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It's been a long time since I've written a trip report. Not that I wasn't hiking, I was hiking like mad and finding stuff. Just didn't get around to documenting in the latter part of 2020. Too much craziness.

 

A couple of days ago, I went in search of an extremely elusive shale formation, that contains some of the loveliest ferns I have seen. My records show I specifically planned 13 hikes last year trying to find another exposure. That was over 100 miles of fruitless searching. Zero. Zilch.

 

Well, two days ago I found another small exposure. Scenic photos of the journey follow starting with walking uphill on an Ordovician rock bed

 

highway.thumb.jpg.b2e9f8a35bafa7da93d50a8422173ef9.jpg

 

The Ordovician transitioned into this Silurian bed with Devonian formations rising above it on the left

 

6004ca106a60e_highwayandrockwall.thumb.jpg.17aa511cd0ad62c58421fcd3e6de3a90.jpg

 

Although fairly stumble-free walking this was relatively steep. That day I ascended 2,800 ft with my big pack full of tools, food and drinks.

 

A nice shattered chert nodule in the Devonian.

 

6004ca5b1c324_shatteredquartz.thumb.jpg.ecf902647df4918e27595b0e36d4835e.jpg

 

Just to show not everything has fierce thorns here, some 'Cushion Buckwheat'

 

buckwheat.thumb.jpg.40671f895fc18476958ced08105c0222.jpg

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Getting into the high country and near to topping out

 

6004cafde757a_highcountry.thumb.jpg.266c6f9ee20fc0181c06b78f2ee7b5f4.jpg

 

Under a Mississippian formation overhang' Lots of crinoids, even some calyxes!

 

6004cb12b6d4b_undertheoverhang.thumb.jpg.fe5f6baf75cf9a373813adccef4d7b67.jpg

 

 

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Finally! The elusive formation found and some plant fossils discovered. All the following fossils were found at various levels in the Pennsylvanian Gobbler formation.

 

Following specimens may have plants on both sides. Colors due to iron rich environment and some nearby, timely, igneous intrusions allowing for interesting preservation.

 

Cordaite specimen 1 front side. Is that elliptical missing part evidence of some insect predation

 

 

cordaite2b.thumb.jpg.d93612f5a49341e820e75849878652f9.jpg

 

Cordaite specimen 1 back side.

cordaite8b.thumb.jpg.5b72ec90b048f49feaf92a25d243fb4a.jpg

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Cordaite specimen 2 front side

 

cordaite4.thumb.jpg.3489035fe9ca82b18262507fa2251f3d.jpg

 

Cordaite specimen 2 back side. A small fern also showing.

 

cordaite3a.thumb.jpg.6721e148ae38eff278fc071efae593c6.jpg

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Fern panel 1

fern1c.thumb.jpg.364181863ad6746418b8874ce6b78683.jpg

 

Fern panel 2...I am ever so tempted to try and pry off the right side. Also, afraid of ruining this.

 

fern2b.thumb.jpg.d648712590f97f523acd2597ea7b0c74.jpg

 

Fern panel 3

 

fern2c.thumb.jpg.9779cdfc294cb5ce5159df02867cf149.jpg

 

Lastly, a small fern.

 

fern5c.jpg

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Nice finds! Looks like it was worth the climb. And gorgeous scenery!

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I only had 45 minutes in this new shale field and the day was hinting at waning. Decided to descend via a dry wash I had not explored before. It seemed the most direct route...this specimen caught my eye

 

6004cde5608a4_ringedrocks.thumb.jpg.4e01f7d967d98409c7ec587356fe0a9e.jpg

 

I decided to spend 10-15 minutes just poking around and then a few feet uphill and in the bushes I found these specimens. I'll call them too close to the ocean because it seems like a flood flattened the plants and left some shells behind. Maybe a sea surge?

 

Not yet evident in these photos are, I believe, some calamites, cordaites, a fern leaf and some shells. I'm going to need the pros to offer some suggestions.

 

6004ce38f1edf_intertidalrocks.thumb.jpg.84a4e9dc9190d017faaad3ca38fa0ce4.jpg

 

 

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One of the specimens...

 

Front view. I 'think' I see a calamite down towards the bottom...can't really tell if I'm seeing more calamites or cordaites in the rest of this panel (except the top left seems very much like a calamite)

 

Massive compression of many layers

 

6004ce85b7a5f_PlantFront.jpg.5a4d45647cb41ee3cfc6ceaaf19aff4d.jpg

 

Just a zoom onto that front panel

6004cecfe73f4_PlantFrontZoom.thumb.jpg.3dd3d3e43c65ff3c2073ddc40a82521a.jpg

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A shell on the front panel (off to the left of the plants)

Frontshell1.thumb.jpg.fa82a3b295e7dda41227e65f7eab4b60.jpg

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Back panel view

 

Shell on the far left. Mix of plants. Not as dense in plant matter. Seems there may also be a shell and a fern leaf next to the calamite on the right side?

 

6004cf24d4be5_PlantBack.thumb.jpg.edeaa68d8db1216122c9e89f478e8528.jpg

 

Zoom on that calamite to show fern leaf(bottom left) and potential shell (upper right)

 

6004cf6664e99_PlantBackZoom.jpg.11ba107f313e0230609ac0996526be19.jpg

 

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Lastly, just below that crazy mix of land and sea, I kicked this little specimen. I want to think it is of the sea but it may in actuality be nothing but an interesting looking rock. Sponge?

