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Found 33 results

  1. North Sulphur River - Weird Finds

    Some of my odder finds from North Sulphur River. The pyritized baculite and the preserved skin were both found in the Ladonia area. The baculite was initially powdery white on the exterior, with just a bit of metallic luster showering. A light scrub with a soft toothbrush revealed the rest. The skin appears reptilian, but I would love further insights.
  2. NSR Mix

    From the album North Sulphur River

  3. I want to own it up front that this trip report is not one of my shining moments. In fact I’m a bit embarrassed to admit the situation that I got myself into on the trip back to my car. It was a first time experience for me. But it makes for a good story if nothing else. Spring is in full swing in Texas and Summer is quickly approaching. On my drive last Saturday I took some pictures of the scenery and flowers. One of the many green feilds seen this time of year, with an old barn near Wolfe City, Texas. I don’t think we have wolve in Texas, at least not these parts that I know of. So maybe the name came from someone with the name. The wisteria are in full bloom. Grape hyacinths along the roadside by a bridge where I was checking for creek access. A mixture of redbud trees with some other plant I don’t know. Saturday was a beautiful day for fossil hunting although a bit on the warm side, in the mid 80s. I headed out to the NSR, but chose to take a different route this time that took me through Wolfe City, Texas. It is a small rural town that probably had its hayday during the industrial revolution and World War II. Most of the downtown square area looks like 1920 to 1940s buildings. Many of the homes have a Victorian era look. Most of the downtown buildings are boarded up and no longer in use. The local factory is closed. Despite it being past it’s hayday the town and homes are pretty well maintained. I kind of have a thing for cool entry ways, doors and windows. I like architecture and especially that of older buildings. I made a pit stop at a gas station in Wolfe City. Next to the gas station was this old building. I like the shape, architecture and the style of door. I continued to the NSR. Normally I park my car near the bridge and enter the river near there, but this time I wanted to reach a different part of the river. I checked out the entrance from a creek on the east side of the river, but didn’t see anything I thought I could manage. I opted to drive down a narrow, little used dirt road that cuts through the Caddo National Grasslands. I drove in till it hit private property, parked my car, got my gear and started across the field. The first thing I noticed was a nasty invasive species of plant growing in the field. It looks harmless enough, but it can take over a whole habitat and strangle everything else out. I can’t remember the name of it at the moment. I headed across the field and noticed these little burrows all over the field. I’d seen them on lakes, beaches and river banks, but not so high above water. I was still about 1/4 of a mile away and 30 feet above the river. I never saw the inhabitants, but was sure it was a crustacean of some sort. Then I came across the remains of a crayfish looking critter. I think this may be a coon’s favorite dining “take out” spot. I crossed the field to the forest. Little yellow flowers of wild strawberry plants blanketed this section of the forest floor. There is one along the small log in the background of this pic of wild garlic that is common in the area. Wild garlic can be quite helpful in the woods. This part of the forest was very nice and open with small herbaceous plants covering much of the forest floor. Here is a little anemone flower. I also saw wild violets. Many of the trees have lichen growing on them. The yellow one is often called golden lichen. The pale green one is another lichen. Both are considered edible, but usually only in desperate situations. They’re not very palutable and must be boiled with several replacements of the water so as to not get a tummy ache. Baking soda or acid needs to be added to help make it edible and more digestible. I walked through taking note of landmark trees and land features so at to remember my way back to my car as I made my way to the river’s edge. At the river the underbrush thickened and there were more cedars growing. There was a vertical 30 foot drop to the riverbed as is the case along most of the river. I walked north along the river through the thick forest and underbrush looking for an entry point. I finally came to an area that had been cleared and leveled down a bit, but there was still about a 15 foot drop. Someone had tied a rope to a tree. I put a couple knots in the rope to hang on better and not slide or get rope burn. I knew when I went down that I wouldn’t be able to pull myself and my pack back up. My hunting of the NSR is pretty different from most others. My goal is usually to find invertebrates. Not very exciting I know. I am particularly interested in baculites and ammonites. Ammonites abound in Texas, but the NSR is the only area I know of in Texas with baculites. I’d really like to go hunting with someone who is good at finding vertebrate stuff at least once so I can see the place and stuff in the river through their eyes. I’m sure I pass up vertebrate stuff because I don’t know how to spot it. I find a lot of other invertebrate stuff like Inoceramus clams, Durania rudist fragments, gastropods, other pelecypods and petrified wood. Not the kind of stuff many go to the NSR for. After entering the river I walked around looking at the area before heading to the area of interest. I found what appeared to be a possible bone concretion embedded vertically in the river bed. I extracted about 8 inches. I didn’t really want to waste my time getting more when I wasn’t sure what it was and I knew better stuff lay ahead of me. I left my sledge hammer because it is pretty heavy to be packing around, but that would have made all the extractions much easier. I came to an area where a significant extraction had recently taken place in the river bank. There was a gaping hole in the bank about 5 feet long by 3 feet wide and about 2.5 feet deep. Whatever they found was pretty good size. I can’t imagine how they hauled it out. Ten to 15 feet away was another extraction site. This was only about 2.5 x 2 feet and maybe a foot deep. The imprint left looked a little like an ammonite, but not exactly. I scanned the bank for whatever scraps might be left. Nothing great, but a few half decent baculite fragments and a couple partial ammonites including 4 partial Glyptoxoceras heteromorph cephalopods. I found a tiny spiraled shell with beautiful detail. I sat on the bank to extract extract what I found. It was in the high 80s and pretty hot as the afternoon sun beat down upon me. I took off my rubber boots and worked barefoot to keep cool. My boots were too hot for comfort. I had put on sunscreen and was wearing a tank top, but I was still hot. After a few hours I was looking a bit pink. I wasn’t sure if it was the heat or the sun. I’m green eyed, blond and pretty fair. I’m a mixture of Viking (yes, I said Viking, genetically proven and genealogically confirmed), English and Native American. I’m not sure how I got to be blond with how my parents look though. My dad has/had dark brown hair and eyes with olive