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Hi Everyone,

Last month I took a trip from New York to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to attend my parents' 70th anniversary. My sister and her husband, two of her adult children, and my parents, both in their 90s have all resettled there. I try to visit them at least once per year, but my parents' 70th wedding anniversary could not be missed. It is a very long trip from the suburbs of New York City to E-Town and a stop along the way was the sensible thing to do, so I spent the night in Harrison, Ohio near the border with Indiana and only 15 minutes from St. Leon, the well known Ordovician roadcut. I've been there twice before. It is a huge outcrop, fossiliferous from top to bottom, with plenty to explore. With even a full day it is impossible to do justice to the site. As it was, I spent a half day. Most of you I'm guessing have been to or seen pictures of the roadcut. Here's a couple anyway:

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Of course, like everyone else, I was seeking the tiny Flexicalymene rollers that can be found there, but that day were noticeably absent. This may have been the result of drought and others collecting there. Anyway, I wasn't heartbroken since fine complete brachiopod fossils were very abundant as always and often could be surface collected. These are some Strophomena:

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I also picked up a few Eochonetes. They are very thin and fragile, but almost all made it home okay: 

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Tales From the Shale

Those are excellent quality brachiopods. Ive hunted 11 different states, but I havent hit Indiana yet. Nice stuff.

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Then there are all of those Orthid brachiopods like Herbertella and Plaesiomys, etc. that frankly, I have trouble telling apart:

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Then there are the Rhynchonellids. Lepidocyclus is certainly represented here, but there may be another species or two in this batch:

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And it is next to impossible to go there and not pick a few examples of the Atrypid, Zygospira. One can always find room for a few more:

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Edited by Jeffrey P
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GreatWhiteMac

Nice finds and sure is an awesome roadcut!  Hunted it twice and looking forward to going again one day!

 

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oh, and let me not forget the rugose coral, Grewingkia. I already have plenty of those, but a few were too good to pass up:

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Also found a couple nice Leptaena:

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And my best find of the day, a bivalve, Ceritodons:

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I stayed at my sister's horse ranch and attended my parents' anniversary in Elizabethtown. I was able to get together with Wayne (Fossilnerd) for a couple of hours the next day to visit the Upper Mississippian site at Leitchfield, about a half hour southeast of Elizabethtown, but in a different time zone. This has been a regular stop of mine on almost all of my trips to Kentucky since we don't have any Mississippian exposures in New York and Leitchfield is exceptionally good for the typical Mississippian marine fossils. Here is a picture of the site:

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Wayne and I both found lots of blastoids:

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Those and the crinoids are probably the main attraction:

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This a couple partial calyxes of Zeacrinites and a partial crown:

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Here are some partial calyxes of the crinoid: Agassizocrinus:

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When I first visited Leitchfield years ago, I came away with the impression that there were only two species of brachiopods present there: Punctospirifer and the Atrypid, Cleiothyridina and that these were primarily flattened. Subsequent trips proved my initial impression was incorrect and other species and  better specimens of brachiopods have revealed themselves to me. These are some Punctospirifers:

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And here are some other brachiopods from there:

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Finally, I managed to find a couple tiny gastropods. The partial specimen on the left is a platycerid I've never seen from there before. By the way, Wayne made some important discoveries too which I hope he'll share. 

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Two days later, Herb (another TFF member) and I headed out on a three day excursion down to Mississippi. It was cold and there were snow flurries when we left E-Town, a taste of winter to come. Fortunately, the weather improved and warmed during the rest of the trip. On the way to Tupelo, we made a brief stop at a Lower Devonian Ross Formation, Birdson Member roadcut near Parsons, TN. We visited the same site last October. It produces brachiopods and other fossils which are similar to Devonian Helderberg fossils I've found at sites in Schoharie County in Upstate New York. Some are the same species while others are similar, but different. The brachiopod, Atrypa reticularis is common at the New York sites and especially abundant here. Since I already had plenty, I promised myself I wouldn't pick up anymore, but a few were too hard to resist:

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Edited by Jeffrey P
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Then there were all of these Orthid brachiopods, especially Discomyorthis:

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And Rhynchonellids:

 

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Edited by Jeffrey P
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Leptaenas are my favorites from there. The best ones I have are from this site:

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