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Found 21 results

  1. Seed Cone

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Early Conifer Fruit/Seed Body about 4" long Pennsylvanian Age (308-300 MY) Lewellyn Formation Columbia County, PA The impression is coated in white iron oxide left from original plant material during fossilization.
  2. Inspired by a post last week by @I_gotta_rock, I decided to take a bit of an impromptu trek out to Centralia to add some of the famous white fern plates of the Lewellyn formation to my collection. I say impromptu because I was told I needed some pretty good rock climbing gear to be safe at the site, I ordered some pretty nice rock climbing gear too, still decided to go take a peek before everything arrived leading to one heck of an adventure that still has me smiling from ear to ear. We got our stuff ready to head out bright and early when I immediately hit my first snag, last week's adventure to the C&D canal left me with an absolutely lovely set of scars above my ankles from the thickets of exactly-the-height-of-my-ankles thorn burrs that had overgrown the spoil piles. Given that the scars were still healing, I decided to forego my normal high cuff desert boots that would surely rub against them all day for my trusty pair of low cut boat shoes. I'm pretty good on my feet right it'll be just fine yep. Off we went, excited to check out the mystery 'burning town' and the fossils said to be found there, a decent bit into our drive down 61 I noticed a billboard for 'Deer Lake Pub & Restaurant'. I thought to myself "wait didn't some guy find trilobites behind some bar in Deer Lake?" oh he sure did, queue "Hey hun, wanna have dinner at that nice little pub on the way back? maybe check out the rocks around the random excavator they have in the parking lot?". I got the go-ahead and gave a silent fist pump, two birds with one stone! We had barely any trouble finding the site out in Centralia, thanks to excellent directions from @I_gotta_rock and an encounter with a man and woman on the path out as we were headed in. He held a gigantic slab of black shale as triumphantly as any athlete with a trophy and she followed behind hefting a yellow 5-gallon bucket. Few words were exchanged but I do hope they browse this forum. Not too shortly after we arrived at the slope of scree and made our way to the top to survey the site. The view was breathtaking, overlying the subtle thought of "hold up it didn't look this steep in her photos" - though an adventure we came for an adventure we were going to have. We spent the afternoon slipping and sliding across the scree, maintaining a low center of gravity (butt-scooting) as we clambered up and down the slope. To say the site was plentiful would be an understatement, we were literally walking over layers of fossils. I decided to focus primarily on collecting small/medium sized specimens as the shale was quite fragile and dragging a 15lb chunk of rock up that slope would've brought me too close to my own mortality for comfort. We wrapped up our time in Centralia after collecting our fill and emptying my shoes of scree for the 10th time, leaving enough time for a short drive down 61 to Deer Lake. As the sun was setting we pulled into the parking lot at Deer Lake Pub & Restaurant, parking a stone's throw away from a freshly made cut into the Mahantango beneath a nicely perched excavator. We took a short look around the site, primarily shale/scree with plenty of good looking rocks to hit with a pick. Hoping for a trilobite we lost the race against the sun going down but did make out with a small bounty of brachiopods and a crinoid stem. All told, I couldn't be happier with the day's haul having just finished basic prep work at 10PM. I'd say the finds of the day were a mystery specimen from Centralia that i'm hoping is some sort of seed, a clean/closed clam like brachipod from Deer Lake and numerous well defined small to medium sized fern plates. Site view - Centralia Site view - Deer Lake
  3. Pecopteris sp.

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Fern leaf Columbia County, Pennsylvania Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation
  4. Neuropteris ovata

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Fern leaf with colorful iron oxide coating left by the plant itself Columbia County, Pennsylvania Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation
  5. Neuropteris ovata

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Fern pinnae Columbia County, Pennsylvania Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation
  6. Cordaites sp.

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Leaf cast with iron oxide coating left by the plant itself Columbia County, Pennsylvania Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation
  7. Calamites

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Giant horsetail plant Columbia County, Pennsylvania Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation
  8. Alethopteris2.JPG

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Tree Fern leaf impression Columbia County, Pennsylvania Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation
  9. Alethopteris fern with Cordaites leaf

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Tree Fern Leaflet The white highlights are most likely kaolinite left from the plant itself. Columbia County, Pennsylvania Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation
  10. Pith casts

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Cast of pith from unknown plant (Cordaites?) Columbia County, Pennsylvania Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation
  11. Cordaites sp.