skin. My mother had dark brown hair, green eyes and looked Native American. My bothers were a mix of my parents dark features. My one brother looks Hispanic and the other Italian. I’m the white sheep of the family, but I digress. I rarely burn, but put on a long sleeve shirt I brought with me to protect my skin. I didn’t see or hear another soul in the river or otherwise the whole afternoon. I guess I was the only one crazy enough to be out that far on such a hot day. I scanned the riverbed nearby. A few feet away, under water was a red Pachydiscus paulsoni embedded in the shale of the riverbed. Walking back to get my tools I saw a baculite with about 8 inches exposed, under water. It was also embedded in the shale of the riverbed about 2.5 feet from the paulsoni. The water was slow moving here and the shale was coated with a layer of silt and algae. The paulsoni was almost completely exposed and was easily extracted in a couple minutes. Almost directly above where the baculite was the upper bank was seriously eroded with a big tree just hanging over the edge, perched for a sudden decent upon avalanche. It kind of made me a bit nervous. I began to chip away the shale around the baculite with my rock hammer and a chisel. It was slow going. The water wasn’t moving the debris I stirred up. I had to repeatedly wait for the water to clear before continuing. The shale was only breaking up in small pieces. I decided to try chipping further away from the baculite. This time the shale came up in a large chunk. When I pulled the chunk out I suddenly realized it wasn’t just shale, it was a fossil! I got so excited by what I saw that I let out a little squeal of excitement and delight. I completely forgot about the baculite for a few minutes. It was an ammonite fragment, but no ordinary ammonite fragment. In 30 years of hunting ammonites I had never seen one with such a surface texture and detail. It was totally new and uniques to me. I had never even seen anything like it in a book or museum. It had the form and common ribs of a Menabites, but the whole surface was covered with small dots or circles. It was a polka dotted ammonite! I went back to the water to find more pieces of it, but whatever else was there was shattered when I was attempting to extract the baculite. These are pics of the fragment I pulled out. This is the imprint in the river wher I pulled it up from. The side of the ammonite facing the surface appeared to have been exposed and eroded away in the river so that it appeared as riverbed shale. I had no idea it was there until I pryed it up. The imprint left in the riverbed was only about 40% of the whole and it was about 16 inches wide. So the whole could have easily been 18-20 inches or more. I can only imagine how stunningly beautiful the creature must have been when living. At this point it was about 6:00 PM and I was running out of drinking water. I decided I better make my way back to my car. It was maybe a 20-30 min walk along the river back to where I entered. It had only taken me about 20 minutes to walk from my car to the point I had entered the river. Sunset was about 8:00. So I had plenty of time, but it was still hot and I would run out of drinking water before I got back to my car. Note to self: “carry more fluid with you!” I made it half way back down the river and ran out of water. I sat down on a rock in the middle of the river to rest a bit. My pack was pretty heavy. The water was flowing fast here babbling over rocks and shale. The water was clear and cool. I took my boots off again and cooled my feet and hands one last time in the river. I splashed water over my neck, back and chest and then filled my bottle with river water. I thought I could use it to poor over myself to keep cool on the hike back. I made my way back down the river to a creek near where I had entered hoping to find a point where I could climb the bank out of the river. Throughout the day I had heard small pebbles and rocks clattering down from the vertical walls along the river, occasionally the sound echoed off the canyon like river walls. The sound seemed lonely and foreboding as if the banks were taunting me with threats of avalanches. I hadn’t seen or heard a full on avalanche that day. Although, there was evidence of numerous recently deposited piles of rock, dirt and even the occasional tree all along the banks. I had never been to this area of the river. I turned down the unfamiliar creek. The creek entrance was about 25 feet wide. The 30 foot banks towered over me as I entered the narrow passage. It felt a bit intimidating. I shook off the feeling and pushed further into the creek. Both banks looked avalanche prone. Loosely packed rock and dirt clung to the banks. If an avalanche occurred I could only run ahead or back to try to escape it. At least the river was wide enough to give the banks a wide berth. Ahead I saw the creek open up a bit with the banks receding and begin to slope back, no longer vertical on both sides. I had gone about 75-100 yards up the creek when I heard an avelanch begin about 20-25 feet behind me to my left. I did stop to look and see how big it was. I tried to run away from it up the creek, but the creekbed was covered in a mixture of silt, sand, mud and gravel that made it soft slippery and difficult to get traction on. I narrowly missed being covered or crushed by the avalanche, feeling only a few pebbles hit the back of my calves. I was suddenly engulfed in a cloud of dirt and dust. I coughed as I emerged from the dissipating cloud. I was a little spooked by the near miss. I tried to walk on quickly, but the soft creek bed made for slow going. Up ahead I saw the bank diminish in height to about 5 feet vertical and then the upper part sloped away from the creek rather than the vertical banks I’d just passed. Ahead of me 50 yards was the sight of another avalanche that was quite unique in its own right. Five small whole trees, with roots and soil in tact sat in the middle of the creek upright, almost as if it had grown there. I took off my pack and hoisted it on the South bank and then climbed up on the edge of the bank. It was with some difficulty that I managed to get my pack back on without losing my footing on the bank. It was still very steep, but it had a few small trees I grabbed onto to keep from slipping back down. I slowly climbed to the top. I was relieved to be able to get out of the river and attain the level surface on top. I had entered the river from the West. I exited the river from the North. Also,I believed I was now on the private property that had no trespassing signs. I wanted to respect the no trespassing signs. There was a small fishing or hunting camp set up on the edge of the bank maybe 150 yards to the East of where I had exited the creek. I don’t think anyone was there, but polite as I am I wanted to respect the “private property/no trespassing” signs and not cross through the camp. If I had done so it was only about 300 yards back to where I had entered the river. Getting back to my car would have been a breeze. I would have been to my car in 20 min or so. Hind sight is 20/20. If only I had just crossed through the camp back over to where I’d entered I would have saved myself a whole lot of trouble and anxiety that was about to come. Instead I attempted to skirt around the edge of the private property heading West about the distance it was to my car and then cut