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Found 45 results

  1. My daughter and I took our very first fossil hunting trip to the NSR near Lavonia, Texas last weekend (10/27/2019). We dug a little, sifted (just with our hands) a little, and just walked around, but we still had great success finding treasures! The steps down to the river bank are impressive. Some of the steps are about 3 x 3 feet square, and the length of the stairway is about 70-80 feet. The bottom of the steps have a large, nearly vertical slab of concrete that is easier to slide down than it is to climb back up. especially with about 5 pounds of very sticky mud stuck to our boots. There is also a mud pit at the bottom of the slab to navigate that makes coming back up a bit of a challenge and a workout. Of course, afterwards, we found that there are two much easier to navigate entry/exit points, one to the left and one to the right of the steps. And we found out later that on the previous weekend, this site had hosted a group meeting for fossil hunters. So were feel particularly fortunate to found the things we did.
  2. North Sulfur River bone?

    Found this yesterday in North Sulfur River where I found the mosasaur vertebra. I'm wondering whether this could be from same animal?
  3. What did I stumble upon?

    Found on the north sulfur river today. It’s cross hatched… I know it’s a fossil of something, but I am clueless as to what. A girl I met with found something similar and we had no clue.
  4. T. proriger Tooth Fossil Profile

    From the album North Sulfur River

    A worn Tylosaur tooth from Ladonia, TX. Found Oct. 7, 2018.
  5. Shark Vertebra

    From the album Sharks

    A shark centrum from the North Sulfur River.
  6. Pseudocorax granti

    From the album Sharks

    Found in the North Sulfur River.
  7. Both specimens are very weird. Pic one looks like a fossilzed kolache, with a rod type of thing in it. Smooth one has an of centered hole on one side with some crystals inside it. Any help would be appreciated.
  8. Last one for today. Also found at the Ladonia Fossil Park. Any clues?
  9. North Sulfur River vertebrae ID

    I believe it is a vertebrae. Found in Ladonia Fossil Park. Any Ideas?
  10. North Sulfur River Fossil ID

    I suspect this is an ammonite but I am not sure. I found it at Ladonia Fossil Park in Texas. Any ideas?
  11. North Sulfur River Fossil ID

