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Found 32 results

  1. 2 hour Briggs Road Hunt

    Today was a cold one here in Central New York. I wasn't really planning on doing much today but then I got the fossil itch. I decided to take a quick trip to Briggs Road and try my luck at some trilos. Got to the site around 3:15 pm. On the ride out I saw remnants of snow that probably came down the night before. There wasnt much, but that's not a good sign this early in the season. Anyways when I got there I could see that someone else had been out there recently and had opened up a couple spots. I immediately got to work and was surprised how many partials I was finding. Now I have to mention that I don't keep to many partials unless they are big, well defined, or I think more is hiding in the matrix. But then some whole ones appeared. The first was a roller still imbedded in matrix. I broke it out and lost some thorax in the process. The next was a nice big one which was not in a ideal location for retrieval. It broke into many pieces and then I was very sad. Then the 3rd time was the charm. A nice semi-prone with tail tucked under popped of the matrix as nice as could be. I was glad to get out there as it could very well be the last time for awhile. The road is seasonal use and will close November 1st. But I will still have Deep Springs and Cole Hill until the snow comes down too much.
  2. Briggs Road 7/29/18

    I have finally got a chance to get back to do a hunt, in the Devonian of New York. It seems like it has been forever since the last time I hunted for trilos. Aleast a month or two I think? Today I went out with only my youngest child Devin. We only stayed for 2 hours, but this trip certainly got the blood flowing. I went back to Briggs road and hit up the same spot that I have been working on all year. I have to say I am getting very excited buy the size of the specimens that I found today. First thing I found was a Eldredgeops cephalon laying on the ground. Doesn't sound very impressive does it? Well the fact that it measured 4 cm or 1 1/2 inches wide should. Most whole trilos barely reach that size! I found other bigger, then normal partials with a few possible whole ones. The size really gives me an idea that there may be some bigger bugs hiding there than what I had previouly thought. I also found a large partial Greenops Cephalon and partial Greenops thorax and pygidium. Plus two Dipleura cephalons unfortunately they all ended up crumbling from just the short time they sat in the sun. I should of gotten them to the car sooner. Here are pics of just what I brought home. A lot of partials were left behind.
  3. The Perfect Bug