 

This one is about 2" (50mm) wide and 3/4" (20mm) thick. It has a cupped bottom and is circular when viewed from above.

 

critter1.jpg.7114943e049e25916acb692cd7c282ee.jpg

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Wrangellian

Interesting stuff!

Did you find any of the crinoids you mentioned and get pics if so? Or have you shown them before?

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@Kato your landscape photos are really great...it is a beautiful playground you've got there. As for that fern material you are collecting...wow!...you snagged some gorgeous specimens...nice work.

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FranzBernhard

Persistence paid off again!!

Thanks for sharing scenery and lovely fossils. Its so different from my ground.

Keep the good work going!
Franz Bernhard

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13 hours ago, Ludwigia said:

Nice finds! Looks like it was worth the climb. And gorgeous scenery!

Thank you. If one looks the 'boring' desert is a gorgeous place and full of surprises.

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9 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

Interesting stuff!

Did you find any of the crinoids you mentioned and get pics if so? Or have you shown them before?

@Wrangellian I didn't take any Mississippian crinoid photos this particular trip. In the Fossil ID section, I did post some 'are these calyxes' questions recently as I had actually never found any prior to then. Within the last 2 weeks I've found eight. Not Fossil of the Month, drool-worthy, but my eyes are getting trained to find them.

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14 hours ago, Kato said:

I'll call them too close to the ocean because it seems like a flood flattened the plants and left some shells behind. Maybe a sea surge?

The strong presence of iron in the sediment suggests this may have been a lagunal deposit.

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I had some additional pieces of the lagoonal specimens soaking in water and I finally rinsed them off.

 

Front layered panel

 

600713a619936_panelfront.thumb.jpg.7b2066281c5ebeca4aaf2f5e07ca272a.jpg

 

Back side of that panel showing some possible worm burrows

 

600713e0a74b7_panelbackwithworms.thumb.jpg.c531a21377446650e19fedbf6dcf1748.jpg

 

Zoom

 

600714092a8a5_panelbackwithworms3.thumb.jpg.cee9b03e679ed46b3dfd1cb31d528e1e.jpg

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Many layers of plants and more possible worm burrows

6007142a2881a_bigpanelwithworms.thumb.jpg.c095d3b863936b2016f7dc33d7895686.jpg

 

The back of that panel. Perhaps showing some liesegang on the bottom

 

6007144e9ad13_bigpanelbackside1.thumb.jpg.7aa92c3962bcaccbea279cbdf0ca3ed9.jpg

 

I like this one because it shows the plant layering

 

6007147a9817b_bigpanelwormcloseup.thumb.jpg.6f5af61cbb686ac953b7dea5bf1b7208.jpg

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Small panel with a solitary shell imprint and more mineral banding towards the top

 

shell4.thumb.jpg.1c8911f55d438475760952743a061cad.jpg

 

shell3.thumb.jpg.f78d4a38032d3c563a263ab1d6705de8.jpg

 

@Tidgy's Dad would you be able to help narrow these down for me? Lower Pennsylvanian formations.

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Tidgy's Dad

I'm not sure, but I don't think they're brachiopods. 

I think a bivalve along the lines of Cardiola is more likely.

Lovely plants, by the way. :fern:

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DPS Ammonite
On 1/17/2021 at 5:03 PM, Kato said:

Lastly, just below that crazy mix of land and sea, I kicked this little specimen. I want to think it is of the sea but it may in actuality be nothing but an interesting looking rock. Sponge?

 

This one is about 2" (50mm) wide and 3/4" (20mm) thick. It has a cupped bottom and is circular when viewed from above.

 

critter1.jpg.7114943e049e25916acb692cd7c282ee.jpg

What age is this? I looks like a sponge.

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DPS Ammonite
2 hours ago, Kato said:

Small panel with a solitary shell imprint and more mineral banding towards the top

 

shell4.thumb.jpg.1c8911f55d438475760952743a061cad.jpg

 

shell3.thumb.jpg.f78d4a38032d3c563a263ab1d6705de8.jpg

 

@Tidgy's Dad would you be able to help narrow these down for me? Lower Pennsylvanian formations.

Consider Aviculopecten. Probably not a Cardiola since they are from the Silurian and Devonian.

Edited by DPS Ammonite
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35 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

I'm not sure, but I don't think they're brachiopods. 

I think a bivalve along the lines of Cardiola is more likely.

Lovely plants, by the way. :fern:

@Tidgy's Dad  Thank you. I greatly neglected to mention all the bivalves range in size from 10mm-20mm. The last one being 20mm max in one dimension.

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19 minutes ago, DPS Ammonite said:

What age is this? I looks like a sponge.

@DPS Ammonite

 

Locally, the Pennsylvanian is broken into 3 formations as shown. I have to guess approximately where I was in the Gobbler Formation. My guess is in the Des Moinesian series perhaps bounding to the Missourian.

 

I also thought sponge when I saw it though papers written on the area by Pray and others list sponges as strangely absent from the Pennsylvanian.

 

 600723b5516c4_MLVformations.png.d75a419ab6d2d8d4872a39762c7cba82.png

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