South to where my car was parked. I stopped a brief moment to rest and was quickly found by several mosquitos. The woods were riddled with wallows and small Spring time ponds that were stagnant breading grounds for the pests. The sun was getting lower in the sky and the air cooler which was perfect for mosquitos. I walked on another half hour then stopped to rest. At my next stop a dozen or more mosquitos buzzed me, biting me numerous times. I had come to realize it was going to be more of a challenge to get back to my car than I thought. The next time I stopped I sat down next to some wild garlic. I pulled up a tuft of it and began munching on it. Partly for the fluids and partly as a hope it would work as an insect repellent. Unfortunately the benefit of garlic by ingestion for insect repelant takes at least 8 hours I think. So I decided to macerate the ends of the tuft, wet with saliva and then rubbed the mix all over my exposed skin. There was no one around to risk offending with eau de Allium. I did this a few times until I felt I had covered my hands, arms, neck and chest. I put some on my shirt sleeves too. I grew up in an area where we had lots of chiggers (red bugs), ticks and seed ticks. The two easiest ways to avoid getting bit by ticks or catching chiggers were eating lots of garlic and onions and using lime powder on your boots and pant legs. So I thought the garlic might work well for mosquitos too. It worked great where I had applied the garlic juice, but not where I hadn’t. I missed one shoulder and didn’t think of putting it on my back because I was wearing my pack. What I didn’t realize or feel was that when I took my pack off they were biting my back through my shirt. Before the night was over I had 12 bites just on the one shoulder I evidently missed making application to. The rest of me, except for my back was nearly bite free except for the few I gotten before I found the garlic. The mosquitos bit through my clothing. Besides the mosquitos all went fine until I started to turn back South. I hit a wash about 8 feet deep with vertical banks. I couldn’t cross it so I attempted to skirt around it. I headed a bit further west. I encountered a dense thicket filled with greenbriars that I preferred to avoid. So I headed further west still. Numerous attempts to head back to my car were met with both of these obstacles multiple times. I still wasn’t too concerned, but I was a little concerned because I was feeling a bit dehydrated. I finally made the choice to drink the river water I had collected in my bottle. I still had plenty left. I came into a clearing and saw the land rising above me. It was then that I realized I’d gone way too far West. Until then I hadn’t realized how far I had gone. I’d been walking for almost 1.5 hours! I had a freak out moment. I realized there was no way I could get back to my car now before dark. If there were no obstacles sure, but I had to detour too many times, merely because of my wimpiness to not get super muddy sliding down the muddy wash and the clawing my way back up the other side or get all scratched up. Now I didn’t have time to backtrack before dark. My phone was dead. I was in the middle of the Caddo National Grasslands a couple miles from the nearest paved road with no known path to get to it the road or my car. I was in a pretty bad fix. I had heard more airplanes fly overhead that day than I had heard vehicles on distant roads. That’s how remote the place is. I hadn’t seen another human the whole time I was out there. There were thick forests all around the meadow/ field I was in with heavy underbrush in most areas. Packs of coyotes began howling in numerous directions. I had a moment of panic and began to cry. I saw a game trail opening at the edge of the woods in the direction of my car. I thought I’d make a last ditch attempt to make it though the dense woods to my car. I fought my way in about a hundred yards and stopped. I had no clue where the game trail came out or led to. It may not even continue in the direction of my car. The very last thing I wanted was to be in the dense woods come night fall and dark. I attempted to gather my witts about me. The light was starting to fade in the dense woods. I had been praying that God would guide me to a safe place, a road or house or something. I heard a voice in my head, as if it were my own thoughts, tell me to go back out of the thicket the way I came and then empty my pack in the field. My thoughts suddenly cleared and I calmed down. I had a calm resolve. This wasn’t any big deal, just a horrible inconvenience that I could deal with and make it through. I’m tough. I was raised in a place more rural than this with more dangerous predators. I could do this. I back tracked to the clearing. There was a cattle pin with 8 concrete troughs in it. I knelt down on the ground and emptied my pack except for a couple fossils I didn’t want to lose. I left most of my tools except my knife, a pick, gun, phone and water bottle. My pack had been quite heavy and had slowed me down and tired me out considerably. It felt much better mostly empty. I stood up and looked around. The sun was on the horizon very close to setting. That meant I had about 30 min of light left to find my way to a road. If I couldn’t find a road I had seen a deer blind I thought might work as a shelter for the night. Provided I could back track to it in the dark. If so then I could make my way to my car in the morning. I still knew the direction it was in. It is late and I have to work tomorrow. I’ll have to finish my story later. Hopefully tomorrow night. Sorry for being so long winded. To be continued. . .
  4. I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I had a very nice one with a very full house. I had 5 guests staying for 4 nights and 5 days and then 16 people at my house for Christmas dinner. I’m a single mom with 2 kids who I only have custody 50% of the time. So most of the time my house is pretty empty and lonely. So I really enjoyed having it full and happy. I got board after everyone left and the kids were with their dad. So, despite the below freezing temps I headed out to a new location. I grew up for quite a few years in a very remote part of the Ozark Moutains in Arkansas. Harsh, cold weather was a part of life. So we adapted and were use to it. If you are ever headed to NSR you’ll most likely pass through the town of Ladonia. It’s a very small town that is past its glory days. It has quite a number of pretty Victorian era homes and some old churches with lovely stained glass windows though, both of which I think are cool. Here are a couple shots of the town. Here is a shot approaching the river. The tree line is where the river is. The wide expanses and fields are common in many parts of Texas with only small hills. Here is a pic of the NSR as I passed over it. It is deep and the banks are very steep in many places, which significantly limits access. On to my trip. Yesterday it was in the 20s here. That’s not too bad in my mind so I went fossil hunting. I bundled up and headed out to a creek near NSR. I think I was out there for about 3 hours total including my hike in and out. I had been in the creek for about an hour when I felt something in my hair. I’ve got long blond hair and I had to go through some under growth to enter the creek. So I thought it was a twig that hadgot caught in my hair. I tried to brush it away a few