    Hello! I Found this while fossil hunting at Ladonia Fossil Park in Texas, anyone know what it could be? Thank you!
  12. I went fossil hunting at the North Sulfur River (NSR) in mid December with @believerjoe and Cathleen, @cgmck a local fossil hunting buddy of mine who is a semi-retired environmental geologist.. I’d been trying to work out a time to go hunting with Joe for close to 6 weeks. He had extended the offered sometime after I had met him at the Ladonia Fossil Day event on October 20th. He offered to take me to teach me how to spot mosasaur and bone material in the NSR. We are both on the Dallas Paleontological Society Facebook group page and crossed paths on there quite frequently so we were acquitted on there and on TFF. We set 12/15/18 as the tentative date, but rain kept threatening to delay our hunt. Up until Friday evening, 12/14 I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to hunt. If the water was too deep it would be pretty murky, making it hard to spot fossils. Saturday dawned bright, clear and chilly. Water levels were huntable. It would be in the mid 30s when we were to meet at 8:00. We would be walking through a lot of water. I have rubber boots I usually wear in the wet and cold weather in creeks, but I knew the water would be high. I’ve hunted the river when the water was high like this and it prevented me from going up the river and creeks I wanted to go up. So I opted to buy myself a pair of hip waders before the trip. I found these for $25! They were 50%. The shoe size is a man’s size 7. They said they ran big for men. Men’s shoe size 10 is bigger than women’s 10 so I took the risk and they fit fine. They were comfortable and worked great. Anyway, I packed my hunting gear in my car and then a backpack with another pair of socks to keep my feet warmer when walking in the cold water, extra leggings, gloves and hat to put on once I got there. I didn’t do my hair. I was planning on wearing the hat. I threw my favorite ball cap in the pack too. When I got there I realized I’d left my backpack with the extra clothing for warmth at home! I was going to be a bit chilly. Especially my feet. My boots aren’t insulated. My hair was going to be all over the place with the wind. We met at the Ladonia Fossil Park and then transferred our stuff to Joe’s pickup truck. Joe drove us to a place he likes to hunt. We got out, put on our gear and walked down into the creek. Joe didn’t think the water was going to be too deep in the creek so I opted to wear just my boots rather than the waders. First step into the creek there was a rudist fragment that Joe pointed out. It was kind of big and we were going to be walking a long way. So, I opted to leave the rudist there. I walked maybe 30 feet and found a piece of turtle shell. Yay! My first piece of Texas turtle shell. I’ve found turtle shell elsewhere, but it was Miocene. The one on the right is the one I found. Joe found the other piece and let me have it. We walked on up the creek and Joe kept pointing out mosy verts here and there. I found one on my own the whole trip on the second leg of this creek hunt. He’d spot them from 30 feet away half covered. It was impressive how he could see them so far off mixed in with all the other rocks and gravel. Some were pretty little too. I think maybe 6 or 7 mosasaur vertebra were found total. Cathleen has always had higher fossil quality standards than I do so she turned all, but one of the vertebra down. She took the best one home. The water was pretty deep and cloudy so it limited finding fossils considerably. There were numerous places we came to where the water was fairly deep. Joe’s boots came almost to his knees, but mine were maybe 10 inches tall. So, we had to walk carefully as times to find where the water was more shallow so that I could cross or proceed up the creek. There were many places where there was no gravel in the creek and the bottom was the typical slick gray shale of the Ozan. We all had walking sticks, which helped considerably, especially with the mud. When you hit the mud sometimes you don’t know if it is safe or how far you will sink. Walking sticks served as a measuring stick for mud depth. Which reminds me that I need to put a mark on my walking stick for boot height and water depth. We came to a few places that we tried to walk through and sunk maybe 10 inches max, which isn’t too bad by NSR standards. Other places we avoided and went around. This is Joe and Cathleen in the creek. See the large blocks of stone in the creek. Well, I had been seeing stone like this in the river since I have been hunting it, but I had never known the source. Come to find out it was imported stone to help with erosion control. This is a piece of it up close. It is a sandstone type material. Now I know it isn't from the river. I have been wondering all this time where this formation was, because nothing in the description of the formations in the area say anything about this type of stone. So, it has been a complete mystery all this time to me. The mystery is now solved. We hiked on up the creek for a while without event or really finding much of anything. I was finding petrified wood left and right. The pieces in this feeder creek were, in general, larger than what I usually find in the river. Here is some of the pet wood I found. These are my favorite pieces. The first one actually looks like it has a stain on it. You can see the sharp peak pointing to the left. The second has lots of texture and contrast in color. The third is a nice deep, brick red that you can't tell from the pic. I could be mistaken about the last piece, but I think it may be a piece of palm root wood. As I walked along I came to a piece of what I initially thought was petrified wood, but as I looked at it I realized it was not petrified wood. I thought it looked like a fish tail, but I had never found fish fossils in the NSR area. Joe came over and he initially thought it was pet wood too, but then he turned it and