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FossilNerd

Last weekend I finally made my way up to the famous St. Leon road cut. Also known as South Gate Hill in some literature. 
 

I made the 2.5 hour drive to Lawrenceburg Indiana after work last Friday and stayed overnight so that I could be up with the sun and on my way Saturday morning. The site itself is another 20-30 minutes from the hotel. By 6am I was out the door and on the road.

 

After a quick gas station stop I found myself at the mile long road cut.

 

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Most people come here to hunt in the butter shale of the exposed Liberty Formation for Flexicalymene rollers. I was no exception. Trilobites are not common in my immediate area so they were top on my list of things to find here. 
 

The butter shale is easy to spot. A creamy light gray layer exposed at the top of the second tier. I made my way there and following the advice of  @Nimravis (Who sadly couldn’t make the trip to hunt with me. Missed you Ralph!) I got down on my hands and knees and put my nose to the ground. Most of the trilobites found here are quite small. The ones that I found were maybe a centimeter.  I was lucky enough to come away with 2 complete rollers and 1 that was complete minus a bit of damage to the cephalon. Plus other trilo-bits. Including the usual Isotelus chunks found throughout the Ordovician of the area.

 

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A pile of Isotelus fragments. 

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After I adjusted my focus away from trilobites I was able to see that the site had plenty more on offer.
 

Brachiopods are everywhere here. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. 

 

Sorry for the lack of scale. The plastic ruler in the below picture fell out of my pocket very early in the day. I never found it. I can provide estimated sizes if requested, and will certainly have scale in the photos of the specimens I took home.
 

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This block was about a meter long.

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I found some nice examples of horn coral here too. 
 

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Orthoconic nautiloids can be found here as well. 
 

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Those were all the pictures I took from the field. All the ones worth sharing anyway. 
 

I stayed till after lunch, but all the climbing around and lack of food (forgot my packed lunch at the hotel :( )forced me away. 

After a bite to eat I also hit up a road cut in Lawrenceburg that I had read about. It was only 5 minutes from the hotel so I decided to check it out. The exposure was impressive in size, but not nearly as fossiliferous as St. Leon. Mainly consisting of Strophomenid brachiopods and some chunky bryozoans. Still I came away with a few finds and was glad that I took the time to look it over.

 

The St. Leon road cut lived up to the hype and was well worth the visit. I definitely will be back.

 

I’ve been short on time this week and haven’t gotten my finds that I brought home cleaned up enough for their photo shoot, but I plan on adding pictures of them as soon as I can as there was much more to see than pictured here. :) 
 

I also had plans to drive over to the AA highway, but I ended up having to head home earlier than expected. Oh well… Maybe that will be my next trip worthy of a report. ;) 

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Jeffrey P

Nice report Wayne and pics. I look forward to seeing your cleaned up finds.

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Nimravis

Great report and pics- love the finds. Those trilobites always are mixed in with those cuteZygospira brachiopods.

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FranzBernhard

St. Leon will never stop to fascinate me. This site is really hard to beat. Thanks for sharing.

Franz Bernhard

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Mark Kmiecik

Just a couple of brachiopods here and there, right? :) Thanks for the photos.

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grandpa

Holy Brachs Batman.  That's some display.  And the trilos, what a great grouping.  Well done, Wayne!

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Well done, Wayne! So glad you got out to that legendary productive site, richly deserved and you made away with some nice spoils!

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FossilNerd
15 hours ago, Nimravis said:

Great report and pics- love the finds. Those trilobites always are mixed in with those cuteZygospira brachiopods.

 

Those little Zygospira are hard to miss when looking for trilobites. It's also hard to resist picking them up. :) 

 

2 hours ago, Kane said:

Well done, Wayne! So glad you got out to that legendary productive site, richly deserved and you made away with some nice spoils!

Thanks Kane! I had a great time and it was good to finally get out in the field. I made away with a lot more than pictured here. Hopefully I can get some of the better finds cleaned up and photographed this weekend. 

 

4 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

Just a couple of brachiopods here and there, right? :) Thanks for the photos.

 

3 hours ago, grandpa said:

Holy Brachs Batman.  That's some display.  And the trilos, what a great grouping.  Well done, Wayne!

 

Ha! Yeah... There were one or two brachs about. Like most Ordovician exposures I have been to, it's hard to see anything else besides brachs. You can't see the forest for the trees, or trilobites for the brachiopods as it were.

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Tidgy's Dad

I would so love to collect at Southgate Hill. 

Well done, Wayne, a nice bit of collecting. :fistbump:

If you need help with ids, I might be able to oblige. 

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Fossildude19

Awesome report and photos, Wayne.   :envy:

Thanks for posting.  :) 

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FossilNerd

As promised, here are a few more pics of specimens that I took home. The lighting is a little off, but it was the best I could do late last night with a couple of lamps in the basement.

 

A big THANK YOU to @Coco for the cm scale page. It can be found here (link below) on the Forum and printed. Very convenient, and I like it better than trying to setup a ruler every time. Just put your fossils on it and go! :) 

 

 

An assortment of bryozoa.
 

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A close up of the more complete trilobites.

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Various plates. I’m a sucker for a good hash plate or death assemblage.

 

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A few more brachiopods. I like how the farthest one on the right is covered in a nice bryozoan. 

 

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This picture isn’t the best, but after cleaning the nautiloid fragment, I found this cool little mineral deposit on the underside.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
ClearLake

Very nice!  That certainly is a great spot and every report I read from there makes me want to go back since it has been several years since I have been there.  I am always fascinated by those little Zygospira, there are spots where you feel like you could just sweep up a cup full of them!  And some of your hash plates are fantastic, I always have to keep myself from bringing home tons of that stuff.  Thanks for the report!

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