times, but it remained. I finally took my gloves off to try to get it out of my hair only to realize there was nothing in my hair. My hair had frozen. That doesn’t happen often in Texas folks. I had to laugh at myself for being out in such weather. I was bundled up pretty well and had been working up a sweat with hiking and carry my pack. Despite the below freezing temps my hair was all wet with perspiration that was dripping down my hair and had then froze in my hair like little dreadlock type clumps. I kept on fossil hunting for maybe 1.5 hours more despite the cold. I was enjoying myself. I think part of my love of fossil hunting is the adventure that I have with the hunt. The cold made it a bit more challenging as did being bundled up. It was harder to move with layers of clothes on. That’s part of the adventure. Frozen hair makes for part of a good story too. I chose to hunt in a little feeder creek. This is a pic down in the creek. There was a dusting of snow and thin layers of ice on the water in places that you can see here. I wore rubber boots expecting to have to walk in the water some and I certainly did have to walk through water. Much of the creek bed is hard, black shale. The banks were a softer, flaky gray shale for the most part. There are 3 clams in this pic. One on the top and bottom and then in the middle where all you can see is whiteish & tan, which is a clam shell exterior, but clams aren’t well preserved and crumble from this layer. Most any place I broke the shale there were clam impressions or the remains like these. There was a red layer along the creek bank in some places. I forgot to take a shot, but if there were preserved fossils they were in the red zone for the most part. It seems the iron may have helped stabilize fossils in this zone. This clam and baculite fragment came out of the red zone. Side note: My dad bought me camouflage gloves for Christmas. Men, don’t buy your daughters, wife’s or any female camouflage clothing items as a gift unless she specifically requests it. Not to say that I’m not thankful. I wore them over by other gloves for an extra layer of warmth and I was thankful to have them. Camouflage just isn’t me or most women for that matter. I found the red zone was down in the creek bed in some places. In this pic I had found some interesting concretions and baculites in this area. I wanted to take a pic. I often use my foot as a source of scale. I attempted to do that this time, but it didn’t work too well. My boot and knee pad were so muddy they blended into the background. Note the muddy black boot and knee pad. That’s me. I had been kneeling down to dig out the baculite I’d found and I got very muddy. I’m so glad I bought my knee pads along with me or I would have gotten wet and been absolutely miserable. Next time I’ll take my rubber gloves to keep my hands dry. In the layer just under the concretions, which you see in the top left corner was the layer where I found white baculites. This is part red zone and park shale. I was in the middle of digging up a 2nd baculite when the more exciting part of my adventure happened. I was kneeling down and only about 1/3 of the way through digging it up when I heard a horrible squealing around the bend in the creek from where I was. It sounded so close!!! Maybe 50-100 feet away. It was a pig fight. I have heard stories of wild pigs. I’ve also heard the wild boars live in the feeder creeks along the NSR and hearing the pig fight freaked me out a bit. I rattled me, it just sounded so scary! I wanted out of there and quick. The bend was only about 30-40 feet away and if they came around the corner, they could be on me in a matter of seconds. They can be very aggressive and ferocious from what I’ve heard. My dad came for Christmas. He knew I was hunting in such territory and he actually gave me a 40 mm pistol for Christmas to protect myself from the pigs. A little segway here. You have to understand the culture of the deep country I grew up in. If you remember the show Grizzly Adams, you’re not too far from the kind of environment I grew up in. Only the bears we had weren’t grizzly. We honestly didn’t have electricity or telephone because we were too far off the grid for 10 years. Out there everyone had a gun and most had a gun rack mounted in their pickup truck back window and drove around with the guns mounted there. We had mountain lions and bears and lots of poisonous snakes. The bears would come right up to our house and even put their paws on the widows. So everyone had a gun and knew how to use them. My daddy started teaching me to shoot when I was 6. When I was 8 I’d frequently go hiking in the dense woods of the Ozarks and I’d encounter wildlife on my hikes. The woods went for miles because we had National Forest land on 2 sides of our property. Our nearest neighbor was 4 miles away. My dad gave me a gun to carry with me at the age of 8 for protection when I went hiking alone all day after he heard me tell stories about my hikes. I think I only discharged it in defense 1 time while out hiking. I love nature and all creation and never have wanted to kill anything, but I have had to kill a few poisonous snakes and that is about it. Most other animals will run away when you discharge the gun and there’s no need to shoot them. I shot the gun numerous times to scare off bears. I believe there is a place for all creatures and unless they are about to harm meI would never shoot them. I think my parents must have been crazy to let me go hiking by myself in dense woods all day at 8 years old and give me a gun to carry. I’d never let my kids touch a gun at that age or go hiking alone, but it was a different day and age. Anyway, I had the gun with me out fossil hunting. I didn't have it loaded with the clip in, but both were in my pack. I had not practiced with it, so I don't know if I could hit the broad side of a barn with it. I can be a pretty good aim, but I have a feeling a 40 mm probably has enough of a kick to it that I can't aim very well, but my dad said I needed something more powerful than my preference of a 380. I got my gun out and loaded it and began looking for a way to get out of the creek once I got my stuff packed. The banks were pretty steep. 20 to 30 feet high and vertical in most places. I started to pack my stuff, but couldn't find my phone. I had informed 2 people where I would be and told them that if they didn't hear from me by a certain time that they should probably send help. So, I was thinking about how they might freak out when I didn't respond at the appointed time, letting them know I was OK. Anyway, I had been in the spot of about 10 square feet for maybe 30 min and had used my phone while there and had no clue what had happened to it. I had put it in one of my pockets, but it wasn't there. I said a prayer a couple of times that God would help me to find it. Finally I resolved that I needed to leave without it. It would be getting dark soon. So, I knelt down to get my tools and stuff packed only to find my phone inside my pant's leg sitting on the top of my boot. Evidently my phone had slipped out of my pocket, over my waistband and down into my pant leg, which was tucked into my boot. I have no clue how that happened. I didn't feel it, because I had two layers on under my jeans to keep me warm. MaybeI thought I was putting my phone in my pocket, but put it inside my pants instead. I had gloves on and couldn’t