said “Wait a minute, that is a piece of fish. “ Woohoo!!! I was quite excited and happy about that find. I think it was Anthony Maltese who told me he thought it was "probably a Pachyrhizodus or a Plethodid based on the segmentation of the fin rays (top left of the picture)". I think he may be @-AnThOnY- on here, but I could be wrong. We walked on and found a few more vertebra and then we came to a place where the water was too deep for Joe and I to cross. I do not mind getting wet, but when it is around 40 degrees I prefer to stay dry. At that point we had been walking for a little over 2 hours. We turned around and headed back. The walk back went a bit quicker. Maybe 1/3 of the way back we were walking in part of the creek we did not walk when going in. The shale was not flat on the creek bottom, but at an angle, slanting towards the center of the creek and deeper water. I stepped just wrong on it and down I went. As I was going down, I tried to ensure that I fell in more shallow water and that I didn’t flood my boots. Somehow I managed to be reasonably successful in my attempt. I landed in a sitting position in maybe an inch or so of water with my knees bent so very little water got in my boot. Still my back side and upper thighs got wet. I stood up and began to attempt to slide forward on the shale so as to not fall again. Cathleen was right in front of me. Before I made two steps she went down too. She was wearing full waders that came up to her torso, but she was not quite as lucky. Water got into her waders and when she stood up she could feel the icy water flow all the way down her back, then down into her boots. It was in the low 40s now so it had warmed a little, but it was not a pleasant feeling to be wet in 40 degree weather, but we toughed it out. It was when she stood that we realized that we had not walked this side of the creek on the way in. We immediately crossed the creek to get to less slippery ground. We made it back to our entry point. It was almost noon. Cathleen said she needed to drive back home for something planned with family. Joe drove us back to our cars. I emptied my pack, which was full of petrified wood mostly. Then Joe and I drove back out to the creek. I put on my waders at this point. We headed down stream to continue looking for mosasaur material. I found one little very beat up vert, but I also found several pieces of Pleistocene bone and a horse tooth. The horse tooth is likely modern, though there are not many horses in the NSR area so it could be Pleistocene. Weird thing about a lot of Pleistocene bones in Texas is that many of them are not fully mineralized and so they are fairly soft and light in color and appear modern. So it is hard to tell if something is modern or Pleistocene. Even the mammoth bones in Waco are not mineralized for the most part and so they are fairly fragile, white and look like modern bones in texture. Joe and I proceeded down the creek. I was walking on the bank on one side of the creek and he was walking in the water in the creek. I came to some deep mud and contemplated whether I should back track or attempt to make my way through it. Ahead of me the mud got much deeper. I decided I better make a 90 degree turn and cross over to the other side. I had my walking stick with me and tested the mud to make sure I would bottom out rather than keep sinking. The mud stopped and hit creek bottom at a little over 2 feet deep, up past my knees a ways. I figured I’d be OK. I went ahead and walked through it down into the water. It was tough pulling my legs out, but I managed OK until I was in the water. I was trying to balance on one foot and with my walking stick so I didn’t fall over into the water. I’d managed a few steps, but then I was having trouble pulling my foot out of one spot. Joe came over and took my hand to pull me out and hopefully keep me from falling down in the water as I pulled out of the mud. I made it out successfully with Joe’s help. If I had been alone I am not sure I would have taken the risk. Not with the water being so cold. It was icy cold. It wasn’t the worst mud I have encountered, but it was some serious mud. We moved along without event after that. I had told Joe I wanted at least one hour to hunt the red zone before I left the NSR. So after a bit we turned around and headed back. Joe is not a fan of the red zone. He says the preservation of mosasaur material there is not very good there. I have not found mosasaur material there, but it is true that a lot of red zone material has either pyrite or gypsum. Pyrite is the most common. If iron was present in the fossilization process, frequently the fossils develop pyrite disease when exposed to the air and they can disintegrate into dust. I am a fan of the red zone, because that is where some of the best ammonites come from. We made it out of the creek and Joe drove back to the fossil park. It was about 3:00. These are the finds from the creek. The long thin light one is a metapodial from something like a deer or the likes. I am not sure about the others. The horse incisor, from a young horse is at the bottom middle. These are the mosasaur verts and turtle bone that Joe pointed out. The horse tooth is there to prop the one vert up. I think I may have connected another piece to the NSR puzzle. See the white calcium layer on the vert on the far left? It is common to see this on fossils. I could be wrong, but I have come to believe that fossils with this white layer most likely come from the Roxton formation. My fish piece has the same stuff on it. I don't think I put my little worn vert in one of these. I will post is in my overall picture at the end. I will be back in a bit with the trip to the red zone. I want to thank Joe for being so kind as to take me hunting so I can learn from him. I hope we can go hunting again sometime so I can learn more. Joe is the mosy guy. I am the ammonite girl. So, it was helpful to hunt with him to broaden my knowledge.
  13. NSR Unknowns