    Some of my collecting friends often ask why do you keep going back to Penn Dixie its really not a place for hard core collectors. I have no clue how many times I have been to Penn over the years but I never get tired of going. If someone says lets go to Penn Dixie.. my answer is "I'm In". Penn is a spot to go to meet great people who actually get it when it comes to this crazy passion of ours. If you have never been to Penn figure out whats stopping you from going .........and get there.....( tell me or Devonian Digger you are going and we will try to get there as well) When I go to to Penn I am on a quest for that perfect plate of multiple E. rana , or that prone greenops or the even more elusive Bela. But I am always hoping to find that perfect bug, the common E. rana that just screams out to you I am perfect. I am going to make your day. To me the lowly phacopids are just beautiful when professionally prepped. They may not have the monetary value of a dicranurus or some other spiny Moroccan bug but they are every bit as beautiful and deserving of a spot at the center of your collection. As I indicated in another post last week I had an amazing day at Penn last Sunday. 45 potentially complete enrolled and at least 8 complete prone. For some reason this particular bug screamed out to me Prep me first. Generally I am prepping bugs for other people and it is getting to be rare that I am actually working on something of my own. So here is the bug that I just could not resist getting into the blast box. Does not look like much but the qualities I am looking for in a specimen to prep are there. Most of the bug is buried in the matrix so if it is there it will be undamaged The part that I can see is flawless The cephalon has the first pleural segment attached The matrix is not so large as to be hard to work with in the blast box There were others on the pool table that looked promising but this was the one that got chosen First a bit about the actual prep. Two scribes were used, an Aro for the rough matrix removal and a German Pferd MST31 for the fine close in scribe work. My goal is to expose as much of the bug as possible using scribes before starting any abrasive blasting. The less abrasion that is used on the bug the better the end result. The more you use the blaster the less detail you will get in the finished product regardless of the blasting media you use. With the Penn E. rana's you can generally get a bug 90% clean with just scribe work. In fact I will often scribe out bugs for an afternoon and then only final prep the absolute best ones. If a plera is missing or some skin is gone then the bug goes into a box to be prepped on a rainy day when I have nothing better available. The actual abrasive blasting for this bug was done on a COMCO MB1000 using previously used (this is a little gentler than unused) 40 micron dolomite. This powder was sieved through a 325 mesh sieve and dried in an oven a 225 F. (just over 100 C.) for 30 minutes. As most of the matrix was removed using the German scribe only two of my smallest nozzles where used in this prep .015 and .010 (smallest I own). The prep for this was done under an Olympus zoom scope at between 10x and 20x magnification. At the conclusion of the prep no visible matrix remained on the fossil down to 20x magnification. End result a "Perfect Bug" , that ever so elusive beast that we all aspire to be blessed with. So what make the perfect bug (In my humble opinion) Flawless exoskeleton Nice positioning on matrix Prone with no undulations 100% Complete No toolmarks No burnthroughs or overblasted areas No glue, consolidants or coatings Symmetrical bug Zero twisting or distortion No repairs or restoration No coloration Provinence known So without any further delay (I know you are all waiting with baited breath to see what I call the perfect bug) Here is the bug that made my morning today. It measures 34mm from edge of pygidium to tip of the cephalons nose and is 20 mm at its widest point. It was excavated on Sunday July 8. 2018 out of a block (one of about 25)that Jim and me excavated at the north east end of the drainage ditch that runs below the section that was dug for the dig with the Experts weekend this year. Yes J. this is the spot you were excavating and having little luck with....... unfortunately thems the breaks.....
  4. Greenops with a hitchiker ?