feel the material. In digging and then packing up my tools I had gotten my gloves wet. My fingers were freezing cold now. I wanted to get out of the creek. I didn't want the pigs to be at my back as I hiked back to my car. Plus the creek had a water in it and not much walking space on the sides. On the way in at one point I was trying to walk the edge and not slide in where a little shale slide had fallen down from the bank and the shale gave way under me and both feet went into the water. I had to scramble hard to not slide down all the way into the water. I think my angel must have been watching out for me and stopped me. I have no idea how I stopped sliding other than my angel. There was nothing to hang onto. The bank was steep and only more of the crumbling shale that I was sliding on. I was wearing rubber boots, because I expected to have to walk through some water. Getting soaking wet in below freezing conditions would have been dangerous and ruined my trip. So, I kind of wanted to hike back on land rather than the creek so as to not have any more slides into the fridged water. Although I would have loved to look for more fossils on my way back. I needed to get out quicker. I struggled to climb the bank with the 30 pound pack on. Being bundled up in 3 layers of clothes with a coat on restricted my agility. The only exit I could find was on the bank opposite from that I came in on. When I made it to the top of the bank all I could see were green briars as far as the eye could see. It was not pretty, but I chose to fight green briars over boars. I started working my way through the briars to an area that looked like it might be clear of briars. It took me quite a bit of time to make it through to the clearing. Along the way I came across pig scat and a bedding area. Thankfully they were not home. This is a cool tree I came across on my hike back. This was after the worst of the briars though. I’ve put it in the wrong place, but will leave it here. It had some serious armor on it and at least 2 types of lichen it would appear. I don’t know the name of the tree though, but think it is very interesting. I’ve seen them a few times before, but they’re not common. About 20 min into the fight with the briars I came to a barbwire fence encrusted with green briars. I suddenly had the need to pee and couldn't hold it any longer. I hoisted my pack over the fence first. Being a woman it isn’t so easy to pee in the woods. There wasn't a spot clear of briars to be seen, so I ended up scratching up my backside in the process. Then I found a place to cross the fence that had less briars, but struggled to cross the fence, because I kept getting my clothes caught in the briars and didn't have a free space to just swing my leg over the fence and kept getting my boot caught in briars too. So, I had to kind of be a bit of a contortionist to manage to get over. Once over I went to where my pack was and extracted it from the briars. Since I was on the other side of the fence I felt a bit more at ease with regards to the boars and took the clip out of my gun and put it away. I felt like the boars couldn't come charging at me though the barbwire too well. I couldn't follow the creek back to my car since the briars and underbrush were too heavy. So, I made my way to the clearing without briars and then tried to orient myself as best I could. The clearing was to the west or opposite direction of where I believed my car to be. The creek had meandered a bit, I didn't have phone service so my compass didn't work. So I set out in the direction I thought was north to get to the road and hoped to make my way back to my car along the road. There wasn’t any sun so it was a guess. I am left handed. They say that left handed people are either geniuses, artistic or navigationally gifted. I think I may have gotten the navigational blessing, but I don't call myself gifted by any means. My dad isn't left handed, but he can outdo me any day on navigation without any tools or sun. I am thankful to have a pretty good sense of direction though and always have. I ended up coming out of the woods about a tenth of a mile from my car. It wasn't feasible to have come out closer since the underbrush along the creek was too heavy and I wanted to stay clear of that to make good time and not get all scratched up and worn out. I could just see my car in the dusky light down the road from where I came out. I had to cross another fence, but there was a gate and no briars that made it a lot easier this time so I left my pack on. Thank God I was so close to my car. I was pretty tired by that point and it was just after 5:00 getting darker and getting colder. The day had been overcast so it was even darker. When I got to my car my Fitbit congratulated me on my workout. LOL I was pretty worn out and my hands were pretty cold by then. I was so thankful to be back at my car. Gotta love the bun warmers at times like that. I was so muddy. Normally when it is warmer I will try to rinse off my boots and tools in the creek, but it was too cold to be rinsing in the water. So, when I got to the car I took off my boots and dropped my jeans right there so I didn't get my car seat muddy. I had a pair of sweats and then leggings under them so no indecency was to be seen. There may have been a lack of fashion with the under layer color coordination though, but it was all in the name of keeping warm and no one saw me. So, I think it can be excused. Plus, there weren't any cars on the road and no humans to be seen. I think this trip may have taught me to not try out new places in such extreme conditions. I had no idea what that creek was like or what the conditions were there. I knew there was the potential of wild boars. Thankfully I never saw them, but heard a couple more fights ensue after I was out of the creek. I think I may use more caution next time. I still had fun though. I enjoyed my time outdoors and loved the adventure of it. I would have loved to have gone out again today, but my gear was so muddy and needs to be cleaned up before another outing. All that said, I don’t have much to show for my hunt. I found a number of fragments of baculites, a few clams and a couple other spiral shell fragments. Most of them are here. The baculite fragments are on the left. Some have matrix. There’s a piece I believe is petrified wood in the middle, possibly palm wood. I did find the biggest and nicest baculite I have ever found. It isn’t in great condition. It is broken in a few spots. I have to remove the matrix from two other pieces not pictured here. I think I may not have come home with the piece that connects the piece on the far left to the end. I am happy to have found it though. I now know where I can find more and hopefully the pigs won’t be home next time. This is the largest section and I have about 3 inch or so more to glue together. It looks like it got squashed on one side before fossilization. This is the bottom side. This is the top side. It is hard to see, if you look closely you can see ridges on the bottom side on the left above and also below along the side where my thumb is. Most every baculite I have ever seen has been worn down to the suture lines and you can’t see ridges or bumps. So despite not being whole and not squished, I happy it has that detail to it. Hopefully you enjoyed my trip pics and story and got a chuckle out of my quirkiness. Kim
  5. Bookcliff Baculite