    Hey yall! These are a couple of items that were found in the North Sulfur River that I am uncertain about what they are. One appears to be bone, but has a rather porous and bubbly side and a flat and smooth other side. The other looks to be enamel, possibly from mastodon?? Thank you!
  14. North Sulfur River Insect/Arthropod?

    I was out at the North Sulfur River on Saturday. I found a number of cool things. This one is a mystery to me, but it seems very rare and pretty neat. I’m not sure it’s even really identifiable as to a class or order, but I thought I’d ask. It needs more prep, but I’m not sure how much more there is to uncover. Above you can see what look like 2 legs hanging down and possibly One on op. Below is the same thing invented. Another pic from a different angle. I can’t get any closer on the small details. I can see the texture of what I believe may be legs on the bottom of pic 1, but they aren’t crustacean legs. I guess they could be antennas, but I’m not sure antennas are segmented like that. If you look at what appears to be an appendage on the top it does have bumps on it. Any thoughts?
  15. Xiphactinus Audax

    Xiphactinus is one of my favorite type of species that is a total fascination because of its size, the teeth, and just plain scary to think this fish use to to live. I've been pretty blessed to find some good Xiphactinux material in the North Sulfur river including some verts, a couple teeth, jaws, and some associated wash out from a couple different ones I have yet to find the source. I couldn't imagine swimming and having a tarpon like fish the size of a Great White shark come up from behind and swallowing me whole. Below are the various Xiphactinus fossils I've found in the Sulfur aswell as photos of the 3D Xiphactinus Audax cast skeleton made by Triebold Paleontolgoy as well as the largest Xiphactinus ever found which came from Kansas and was prepped by Triebold.
  16. Had another opportunity to hit the North Sulfur after several good rains. Once again, fresh rock bars everywhere and my buddy and I went home with our pockets full! I found at least 15 mosasaur verts, 20+ teeth, a nice coprolite, shark vert, etc.. I included a few pictures of some of my better stuff. The 5 points pictured together were found in the NSR They include a couple killers! For the old, pointy rock hunters, I included a pic of all the points from this weekend. Found 20+ in one spot in Fannin county that was clearly a large Caddo camp. Enjoy! Just a thought... I get asked a lot where I go and how i find so much stuff. I never really give up my exact locations because I work hard to find them. However, I want others to be able to enjoy this place as much as I do so here are a few tips to help folks who are new to hunting the north sulfur. Fossils and points don't travel upstream after being washed away from their spots. The further downstream you can search, the better. I'm really tall and my eyes are really far away from the ground- I know this sounds silly but my point is that the closer you can get to the ground the better. I find lots of my smaller stuff on my hands and knees and use readers to really "zoom" in. Good knee pads are essential. Proper footwear. In the winter I usually use a tennis shoe with a heavy duty 5mm neoprene boot as a sock. I also screw ice studs from Stabilicers into the outsole to keep from slipping on the blue, butt breaking rock. When walking the river, this trick is a necessity after you try it once and realize its benefits. Points are easy to find once you train your eyes. Learn to recognize the colors of flint and other common materials. Recognizing blade edges helps me. Learn where the indians camped. Lots of reading and scouting involved. Good luck!
  17. I found this ammonite on Saturday. It is the best Trachyscaphites springer I have ever found. I think it is a T. springer. I assume the other ones I have are males and maybe this one is a female. I don't know much about sexual dimorphism in this genus, but it does exist. When they say there is dimorphism is the female is bigger? It is so very different from any of the others I have. I know there is another species of Trachyscaphites in the NSR, but I don't know what it looks like. I really like this one though. It is free standing too! Bonus. It has some damage on the dorsal venter and the aperture. It also had some pyrite on the umbilicus area (I can’t really see an overt umbilicus since it is so involuted). My prep work is still very crude. There is so much I need to learn. I just keep at it and learn by trial and error though. I don’t have pneumatic tools. Here it is. See the white film on the right half? The white on the left half is nacre, but some of it has the film on it too. This is from the red zone of the Ozan formation, Cretaceous. I doubt it matters, but I am wondering if the film layer is pyrite in nature or gypsum or something else. I have specimens from the Britton formation of the Eagle Ford group, which