    The high axial lobe of this pygidium reminds me of the Greenops. Should I put it in that collection camp ? Also, he has a little hitchiker riding piggyback. I assume it is an Eldredgeops that's been a bit distorted. Or is it something different ? Cheers,
  5. You know I am very fortunate to be able to collect in a lot of special places and with a lot of great fossil friends. Over the years I have had the good fortune to meet many of you and even prep a few fossils for some of you that are patient enough and brave enough to trust your gem to what is for the first time a stranger. Arkona, Bowmanville , Brechin, Ridgemount are all special places that I collect....... but equally special is New York States very own Penn Dixie Fossil Park. A real gem. Now some of you might think that Penn Dixie is not for the serious collector ......... but you would be dead wrong. Just ask a few of our Forum Members that came away with exquisite and mighty rare Bellcartwrightia from there last season. I was fortunate to be able to prep a few of them . I even found one earlier this season myself but alas as my post on the forum showed it turned out to be a less than stellar partial but none the less the only one in my collection. Well I was at Penn twice in the last week and a half, once to get in Jay's (Devonian Digger) way as he was getting the area ready for the upcoming "Dig With The Experts". Both times I went with Greg from the forum here. He is my designated driver it seems so far this year.......(Dave you may have been replaced).. You see I have this phobia and cannot drive over large bridges. Well anyway back to the story....... Since I spent so much time helping Jay (getting in his way) on the Friday I needed to go back this Sunday to actually look seriously for some fossils. Kane from the forum as you can see from his posts was there later on the Friday afternoon just as we were finishing up with the excavator. For some reason only my cart and saw ended up in any of his pictures. I The Friday was a reasonable day as I came away with about 15 complete eldredgeops and a so so bug that will be either a greenops or a bellacartwrightia once I get around to prepping it. Greg and I had a pretty good day on this past Sunday. I came away with probably 20 to 25 complete trilobites and Greg seemed to have a fair amount in his bucket but only asked me to cut out one large prone Eldredgeops for him. Anyway on to the topic at hand . ... Since greenops and bella's at Penn seem to occur in clusters On Sunday I went to the area I found the greenops on the Friday and I found what looked to be a promising Greenops. Both were in the first inch of the Smoke Creek (no Jay I will not tell you exactly where). For those of you going to "The Dig WIth The Experts" there is plenty of this material that has been piled up for you in an area that is off limits till the 19th of May. Jay and I did take a walk about the piles and we can see that the material for this year'd dig looks to be excellent. We both saw complete trilobites, brachs and cepholapods waiting to be removed from the rock. I must say we were both very good and made sure that no one (especially Kane) collected from the out of bounds area. So here is the promising Greenops that I found on Sunday as collected, prior to any preparation. I did not get a picture in the field but as is typical of how I collect ( I am an excavator) it was in a 200 plus pound slab that I removed from a bench that I was excavating. Don't look like much.... obviously the eye is less than perfect........ but looks can be deceiving.. Here it is again after a couple minutes of prep... After 1/2 hour it is actually starting to look like a fossil albeit a compressed , twisted and somewhat deformed one... but that gives it character Prep is being done on a COMCO MB1000 at about 50 PSI using 40 micron dolomite. using .015, .018, .025 and .030 Comco nozzles . All work is being done under an Olympus zoom scope at 7x to about 20x magnification Scribe work on this bug is with a British Sealy for the rough work an American ARO for general work and a German Pferd MST31 for the fine work. A real mishmash of nationalities.... Progress continues... At this point definitely thinking that it is a greenops (not a bella) and that it has some potential even though I can see it has eye problems But what is this... is that another bug I see coming into view.... could it be a 2nd Greenops... that had been completely hidden We like hidden bugs as they have the greatest potential to be pristine... nice genal spine poking out of the matrix... probably means the whole cephalon is there Definitely looking like there might be two (which I believe is pretty rare for Penn Dixie).... We find lots of pygidiums but rarely multiple complete greenops on the same plate... Anyway fingers crossed at this point... After a bit more prep work...actually a lot more........ OH No !!!!!!!!!! the second one is inverted ... what a shame.. But what is that under the first greenops.... Oh my goodness its an enrolled large Edgredgeops......... Wait a minute ..... What an I thinking.... no reason to be upset,,,,,I can fix that ..... who says an inverted trilobite has to stay inverted.... Lets just do some prep magic and see what happens.... As you can see the second greenops was flipped in the same location on the matrix. Absolutely pristine killer eyes..... So here is the plate as it currently stands. I still need to make a level base for it once I decide exactly what orientation that I want to present it in. I need to do a final clean at high magnification with a .010 nozzle and low 15 PSI to get the last bits off and remove any abrasive that is still there (the white stuff) Total prep time about 6 hours. I also need to decide if I want to repair the broken right genal spine on the attacking bug and its left eye. I am thinking yes for the genal spine as that is an easy repair as either a mold of another bug's spine or a part from a spare cephalon if I can find a size match(always take home cephalons of greenops that have genal spines you never know when you will need one) Let me know what you think I should do in the way of repair/ restoration. I am thinking a restored genal spince will definately enhance the overall look of the piece I absolutely love this plate and it is staying in my personal collection.To me these are natures work of art. I am calling it "Attack of the Killer Greenie's". When you sit staring at a bug under a scope for many hours doing prep you have lots of time to think. In my wild and crazy imagination I can see this pack of Devonian raptors swooping in on the big fat Phacops ... a moment in time , captured forever. Actually this would just be the random way they ended up postmortem......but it sure is neat to speculate.... Again from a slightly different angle.... I would say that if you can find specimens like this at Penn Dixie it is well worth the trip. (Well I think so anyway) As I understand there are still a few spot available for the Sunday of the Dig With The Experts Weekend. I had hoped to be there helping out with my trusty saw and limited advice ......but as you would have know it my wife scheduled my daughters birthday celebration for the Saturday... So not this year...... Here are a few extra angles... Note that there is a partial greenops or Bella pygidium under the Eldredgeops..... Should I have continued looking......... Naw a some point you have to say it is good to go..
  6. Trilobit, Silica Shale

