a nice rounded bouquet and went about my day. A couple hours later I noticed it was rearranged again. I don’t know what makes them move. It is not phototropism or the typical type of chemotaxis. They will move themselves at night and may move as much as 2 inches in 8 hours. It is astonishing and quite remarkable to me. I love it! They have an independent spirit, kind of like me. I remember we had a form of these growing on the edge of the forest in the clearing where our house was when I was a girl living in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. The bears use to come into the clearing to eat these. They look like they would be very painful to eat, but the bears seemed to love them for their sweetness. I’ve never eaten one, but they smell delightfully sweet almost like honey.
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