have a gypsum film on them and this looks a bit little that. But that isn't my main question. It is just a curiosity. This is the other side. You can see some pyrite at the bottom left along the umbilicus grove. I have a number of these, but this is the first where I can actually see suture lines mostly at 11 to 12 o'clock down the midline and on the right. I am going to tag @Ptychodus04 and @RJB on this. I don't know if Ron is familiar with fossils of this matrial and matrix, but I imagine he is. I am pretty sure Kris is. Questions The film issue 1. Do you think I should attempt to remove the film? I think I should. See the tubercle by my thumb in pic 2? There was a tiny fleck of white showing so I chipped away at the red clay and revealed more nacre under it. So I believe there is still nacre under some of it on the left 2. What is the best way to go about removing it? I was thinking of using sandpaper, but I don't have much experience using sandpaper on fossils. I have a range of grit up to 3000 (or is it down to since the grit is smaller and finer?) The nose issue I am calling it the nose since it looks like a little nose. It seems to be the first part of the first visible whorl. 3. Any advice as to what to do with this part. I am not sure what to do with it. At times I prep haphazardly and then I think I have damaged it and I get paralysis of analysis and that is where I am on the nose. I have removed some matrix from the top, left and right. I think I might have gone down into the nose on the right side some. It is hard to tell where the matrix ends and fossil begins. These are other views of the nose. The lines on the nose are from me scraping away, thinking I was on top of ribs. I am not sure if there are ribs there yet. Like I said my prep skills are pretty crude still. The other side of it. I still have some matrix to removed on the side there. I think part of it is chipped away, but I am not totally sure how it is supposed to look. Maybe it got crushed. It just looks odd to me. I have several other of this species, but I think they may all be males or something. They are more open, the whorl does not cover the umbilicus and they are much flatter and smaller. The pyrite issue. I know I have asked these types of questions before about prep so sorry for the repeat. 4. What is the best way to address the pyrite to keep it from coming back? I have scraped most of it off already. I have heard people say to soak it in Iron Out and I have that. But I am concerned it may hurt the fossil. I guess I could experiment on other concretions I have that look like the same, but are rock and not fossil. 5. What should I do as far as long term preservation to slow the progress of pyrite disease? I think someone recommended Butvar. I looked into buying it, but I got sidetracked by trying to figure out which was best. Then couldn't find what was best and kind of forgot about buying again. 6. What is the best Butvar or product to use for sealing it? I looked at buying some on different sites. Paying so much for shipping irks me. I am spoiled with Amazon Prime and just don't think about shipping costs. I have a buddy who works at Eastman. I asked him if they had a store where individuals could purchase products like Butvar 76. He said no, but he would see if he could go ask for a sample The museum supply site. It has Butvar-80 for $34 for 1 kg and $15.53 for shipping. I don’t need 1 kg. Talas has Butvar-76 500 g for $17.50, but then is charging $14.64 for shipping! I have seen people reference McGean-15 or Vinac and they seemed to prefer it over Butvar. 7. Can anyone tell me the molecular weight of the Vinac or what grade of polyvinyl acetate Vinac is? I think my buddy could come up with that for me more easily since I think he manages production of a form of it. I found something called Vinapas. I have not looked at the shipping on this site. Here: http://www.conservationresources.com/Main/section_37/section37_08.htm PVA Resin Solid Vinapas This consolidant is a polyvinyl acetate solid suspended in granular form, with a molecular weight averaging 51,000 and a melting point of 50 C. It is used as a consolidantfor porous, dry, non-metal objects-particularly those found in digs. This is typically applied in concentrations of 20-25% I.M.S. with a soft brush. It may also be used as an isolating varnish and thermoplastic adhesive. Item # Description Price SY01 Vinapas, 1 kg. $22.00
  18. What bone is this?

    Here is another bone from the North Sulfur River that is Pleistocene in age. I found it Saturday. I am not sure what it is or what it is from. It is slender and flat towards the bottom and roundish on joint end, but still a little flattened. My wild guess would be ulna, but it is just a guess. I’d like to know what it is from. Long edge side 1 Long edge side 2 The joint end side 1 pic 3 Joint end side 2 pic 4 Pic 5 looking straight down on joint end Pic 6 This is the other end of the bone.
  19. Is this a piece of coprolite?