    This might be a job for @piranha This trilobit looks a little different to me than the typical Eldredgeops. Maybe Dechenella lucasensis? I didn't realize how poor the photo quality was until I cropped it. I can take more photos under the scope if necessary. Silica Shale, middle Devonian (Givetian), Paulding, Ohio. Scale in cm/mm. This one seemed different as well.
  7. Today I took a trip to a much underrated fossil site, Briggs Road, in Earlville New York. For those who don't know Briggs is only a couple miles North from the much talked about Deep Springs site. I had been wanting to get back to the trilo layer here as this is a great spot for Eldredgeops rana But this road is a seasonal use road so when it snows they only plow until the last house before the site and leave a big pile of snow blocking the road. Finally after a few days of warmth the snow pile was gone. The rock here is quite weathered right now and all I used was a small pry bar to help break off pieces from the main wall. My older son David had rehearsal for an upcoming play at school. So only Dylan and Devin were with me. Me and Dylan did the most searching while Devin was just being a boy. Throwing rocks and ice into the small pond that formed in the quarry was his thing today. We found tons of cephalons and pygidiums. I found a nice almost complete prone trilo in the rubble pile that I thought was whole. I was very sad when I saw that most of the left side was gone. I did find one small complete roller in matrix and a few that may be wholebut will require prep to fi d out for sure. Dylan seemed pretty content as he found more trilo parts then he ever has before. We stayed for about 3 hours. I wanted to stay longer but I promised them we would only be there a couple hours and I didn't want to push it. Here is some of our finds.
  8. Eldredgeops iowensis

    From the album Trilobites

    Eldredgeops iowensis. Hungry Hollow Mbr
  9. From the album Trilobites

    Eldredgeops rana Enrolled. Found at Penn Dixie, prepared in October.
  10. Eldredgeops rana

    All I can say to this fine specimen is "Wow!" @Malcolmt thank you so much for restoring and preparing this prone Eldredgeops rana. Here is a before and after.
  11. Pleura ? Eldredgeops ?

    Devonian, Mahantango fm., Eastern WV. (average size thumb) Not much here to go on. I barely saw the edge of it so I dug it out ... just to see that it went nowhere. By comparing photos, it looks like a single pleura from an eldredgeops trilobite. Am I close ? If it is, its the first one I've seen here among quite a number of cephalons and pygidia. Been very busy with work, hope to get a chance to look around a bit toward the weekend. Cheers.
  12. Eldredgeops

    From the album Trilobites

    Taxonomy: Eldredgeops rana Age: Middle Devonian (Windom Mbr) Location: Penn Dixie (Hamburg, NY) Source: self-collected Prepared by Malcolm Thornley.
  13. Eldredgeops

    From the album Trilobites

    Taxonomy: Eldredgeops rana Age: Middle Devonian (Windom Mbr) Location: Penn Dixie (Hamburg, NY) Source: self-collected Prepared by Malcolm Thornley.
  14. Eldredgeops rana

    From the album Trilobites

    Taxonomy: Eldredgeops rana Age: Middle Devonian (Windom Mbr) Location: Penn Dixie (Hamburg, NY) Source: self-collected Prepared by Malcolm Thornley.
  15. Trilobite Trio