    Went fossil hunting with my daughter this morning in the Bookcliffs, North of the Grand Junction, CO airport. We found this weathering out of the shale in a wash. The Baculite is about 8" long and 1.5" wide. Can hardly wait to prep this, I think it will make a nice display. My plan is to slice the base of the matrix flat (without damaging the fossil) so it will sit nicely on a table or shelf.
  6. Baculite Fossil Segment Fossil a.jpg

    From the album MY FOSSIL Collection - Dpaul7

    Baculite Segment Fossil SITE LOCATION: South Dakota TIME PERIOD: Cretaceous Period (66-145 Million Years ago) Data: Baculites ("walking stick rock") is an extinct genus of cephalopods with a nearly straight shell, included in the heteromorph ammonites. The genus, which lived worldwide throughout most of the Late Cretaceous, was named by Lamarck in 1799. The adult shell of Baculites is generally straight and may be either smooth or with sinuous striae or ribbing that typically slant dorso-ventrally forward. The aperture likewise slopes to the front and has a sinuous margin. The venter is narrowly rounded to acute while the dorsum is more broad. The juvenile shell, found at the apex, is coiled in one or two whorls and described as minute, about a centimeter in diameter. Adult Baculites ranged in size from about seven centimeters (Baculites larsoni) up to two meters in length. As with other ammonites, the shell consisted of a series of camerae, or chambers, that were connected to the animal by a narrow tube called a siphuncle by which gas content and thereby buoyancy could be regulated in the same manner as Nautilus does today. The chambers are separated by walls called septa. The line where each septum meets the outer shell is called the suture or suture line. Like other true ammonites, Baculites have intricate suture patterns on their shells that can be used to identify different species. One notable feature about Baculites is that the males may have been a third to a half the size of the females and may have had much lighter ribbing on the surface of the shell. The shell morphology of Baculites with slanted striations or ribbing, similarly slanted aperture, and more narrowly rounded to acute keel-like venter points to its having had a horizontal orientation in life as an adult. This same type of cross section is found in much earlier nautiloids such as Bassleroceras and Clitendoceras from the Ordovician period, which can be shown to have had a horizontal orientation. In spite of this, some researchers have concluded that Baculites lived in a vertical orientation, head hanging straight down, since lacking an apical counterweight, movement was largely restricted to that direction. More recent research, notably by Gerd Westermann, has reaffirmed that at least some Baculites species in fact lived in a more or less horizontal orientation. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class: Cephalopoda Order: †Ammonitida Family: †Baculitidae Genus: †Baculites
  7. Baculite Fossil Segment Fossil a.jpg

    From the album MY FOSSIL Collection - Dpaul7

    Baculite Segment Fossil SITE LOCATION: South Dakota TIME PERIOD: Cretaceous Period (66-145 Million Years ago) Data: Baculites ("walking stick rock") is an extinct genus of cephalopods with a nearly straight shell, included in the heteromorph ammonites. The genus, which lived worldwide throughout most of the Late Cretaceous, was named by Lamarck in 1799. The adult shell of Baculites is generally straight and may be either smooth or with sinuous striae or ribbing that typically slant dorso-ventrally forward. The aperture likewise slopes to the front and has a sinuous margin. The venter is narrowly rounded to acute while the dorsum is more broad. The juvenile shell, found at the apex, is coiled in one or two whorls and described as minute, about a centimeter in diameter. Adult Baculites ranged in size from about seven centimeters (Baculites larsoni) up to two meters in length. As with other ammonites, the shell consisted of a series of camerae, or chambers, that were connected to the animal by a narrow tube called a siphuncle by which gas content and thereby buoyancy could be regulated in the same manner as Nautilus does today. The chambers are separated by walls called septa. The line where each septum meets the outer shell is called the suture or suture line. Like other true ammonites, Baculites have intricate suture patterns on their shells that can be used to identify different species. One notable feature about Baculites is that the males may have been a third to a half the size of the females and may have had much lighter ribbing on the surface of the shell. The shell morphology of Baculites with slanted striations or ribbing, similarly slanted aperture, and more narrowly rounded to acute keel-like venter points to its having had a horizontal orientation in life as an adult. This same type of cross section is found in much earlier nautiloids such as Bassleroceras and Clitendoceras from the Ordovician period, which can be shown to have had a horizontal orientation. In spite of this, some researchers have concluded that Baculites lived in a vertical orientation, head hanging straight down, since lacking an apical counterweight, movement was largely restricted to that direction. More recent research, notably by Gerd Westermann, has reaffirmed that at least some Baculites species in fact lived in a more or less horizontal orientation. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class: Cephalopoda Order: †Ammonitida Family: †Baculitidae Genus: †Baculites
  8. I found most of these a couple of weekends ago while poking around the North Sulphur River. The small baculite (left side middle piece) was still in a piece of red zone stone when I found it. I found the other three black rocks, were found further up the river all lying fairly close to each other in area of gravel. I can't find any obvious suture lines on them. The tooth I found last year on a trip to the same location. The other three are probably rocks but the top one has what looks like a micro fossil so I wasn't sure if it might be a coprolite. Any help here is greatly appreciated. A couple of closer shots
  9. small BACULITE A.jpg