    Yesterday I went hunting in the North Sulfur River in North Texas. Could this be a fragment of a coprolite? Pic 1 and 2 are same pic different lighting. I was trying to bring out the button in the center of what I’m calling the bottom. Pic one brings it out, but it is grainy. Pic 2 you can zoom in better. The center kind of has a pinched button look. # 3 the top. It looks like clam shell fragments possibly. The next 3 are side views. The whole thing is dome shaped. @GeschWhat
  20. I took a trip out to the North Sulfur River today. These bones were one of my finds from an avalanche that had happened. I believe they are Pleistocene in age. They are not heavily mineralized like the Cretaceous bones found in the river. They are at least partially mineralized though. I have never found and Pleistocene bones. This is the full length of the bone. One end is flatish and the other convex. This is a view from the side. I believe it may be a vertebra. The back side is broken off where spinous process would attach. Side view. Convex End view This is another bone found at same spot a few feet away. I think it is a sacral piece. I have a couple more fragments too, but they do t seen diagnostic. Can anyone tell me what they are from?
  21. I am rather new to this, but for now rather than explain I actually had more questions, and wanted to share general info about NSR today. My neighbor and I ventured down from Oklahoma to NSR today to take advantage of the cool temps and recent rain. It wasnt enough rain to do much for NSR, but we found a few things. Some of them are just rocks we liked - ha. The up-close photos to follow I wanted to see if anyone would mind helping identify/confirm? That would be great, thanks!!
  22. Monday was Labor Day, a holiday. I was going to be off work and home alone. I woke up early for a day off really motivated to get up and get out to the North Sulfur River (NSR), but I was feeling a bit lazy. I didn’t want to wear myself out too much. I am on call all week and being worn out isn’t a good way to start being on call if you have to stay up all night working. I had not been out to the NSR since June, because I nearly did myself in last trip with heat exhaustion. I had plenty of fluids, but the 100 degree heat with no shade was too much for me. Anyway, the weather on Monday was pretty decent. The heat was bearable. Rain was in the forecast. There was a tropical storm spinning off inland and we were having storms from that. I got ready and drove the 1:20 minutes to my favorite bridge outside of Ladonia. I arrived about 9:00. Rain was predicted to start about 11:00. I didn’t know how bad it would be or how long it would last. So, I figured I had about 2 hours to get some hunting in. Entering the NSR can be a challenge along most of the section of river which was channeled back in the early 1900s. The banks are about 30 feet high and mostly vertical. Normally I enter from the south side of the bridge, but it seems everyone I know who goes there enters from the north side. I thought I’d try that entrance for once. I parked my car along a narrow path next to the guardrail near the bridge. I got out and got my gear ready. Before putting on my pack I walked out to the edge of the precipice of the bank and looked down to the riverbed 30 feet below. To my left was the bridge. I saw a ridiculously steep (80 degrees) path, if you could call it that, plummeting down into the river. I thought “No way! You’ve got to be kidding me!!!” It looked more like a wash and going down it would be more like falling or repelling if I had a rope. There was no way I could come back up that with a 40-50 pound pack. Plus I didn’t have a rope with me. Hum, maybe I need to add rope to my NSR gear list. I am not a rock climbing type girl. I am around a soft 50% marshmallow consistency. There isn’t a whole lot of muscle on me. I am all adventure and no brawn. This is a picture of the river from the top of the bank. IT is not the best pic, but you get the idea that it is a long way down. You can't really see the wash, but it starts behind the pillar on the left and runs behind that bush straight down to the bottom. I turned to walk back to my car and drive over to my usual entrance, but as I turned I saw an opening in the dense undergrowth. I walked towards it. There was a rope tied to a tree at the top of the hill. It was strung downhill and attached to another sapling 20 feet below. It wasn’t much of a rope, less than 1 cm thick with infrequent, small knots of maybe 1 cm in size. They would not be much to grab onto. It would help getting down for sure and it looked strong enough, but man was it steep (60 degreeish)!! It was really steep for about 20 feet or so and then leveled off for a bit and then there was some concrete rubble in the wash that ran along the path. From the level area you had to drop down about 3 feet and then walk the rubble to the riverbed. There was only one sizeable (2 inches) sapling to grab at or break your fall with on the 20 foot part. There were numerous saplings and a poison ivy vine that were ¼- ½ inch thick. There was a rebar type stake sticking up about 8 inches from the ground maybe 5 feet down the hill, I assume for a foothold of sorts. It looked like someone had tried to notch some steps into the hill with a shovel every 3 feet or so, but they were eroded so barely of any use anymore. I think I must be crazy, or ridiculously overdue for an adventure. It has been 3 months since I’d been to the NSR after all. I decided to go ahead and try it. I hoped I would not live to regret my choice. I went and got my pack, which was already about 15 pounds with my 4 pound sledge hammer, rock hammer, drinking fluids, my 40 caliber pistol (protection from wild hogs) and other gear. I put my pack on and walked to the edge of the hill. I took one step and slid. I was wearing tennis shoes with only a little tread. I turned around, went back to my car and put on my hiking boots. I tried going down the hill facing forward, but couldn’t do it. So I turned around and grabbed the rope and wrapped it around my hand and began to lower myself down backwards. In retrospect I can see I clearly did not think my exit strategy out. I will post another part in a couple minutes..
  23. North Sulfur River ID rudist?

