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Found 23 results

  1. Who is going to be heading out to Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife area for the start of the Pit 11 fossil hunting season on Sunday? They are forecasting a high of 58 degrees right now, practically t-shirt weather! (but watch out for those ticks) I am planning to be there Sunday and Monday, my first time trying two consecutive days. I hope to run into some other fine forum members out there.
  2. Unique Mazon Creek

    After being in and out of the freezer since October this concretion opened yesterday. It is different than anything I've seen before and I haven't been able to match it to anything online or in Wittry's books. I am assuming it is fauna but I'm really not sure. Of course it could be a jellyfish but I've never seen one like this before. Could it be a cephalopod?
  3. sedimentary rocks or fossils?

    Last time I was hunting fossils at Mazonia I picked up some rocks I found interesting. I don't know if they are fossils or not. The first is full of tiny holes I thought might have been caused by animals-or water .
  4. First Time at Mazon Creek

    Hello, I am planning on going to Mazon Creek for the first time this weekend and was wondering if I could get some advice. I have fossil hunted at the Peace river and Shark Tooth Hill, but despite living in Illinois, I have never been to Mazon creek. I am not sure where I should start looking. I have read some of the trip reports on the forum and most seem to suggest either around Pit 11 or south of W 5000N road. How long does it usually take to get to productive spots? I read that some people have to hike for an hour before finding fossils. Also, where should I park my car? How much time is usually spent at Mazon creek? Is it an all-day event or just a few hours? I was planning on attending the ESCONI gem, mineral, and fossil show on Saturday morning (3/23) and then heading Mazon creek afterwards. Will I have enough time? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  5. I'm back in IL for spring break this week, and thought it was about time I went down to Mazon Creek. I've never been there before, but have read quite a lot of trip reports others have posted and felt prepared. I parked right off of 5000N at Monster Lake to start. I walked around the lake for about an hour, but found nothing resembling a concretion. There were an insane number of rocks eroding from the slopes, but I saw nothing of interest. I then headed about a third of the way down the gravel road and decided to check out the area near a "Fossil Hunting Area" sign. I walked near there for about half and hour, but the grass was too dense to see the ground at all. I then headed right across to the other side of the road and up a large hill. Here's my car from the top. I spent an hour or so combing the ridge, but still found no nodules. I thought about venturing down into the valley, but it was quite steep and didn't feel comfortable doing so alone. Finally, I drove another third or so down the road until I spotted exposed clay. I wandered around this area for an hour and a half. I was getting somewhat frustrated at this point, so I got on my hands and knees and crawled through the brush, hoping that being closer to the ground would give me better luck.
  6. On my holiday trip from Ohio back to Minnesota, I thought of taking some time and searching the Braidwood area for fossils. I overnighted in the area, jumped out of bed at the crack of dawn with anticipation and headed to the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area. Unfortunately, the park was gated off and access was only allowed for hunting (animal) purposes. On top of this, light snow began to fall making it hard to see anything on the ground. I did manage to look under some trees outside of the gated area and found what looked like a few nodules. It is common knowledge to open these up with a freeze thaw technique, but my hammer kept calling. So after a few whacks, this is what I saw inside. Can anyone identify anything in these pictures?? I have extreme difficulty seeing what many do when looking at open nodules. So an expert eye is needed. Mike
  7. Flora or Fauna?

    Another nodule I found already split. I thought it might be plant matter because of the dark color but the shape reminds me of a lamprey picture that I can no longer find. Probably wishful thinking and imaginative viewing.
  8. Mazon Creek Bone Fragment?

    I found this nodule already open and thought it was a fossilized piece of wood. However, it is not the usual black color of most of plants I have found. Could this be a bone fragment?
  9. Mazon Creek ID help

    Hey Everyone! Happy new year! A nodule from South Pit 11 Mazonia area split and can't figure out what it is? Millipede? Shrimp tale? I have the Wittrey book I've been looking through and I see similar features on multiple animals from his pictures. Thanks for your help!
  10. Sun Pyrite?

    I went on my first ever fossil hunting trip at Mazonia Lakes last week. I found a few fossils in what I think is limestone and chert (?) and a few possible concretions. I hit this one with a hammer and it opened easily. I have been trying to identify what it is by looking online. Thanks for your help.
  11. Me and my girlfriend are heading to Chicago this weekend for a last minute museum trip and Sunday we're completely dedicating to hunting around the mazon area. We've never been and would love if people wanted to join especially if you know where the good stuff is . From researching it seems around monster lake is a good area, so as of now that's where we're heading!
  12. Hello everyone, I will be visiting the Mazon Creek area next week, and I'm seeking some advice in the meantime. Our destination for the day will be the Mazonia-Braidwood Fish and Wildlife Area. I've never visited the area, so all of my planning is based on trip reports, topographic maps and satellite images. I'm aware of the caveats (ticks,vegetation, picked-over areas), but I feel as though it's probably something everyone in Illinois or anywhere else should do at least once. If anyone has any advice on how to make my trip/hunting more efficient and worthwhile, I would love to hear it. (I'll also be stopping at Kankakee River State Park later that day, if anyone has information on that park, it would also be very appreciated) Thanks, Matt
  13. My Mazon Creek Finds