    From the album MY FOSSIL Collection - Dpaul7

    Baculite Fossil, Small Segment SITE LOCATION: northeast Montana TIME PERIOD: Cretaceous period (66-145 million years) Nice little segment of fossilized baculite from northeast Montana that shows off the suture lines of these ancient animals. Interesting tiny druzy formations on the ends. Lots of sparkle. Baculites from this are dated to the Cretaceous period and are over 65 million years old. Baculites ("walking stick rock") is an extinct genus of cephalopods with a nearly straight shell, included in the heteromorph ammonites. The genus, which lived worldwide throughout most of the Late Cretaceous, was named by Lamarck in 1799. The adult shell of Baculites is generally straight and may be either smooth or with sinuous striae or ribbing that typically slant dorso-ventrally forward. The aperture likewise slopes to the front and has a sinuous margin. The venter is narrowly rounded to acute while the dorsum is more broad. The juvenile shell, found at the apex, is coiled in one or two whorls and described as minute, about a centimeter in diameter. Adult Baculites ranged in size from about seven centimeters (Baculites larsoni) up to two meters in length. As with other ammonites, the shell consisted of a series of camerae, or chambers, that were connected to the animal by a narrow tube called a siphuncle by which gas content and thereby buoyancy could be regulated in the same manner as Nautilus does today. The chambers are separated by walls called septa. The line where each septum meets the outer shell is called the suture or suture line. Like other true ammonites, Baculites have intricate suture patterns on their shells that can be used to identify different species. One notable feature about Baculites is that the males may have been a third to a half the size of the females and may have had much lighter ribbing on the surface of the shell. The shell morphology of Baculites with slanted striations or ribbing, similarly slanted aperture, and more narrowly rounded to acute keel-like venter points to its having had a horizontal orientation in life as an adult. This same type of cross section is found in much earlier nautiloids such as Bassleroceras and Clitendoceras from the Ordovician period, which can be shown to have had a horizontal orientation. In spite of this, some researchers have concluded that Baculites lived in a vertical orientation, head hanging straight down, since lacking an apical counterweight, movement was largely restricted to that direction. More recent research, notably by Gerd Westermann, has reaffirmed that at least some Baculites species in fact lived in a more or less horizontal orientation. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class: Cephalopoda Order: †Ammonitida Family: †Baculitidae Genus: †Baculites
  10. small BACULITE A.jpg

    From the album MY FOSSIL Collection - Dpaul7

    Baculite Fossil, Small Segment SITE LOCATION: northeast Montana TIME PERIOD: Cretaceous period (66-145 million years) Nice little segment of fossilized baculite from northeast Montana that shows off the suture lines of these ancient animals. Interesting tiny druzy formations on the ends. Lots of sparkle. Baculites from this are dated to the Cretaceous period and are over 65 million years old. Baculites ("walking stick rock") is an extinct genus of cephalopods with a nearly straight shell, included in the heteromorph ammonites. The genus, which lived worldwide throughout most of the Late Cretaceous, was named by Lamarck in 1799. The adult shell of Baculites is generally straight and may be either smooth or with sinuous striae or ribbing that typically slant dorso-ventrally forward. The aperture likewise slopes to the front and has a sinuous margin. The venter is narrowly rounded to acute while the dorsum is more broad. The juvenile shell, found at the apex, is coiled in one or two whorls and described as minute, about a centimeter in diameter. Adult Baculites ranged in size from about seven centimeters (Baculites larsoni) up to two meters in length. As with other ammonites, the shell consisted of a series of camerae, or chambers, that were connected to the animal by a narrow tube called a siphuncle by which gas content and thereby buoyancy could be regulated in the same manner as Nautilus does today. The chambers are separated by walls called septa. The line where each septum meets the outer shell is called the suture or suture line. Like other true ammonites, Baculites have intricate suture patterns on their shells that can be used to identify different species. One notable feature about Baculites is that the males may have been a third to a half the size of the females and may have had much lighter ribbing on the surface of the shell. The shell morphology of Baculites with slanted striations or ribbing, similarly slanted aperture, and more narrowly rounded to acute keel-like venter points to its having had a horizontal orientation in life as an adult. This same type of cross section is found in much earlier nautiloids such as Bassleroceras and Clitendoceras from the Ordovician period, which can be shown to have had a horizontal orientation. In spite of this, some researchers have concluded that Baculites lived in a vertical orientation, head hanging straight down, since lacking an apical counterweight, movement was largely restricted to that direction. More recent research, notably by Gerd Westermann, has reaffirmed that at least some Baculites species in fact lived in a more or less horizontal orientation. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class: Cephalopoda Order: †Ammonitida Family: †Baculitidae Genus: †Baculites
  11. small BACULITE A.jpg