    I had the day off yesterday and headed out to the North Sulfur River. Found absolutely nothing of note except lots of wild hog wallows, lots of spiders, the usual petrified wood and a couple Cretaceous bone chips. Had another one of my stupidity inspirered adventures with the heat. It was 100 out there and to make it worse the water was also 100. Made it out in one red bug laden piece. Recovered, ate lunch and glutton for punishment that I am headed back out at a much easier access point. While I was there I found something, which I don’t know what it is. The only thing I can possibly imagine it could be would be a rudist. There are 2 varieties of rudist in the NSR. I believe this is a colony of Sauvagesia belti rudist, but I’ve never seen one. I believe I was in the Pecan Gap Chalk overlain by the Ozan. The concretion in question I believe to be from the Ozan since it was not in situ, but in a gravel bar. This is the concretion as I found it. Only 1/3 was exposed. It’s about 8 x 7 inches long and wide and 3.5 at its thickest. It has an Inoceramus clam on the righ. I have not learned my species, but I think this is the I. balticus. The other species noted there is an I. aff. Barbini. But that is not the key item for ID. There is a hollow chamber in the middle that has shell material inside. I’m working on trying to remove matrix from it so it is a mess right now. This is a top side view. This is a bottom side view. There are the ends of 4 individual organism in view in the pic below. All seem to have been basically tubular and average approximately 4- 5 inches long from what I can tell. In the top of the pic there are 2 perpendicular to each other. One overlaying the other. Bottom of pic are 2 running parallel to each other. I was cleaning the big one on the bottom and came upon the end of another laying on top of it. All 4 have the remnants of nacre on them. I think there are 5 individuals here. There is a 5th on the bottom of the 2 on the right. This is one with the full length in view of what is present at least. It is 5 inches long. This is what got me excited after I picked it up and rinsed it off. It is that beautiful dragon skin quality found in nacre. This is on the end of one of the individuals. I believe there are more than 12 in the conglomerate. I’m Still uncovering stuff though. Any thoughts as to what they may be would be be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Kim
  24. Hi all! I'm here again asking for advice! 2018 is my year for fossil trips (at least the year my wife is allowing me to go all out!) and exploring new places, and one place i have never been to (and REALLY want to go to) is the North Sulfur River. I am traveling from NY to the DFW area from June 11-14, and was hoping to make a trip over to the NSR either the 12th or the 13th of June. Can anyone give me advice? Also, I've read a bit and i've heard of snakes and other possible complications when fossil hunting there, and would rather not be there solo.... so, is anyone interested in tagging along? You'll have my eternal gratitude (and for something more tangible, i'm happy to buy us breakfast and lunch). Thanks in advance for any advice and help, all appreciated
  25. 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. . .