    I will be using this thread to post what I have found fossil hunting in the Mazon Creek area, including the ESCONI Braceville pile, Mazonia/Braidwood, and any other sites I get a chance to explore. Although I had been to Mazonia a few times previously with virtually no luck, my first successful trip was with ESCONI last September at the private spoil pile they have access to. These first fossils are all from there. I have tried to give the best IDs I can- please jump in if you think I have anything wrong. I also forgot to put something in for scale on this first batch of photos, my apologies. First are three that I believe to be Essexella asherae, all very different looking though. The first is quite large, 7.5 cm across, and I love the red color. Next are two Achistrum sp., the first is my favorite fossil I have found from Mazon Creek thus far- curled up neatly in the nodule and nearly complete. The second is partially pyritized- I couldn't find any similar examples online, so it seems fairly unusual. Here are a few Mazonomya mazonensis, the top one is adorably petite- the shell is less than 1 cm across. This is small impression fossil of some bark- I'm still learning to ID the Pennsylanian flora, so I'm not sure exactly what this would be called. This appears to be a trace fossil, possibly a tunnel of some sort? I believe this is a coprolite. Finally, a few incomplete worms. The first I have identified at the tail end of Didontogaster, while the second nodule seems to have a few thin worm-like fossils preserved- perhaps Flabelligeridae sp.?
  14. I had this weekend completely free, and with Fossil Hunting season having just started March 1 at the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, I decided to head up early this morning and look for some Pit 11 nodules. I had tried last year in April, but on that trip I got lost on the way and took a 1 1/2 hour detour (I ended up in Kankakee!), then wasn't sure where to look in the park once I got there. It was a beautiful day, so I still enjoyed being outdoors, but out of the 15 or so nodules I found, the only recognizable fossil was a poorly preserved Essexella. After a year of research (including reading this forum) I had higher expectations for this trip! I hit the road at 7:30 for the hour and a half trip. The sky was overcast, and I was a little worried about the amount of snow I was seeing as I drove up, but thankfully it was largely melted in the park. The forecast predicted a high in the mid-40s, very comfortable hiking weather. I had picked a few spots based on Google Maps that I wanted concentrate on, so I parked my car and headed into the brush. And brushy it was! Over the course of the day I forced my way through fields of 8-foot tall reeds, crawled under low hanging tree branches and repeatedly struggled with scraggly shrubs trying to steal my hat. I also had to deal with the snow remaining on some hills, leading to very slippery terrain, and standing water that hovered not much above freezing. Later in the day both of my feet sank ankles deep into some slushy water, so I had wet socks until I got back to the car at the end of the day (thank goodness I had packed a dry pair for the drive home). It was extremely peaceful in the park- the morning quiet was only broken by a flight of 3 Chinooks flying by about a mile away. Later in the day I also saw some fisherman in another portion of the park, and shortly before I left, I ran into a few other fossil hunters on their first visit. But what about the fossils? I had a much better haul this time. The spots I had picked paid off, and I ended up with my 5-gallon bucket a little more than half full, including the pretty little fern frond pictured here which had already split in the field. I was hoping for a full bucket, but honestly I don't think I would have been able to haul that back to my car. As it is, my legs, back and arms are going to be sore tomorrow, but it was well worth it. Of course, this is just the beginning- now I have to clean the nodules, soak them, and start the freeze and thaw process.

    From the album Laha

    Found in Mazonia Braidwood, Illinois. Carboniferous.
  16. Same Shell

    From the album Laha

  17. Same shell

    From the album Laha

    Same shell as previous picture. This is showing the pyrite deposit on top of the shell.
  18. Same Shell

    From the album Laha

    Same shell as previous picture. This is size comparison with a Dime.
  19. Shell with pyrite

    From the album Laha

    Small shell found at Mazonia State Park in Illinois. Most likely from Pennsylvanian Epoch in the Carboniferous Period.
  20. I Have No Idea What These Are!

    Help! I'm not sure if these are fossils or not. I'd like to think they are, just no idea what they are. I'm also freeze thawing a few still. We didn't find much while we were there. But did find just a few nodules.
  21. Mazon Creek Il Fossil Mystery

    I got out to the Braidwood fauna area last week. I found this half nodule just as it was and wondering what this is? Bark impression? I definitely found a lot of petrified wood and plant stuff where I went so thought the bark idea. But haven't seen anything like this before... Here's the finds for the day.
  22. Mazon Creek Private Land Access

    So I made my first trip out to the Mazon creek last week. I found a few concretions in the state park. As I was driving around the area I noticed some very large hill/spoils piles that I have heard are great for concretion collecting. Does anyone have any leads on how I can get in touch with any of the land owners where these piles are located? Or at least some info on how I can do more research to find more Mazon Creek spots? I understand if you don't want to give up your hot spots!
  23. Hey y'all! I made my very first trek to the Mazon Creek area last Friday. I didn't find very much due to the ground being quite frozen, but I did find a few concretions. I have been freeze/thawing the majority of them over the past couple of days. Here are the ones that have opened up. I could really use some help with these due to the fact that I am a total novice when it comes to Mazon Creek goodies! 1. 2. 3.