    From the album MY FOSSIL Collection - Dpaul7

    Baculite Fossil, Small Segment SITE LOCATION: northeast Montana TIME PERIOD: Cretaceous period (66-145 million years) Nice little segment of fossilized baculite from northeast Montana that shows off the suture lines of these ancient animals. Interesting tiny druzy formations on the ends. Lots of sparkle. Baculites from this are dated to the Cretaceous period and are over 65 million years old. Baculites ("walking stick rock") is an extinct genus of cephalopods with a nearly straight shell, included in the heteromorph ammonites. The genus, which lived worldwide throughout most of the Late Cretaceous, was named by Lamarck in 1799. The adult shell of Baculites is generally straight and may be either smooth or with sinuous striae or ribbing that typically slant dorso-ventrally forward. The aperture likewise slopes to the front and has a sinuous margin. The venter is narrowly rounded to acute while the dorsum is more broad. The juvenile shell, found at the apex, is coiled in one or two whorls and described as minute, about a centimeter in diameter. Adult Baculites ranged in size from about seven centimeters (Baculites larsoni) up to two meters in length. As with other ammonites, the shell consisted of a series of camerae, or chambers, that were connected to the animal by a narrow tube called a siphuncle by which gas content and thereby buoyancy could be regulated in the same manner as Nautilus does today. The chambers are separated by walls called septa. The line where each septum meets the outer shell is called the suture or suture line. Like other true ammonites, Baculites have intricate suture patterns on their shells that can be used to identify different species. One notable feature about Baculites is that the males may have been a third to a half the size of the females and may have had much lighter ribbing on the surface of the shell. The shell morphology of Baculites with slanted striations or ribbing, similarly slanted aperture, and more narrowly rounded to acute keel-like venter points to its having had a horizontal orientation in life as an adult. This same type of cross section is found in much earlier nautiloids such as Bassleroceras and Clitendoceras from the Ordovician period, which can be shown to have had a horizontal orientation. In spite of this, some researchers have concluded that Baculites lived in a vertical orientation, head hanging straight down, since lacking an apical counterweight, movement was largely restricted to that direction. More recent research, notably by Gerd Westermann, has reaffirmed that at least some Baculites species in fact lived in a more or less horizontal orientation. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Mollusca Class: Cephalopoda Order: †Ammonitida Family: †Baculitidae Genus: †Baculites
  12. This is an odd fossil that was given to me by a friend who has been a fossil and rock collector and seller for years. It was in a misc. box of fossils. He said it was baculite, but he didn't have his glasses on, so I'm not sure if he could clearly see it. The overall shape is right, but I question if it is actually baculite because it doesn't have any of the tell-tale signs on the outside like baculites many times do - shiny surfaces, puzzle-piece looking sections, etc. I can't really see much of any identifying marks on it at all. It has a few marks on the outside (and a few in the inside) that look like branching veins or something, but I can't tell what they would be. I really have no idea where this fossil originated from. Any ideas?
  13. It was a beautiful day at the North Sulphur River in Ladonia, Texas. The river is nearly dry, so visibility was really good for searching. I sifted around the puddles and gravel bars and I found several pieces of baculite, a small gastropod (I love those), and a small piece of tooth enamel (mastodon I believe?) I always love finding that... even if it’s a small piece!
  14. The Trip That Nearly Didn't Start (Lengthy image-intensive trip report follows) Tammy and I had planned a fossil hunting trip to Wyoming for the third week of September to redeem our day of digging (splitting rock) at the Green River Formation quarry that @sseth had earlier so generously offered up as a prize on an auction to benefit TFF. We had our airfares, a rental car reserved, and a series of hotels booked across the state ready for a monumental fossil hunting trip. The one small problem was the not so small storm named Hurricane Irma that tore through the northern Caribbean and had its sights set on the Florida and being wider than the peninsula, no Floridian was going to miss the effects of this storm. Earlier in the week the forecast had the centerline of the cone of probability for the track of the storm hitting Miami and traveling up the eastern coast where Boca Raton sat squarely in the cross-hairs. I guess that if you are going to be in the path of some major destruction it is better to be the target early in the week rather that toward the end when the storm is at our doorstep. Thankfully (for us, but not so for those in the Lower Keys and Southwest Florida), the storm's turn to the north was delayed and though we were now on the stronger NE quadrant of the storm, the eye was significantly far away to the west that we escaped the strongest of winds. The storm unleashed squadrons of tornadoes and micro-bursts which had us ducking into our safe room for cover. During the storm unidirectional winds first blew from the east and then from the south as the storm passed us to the west but the tornadic winds were something else as the trees started whipping around in all directions quite violently. Luckily for us, the house survived with no structural damage. The newer more sturdy pool cage that replaced the original one that Wilma had crumpled and stuffed into the pool back in 2005 (shockingly) did not even lose a single screen panel. The damage on our property was limited to toppled trees and broken limbs and branches. We lost power even before the eye wall had made first landfall in the Florida Keys. As soon as it was safe to go outside, we started the portable generator and ran extension cords throughout the house to keep refrigerator, freezer and a box fan and a few lights powered. We've cooked on our outdoor grill and Coleman camp stove in previous power outages caused by the rash of hurricanes in 2004/05 and so we were well prepared and never at risk of starvation (we actually ate rather well). While Wilma had run over the house in late October, 2005 when the temperatures had cooled somewhat from the hot muggy Florida summer, we were not so lucky this time. Outdoor temps in the low 90's were soon matched by the 88 degrees inside which made sleeping difficult (even with a fan). We spent the days cutting up the downed foliage and stacking it into many piles along the street in back of the house as well as a towering mount in the cul-de-sac in front (which is still growing in size to this day and is due to be cleared by FEMA sometime in the next 2-3 weeks). Taking frequent breaks inside to lay down on the floor in front of the fan to avoid all-out heat exhaustion, both Tammy and I worked to clear the property as much as we could and monitor the progress of power restoration in our county. Over 70% of homes and businesses were left in the dark after Irma but Florida Power & Light had learned a few things after performing poorly in the 2004/05 hurricane seasons. They had staged a bunch of replacement parts and crews fresh from working in Houston were in the state working to get the grid back online. We couldn't leave on our trip unless we got power back and we watched the percentage of customers without power slowly but steadily decrease until one evening our power flickered and within a few minutes was restored for good. I had been waiting till the last possible minute to cancel my plans and try to get refunds for the reservations we'd made for this trip. I was tired of a week of hot sweaty yard work clearing debris and I was ready for some cooler Wyoming temps.
  15. I took a morning trip to the North Sulphur River this morning in Ladonia, Texas. I found a beautiful piece of baculite, a few fossilized snail shells, a fish vertebrae, fossil shell cluster, and a nice, detailed piece of petrified wood or maybe coral?
  16. Found this baculite filled with what i think is calcite. NE Wyoming, Pierre Shale formation. I'm a novice lapidary and am thinking of cutting this into round segments for display, but don't want to ruin it if it would be more valuable / interesting as an intact specimen. Opinions welcome!
  17. Fossil hunting in Pueblo, CO

    Hi everyone. I have never had a chance to hunt for fossils before but on a recent trip to Pueblo, Colorado my husband and I did some very casual digging at a place popular for finding baculite, and found a few interesting things. I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on what we're looking at. Thanks for any information!
  18. What's the best way to preserve the fragile nacre on baculites?
  19. North Sulphur River Texas Finds

    From the album North Sulphur River Texas

    North Sulphur River Mosasuar verts, Turtle shell and huge baculites.
  20. Bookcliff Fossil

    Found this large Baculite fragment while searching for fossils in the Bookcliffs North of Grand Junction, CO airport in August.
  21. NSR160530 208

    From the album North Sulphur River 160529

    A curiosity. Either the largest Baculite swirl I've seen, or the first phosphatized Ammonite I've seen. Most Baculite swirls are very small (<1cm). Either way, it has beautiful sutures.

    © Mitchell Moore

  22. On Sunday I followed up on a tip I found in my research on the North Sulphur River. The riverbed near my entry point. Lots of exposed limestone. You can follow the limestone layers as they drop down out of the bank & into the riverbed.
  23. From the album Texas Finds

    Scientific Name: Various Found: North Central Texas Date Found: November 2014 Formation: Alluvium Qt / Eagle Ford Size: Various
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