    Hi group, I think this is another greenops pygidium. If it is, this make a Trilo-Trio, all three species found within inches of one another. The Eldredgeops was peeking out of a natural fracture and looked like it might possibly be more than just a cephalon ..... but, no luck. Only had about ten minutes to look today, hope to get a chance to look more tomorrow. Devonian, Mahantango from eastern WV. Kind regards.
  16. Hi folks, just back from vacation. Realizing more what to look for, I found 5 more pygidia today as well as this little beauty which was in a piece of shale beside the road at the end of my driveway. I picked it up on my way back from the mailbox as it looked promising. This is trilobite (bit) #15 and replaces #7 as my new favorite. I really dig those eyes ! Just one eye was exposed and there was plenty of matrix there to contain the entire trilobite, but sadly after taking great care (and time) to scratch down to the body, there was only a cephalon. I was so hoping this was a complete one. Will keep looking, and hoping. Thanks for looking, Cheers.
  17. Well I'm on my way to Utah for a new career opportunity and looked up the LaFarge quarry in Paulding Co. last night. This quarry is supplied with dump trucks worth of shale from the LaFarge quarry that pulls directly from the Silica Shale formation Devonian era. The location is in the middle of nowhere and my wife gave me one hour to look around. Soon I had my five month old daughter, Clara, strapped to my chest in a baby carrier and I was quickly scrounging around looking for fossils. I can tell you that I was not disappointed though I did not locate a complete Eldredgeops roller I did walk away with some very large brachiopods and the largest horned coral I've ever collected. To anyone seeking to collect fossils in the mid-west or Ohio, this location is a must. All this came out in under an hour of searching and some of these pieces could look good after some light preparation. See descriptions below: This place is in the middle-of-nowhere Ohio. The parking lot was gravel with a portable outhouse. The nearest gas station was about twenty minutes away. I was talking to @Kane about conglomerates of fossil bits and he noted similar compositions at both Penn Dixie and Arkona. I know there's a scientific term for what this occurrence is but I can't seem to recall the word at this time. Regardless I find these settings interesting as they don't seem to preserve anything exceptional, certainly not a complete trilobite but it's neat to see so much life in one piece of sedimentary rock. This particular rock is full of pieces of bryozoans, crinoids, trilobites, and brachiopods. Someday I'll invest in an expensive microscope to examine these different pieces. I usually don't keep horned coral but I couldn't resist keeping this one. The interior calcium based structures have crystalized and it is by far the largest horned coral I've ever picked up or seen in person though they can get bigger. There were Eldredgeop cephalons and pygidiums everywhere. Similar to Penn Dixie this is a really good sign that potential complete pieces, particularly rollers are present. I believe the terms of the site are that tools such as hammers and chisels are not allowed as the shale pieces are small and brittle enough to break in hand. I believe that a few years ago access to the official LaFarge quarry was granted but that was recently retracted and a number of amateur paleontologists wrote letters to the company requesting something be done to continue to provide access to the site. I'm really glad LaFarge goes out of their way to dump some scraps for people to pick through. Site admission is free and you can keep whatever you find. Large piece of an Eldredgeops segment sticking out of the matrix surrounded by brachiopod pieces. What a scene this must have been during the Devonian. The camera doesn't do this pyritized piece of shale justice. Hopefully I'll be able to take some micro pictures later of the square crystals. One of the larger Eldredgeops pygidiums I've ever seen and I read some sources last night that the trilobites in the Silica Shale can be very large. Almost every trilobite piece I came across at the site was very large. This pygidium is almost an inch wide. There were many spiriferid strewn throughout the site. Most had both halves and exhibited excellent color. Large cephalon. More pyrite. The large horn coral. More pyrite amidst a conglomerate of fossil pieces. A complete brachiopod out of the matrix. Front view of the brachiopod. I'll have to ID this one after some cleanup and polish. I really like the color on the corals and fossils at the site. This is a light tan. Another large complete brachiopod. A long spiriferid with what appears to be both halves. This one should prep out nicely. The desert of farms and trees of western Ohio. Corn, trees, and farms all around. Another good sized Eldredgeops cephalon. Yet another horn. Large Eldredgeops cephalon poking out. Not complete but gives me hope that there might be some complete specimens at the site.
  18. IMG_3124.JPG