    From the album Plants of the Lewellyn Formation

    Leaf impression in siltstone Carboniferous period Ralston, Pennsylvania
  12. Daring to Hunt Centralia Ferns

    I read @rachelgardner01 's trip report* recently on the fossil forum telling about St. Clair-style white fern fossils and how the ghost town was once again being visited by more than just the most reckless of thrill seekers. Not long ago, extremely few people dared to go beyond the new bypass for fear of falling into flaming sink holes. The place has become unregulated like the Wild West, with tourists coming from all over to see the “Highway to Hell” and ride their ATVs. The fire was reported to have burned out in town and moved down the coal vein. Clearly, no one is worried about sink holes. After a couple hours enjoying every ride with no lines at Knoebels Amusement Park on a very foggy, soggy day, we drove to Centralia for a little fun. What could be cooler than a ghost town on a foggy October day? And, by the way, after enjoying the romantic setting, maybe we could find the quarry. Rachel's trip report included a handy aerial map with the slope marked in red. It was a short walk from on of three cemeteries that are still maintained in town. All we had to do was follow the ATV tracks. We met a microbiologist while we walked. She was looking at the bacteria, comparing soil samples from places where the fire was out with samples from some hot spots above a fire that still exists deep below town (with surface soil temps around 80F). The bacteria present in the hot spots are out of balance. There is an overabundance of the wrong sort. However, in the spots that have cooled down, the balance has returned surprisingly quickly. And, by the way, she had a permit to be there. The town is still considered too unsafe for the general public, but it isn’t patrolled. Two lessons should be learned from this: 1. Nature always finds a way. 2. If the rocks I’m examining seem kind of warm, find someplace else to prospect! We found the quarry about an hour before sunset. We found ourselves at the top of steeply sloping walls covered in scree over smooth, slick, carbon shale. I watched my step, kept my center of gravity close to the ground, and tread carefully. I like sliding down scree-covered slopes, but not when I do it unintentionally. The fossils were plentiful! I saw calamites and lepidodendron all over the place. Some were bright white while others were gleaming gray on matte gray shale. Some had a single fern frond and others were a riot of plant textures. A few were coated pale yellow. The hard part was picking out the nicest ones to take home. I have been to this formation before. I made several trips to Carbondale, to the NE, over the last couple years. I missed my chance to go prospecting at St Clair ( a few miles to the SE ) as they closed the site to all but school groups a few years ago, but I do have some pieces that others collected before they closed. St Clair and Centralia both have the white ferns. Carbondale has the most detailed preservation. The ones there that are colored are yellow to deep red with a few that have iridescent spots. Centralia’s stone is the most crumbly and delicate, especially when damp. Although Centralia, St. Clair and Carbondale are all part of the Lewellen Formation and reasonably close to one another, there is a distinct difference in the stone at each locale. St Clair and Carbondale have firmer shales. I wanted to find things that I did not already have represented from Carbondale. That proved tricky in the short time I had, but I did find some nice white ferns to take home. Plus, I have a plan for another trip at some point with more time – maybe with some simple rappelling gear? Coincidentally, this month’s speaker for the Delaware Mineralogical Society was a geologist who participated in a study of the mineralization of St Clair plants. Here, then, are some of the highlights after I thought to take notes. Time period: Pennsylvanian Sub-period, 320-290 million years old The environment was a swampy area where the sediments settled slowly. The plants were minimally compressed during preservation, so the impressions are more or less the same size as the original biomatter. The silvery-gray material coating some of the plant impressions is graphite while the white is a combination of pyrophyllite and kaolinite after pyrite. When the swamp was buried, the thicker parts of the plants pyritized. Heat and pressure then transformed the pyrite into the white minerals, which settled to the bottom. The upper surfaces retained the carbon and became coated in glossy graphite. So, what one sees loose on the ground are a mix of upper and lower surfaces. *
  13. Fern

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
  14. Leaf Impression

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
  15. Leaf Impressions

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
  16. Unidentified Plant Material

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
  17. Calamities bark

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Calamities sp., a bamboo-like plant closely related to modern horsetails with hollow, woody stem that grew more than 100 ft high (30m). Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
  18. Lycopod Bark

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
  19. Lycopod Bark

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Detail from previous image Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
  20. Calamities Brand and Fern

    From the album Carbondale, PA

    Carbondale, PA Lewellyn Formation Pennsylvanian period 299-323 myo
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