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Hello everybody! This summer I had the pleasure to collect fossils and visit localities in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In particular I stopped at the Ferncliff Natural Area, a peninsula with a unique habitat with many rare and unusual, for Pennsylvania, plants. The peninsula is created by a meander in the Youghiogheny River in southwestern PA. The edge of the park is rimmed with a 2 mile loop hiking trail. On a small section of it, you can observe the traces left by an ancient forest that flourished back when the climate was tropical, in the Pennsilvanyan subperiod. Obviously you are not allowed to collect them! A board helps to ID the fossils. You can easily step on many of them, if you don't pay attention, because they are very abundant. Cordaites are seed plants that are considered to be related to conifers (or they may be the earliest conifers). Cordaites are reconstructed as growing as trees and woody shrubs. Evidence from petrified logs and stumps indicates that Cordaites could reach over over 33 meters (100 ft) tall. Fossils are represented by long, strap-like leaves with nearly parallel edges. Lepidodendron was related to modern day club mosses. It could grow to a height of over 54 meters (180 ft). Its trunk was composed of mostly soft tissues. The plant rarely branched, but when it did it was crowned with a cluster of long and narrow leaves spirally-arranged and ending in cones. Common fossils include diamond-shaped leaf scars, which were left by the leaves as they dropped off the trunks and stems of the tree fern as it grew. Calamites was a spore-bearing plant that grew to 20 m (66 ft) and had a node-internode architecture similar to modern horsetails. The central part of the stem was hollow, and fossils are commonly preserved as casts of this hollow central portion. Overall it was a great hike, sorrounded by nature and even more by fossils! I higly encourage anyone to stop by the Ferncliff peninsula, also because there are many side activites that you can enjoy, like rafting or kayaking in the river. Cheers, Fabio