    From the album Trilobites

    Taxonomy: Eldredgeops rana (assortment - prone, semi-prone, enrolled) Age: Middle Devonian Location: (various: NY, Ontario) Source: Field collection Note: By far, the most abundantly common, and recognizable, trilobite of the Devonian. Over the years, I've probably amassed a ridiculous number of them.
  19. I just spent the past few days digging up some neat Devonian-era fossils from the Penn Dixie Hamburg, New York site and have two Greenops and 10 Eldredgeops that need prepped. Would anyone out there be willing to prepare these fossils for either a fee or for some of the spoils? I have a lot of high quality Eldredgeops, cephalopods, bryozoans, and crinoids that I could give up in exchange for the fossil preparations. I also have a bunch of shark teeth from Calvert Cliffs along with some neat shells (Turitella and Ecphora). Send me a personal message if you're up to the task or respond if you have any referrals.
  20. Blasdell/Hamburg NY Part 2

    Found some amazing stuff today with @Kane @ischua @DevonianDigger @Fossildude19 and @drobare We hauled some serious rock and had somewhat of an assembly line going with splitting and processing the pieces. It was a really solid day all around and everyone walked away with some sweet finds. The following is a sample of some of the cool stuff I've found. The rest is packed away. The first is a large cephalon and will look good despite not having a body and then there's a Spyroceras cephalopod that might benefit from some very gentle prep work. I really like cephalopods because of all the neat chambers they contain.
  21. Blasdell/Hamburg NY

    @DevonianDigger found this beauty before @Kane could get to it! @Kaneworked hard to dig this slab out but @DevonianDigger cracked the slab open before he could! Hence the new phrase (after his name) is: You've been Jayed! @DevonianDigger didn't even know it was from his pile. What a find!
  22. So, in my previous post, "Day One In The New Workshop", I had posted a pic of a plate that I had hoped would be an Eldredgeops rana mass mortality plate. I decided to do some work on it to see if there were any more than the two hiding in the matrix. Apparently the rest of the trilobites opted for the blue pill. Turns out there was just the two, one enrolled, one prone, and neither 100% complete. There was also a nice little piece of what would appear to be Streptelasma ungula coral. I have been asked several times to "blog" about my prep work as I go. In an attempt to abide, I am going to try and share as I go with this piece and others! So, after some initial prep, it looked a little better. Once I determined that these little fellas were not with friends, I used my Dremel engraver to rough out and shape the surrounding matrix. I did, at one point, accidentally pop the lentil-sized roller off of the matrix. Thankfully, I had the foresight to hold down the actual fossils with my thumb as I was working around them, thus denying him the opportunity to experience flight. In the above picture you can see that I started to smooth out the rough cuts surrounding them. I did this with my secret weapon, the tattoo machine with a 7RL needle. As you can see in the final picture from the day (above), I started to prep out the coral and continued to contour around the "bases" of the two bugs. You can also see that the roller has a squished head, and that there is a small piece missing from the right eye of the prone. (As I mentioned earlier, neither of the two were in perfect shape to begin with.) In my next post for this one, I will show the surrounding matrix contoured out and hopefully more detail on the buglets. This is proving to be a tricky prep as they are tiny! (See below) Next time, I will try to get more "step-by-step" pictures to walk through the entire process!
  23. First Day In The New Workshop

    Just spent the first morning in the new workshop playing with some bugs. Thought I would share day 1 progress. Eldredgeops rana after first prep session. Greenops boothi after some basic prep. Missing the cranidium and left librigena unfortunately. Tiny little Eldredgeops rana, with another little cephalon in association. Thinking this one has the potential to be a nice multi. Usually when I find these tiny little fellas this close together it's a mass mortality.
  24. Penn Dixie 11/2/2016

    Hit up the site again today with @ischua, found a lot of trilobites. Mike was lucky enough to land a plate with two complete, prone Eldredgeops rana overlapping. Gorgeous piece, hoping he'll post pics when he's able. In the meantime, I started to prep out some of my completes that I found including this fella, which I am very proud of: I know, I know... doesn't seem all that impressive of a prep job... That is until you see this: Still could use a little more work but I need a finer abrasive first. Also, needs a coating, I just painted him with some water to make him shiny for his photo debut!
  25. Eldredgeops rana

    Prepared and photographed by Jay A. Wollin. © 2016
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