Larsa

North Sulphur River Directions Please?

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Ok I know its in or near Ladonia but I dont see a single river on google maps. I also have no clue where we would need to drive to get there. I wanna go there and fossil hunt with my BF so I can finally find a darn mosasaur tooth or at least a vert. I need some cool Texas fossils!!! Thanks : )

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go up 34 about 5 minutes north of Ladonia and you will intersect the river.

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Larsa...

There are a number of bridges over the Sulphur River that you can visit. For me...from the Dallas area...it is easiest to take I-30 East to Greenville and take Hwy 34 N through Wolfe City and on to Ladonia. Continue N on 34 until you reach the bridge over the river. Another bridge that is often productive is at Ben Franklin. You can take FM64 East out of Ladonia to Pecan Gap. From Pecan Gap...take FM128 East to Ben Franklin and take FM38 out of Ben Franklin to the bridge. Yet another popular bridge is South of Paris on Hwy 19/24. There are a couple of routes you can take from Ben Franklin if you want to hit this one as well. Get yourself a decent Texas road map and you shouldn't have any trouble finding these bridges.

Good luck!

Joe

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Ah cool thanks guys! Bridges are good. I do have a few questions if thats ok...

Are there any gators or venomous snakes in/ near the river? ( cant risk loosing my man! )

Are cephalopod and mosasaur fossils found everywhere around the entire river or specific areas only? ( example: my luck at post oak creek lead me to only one good spot for teeth and other cool fossils but millions of common lopha oysters are found litterally everywhere in creek!)

Also, what specific Cretaceous formation is this?

Edited by Larsa

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Search the gravel bars and the ozan where it is exposed. Look for the red chunks of ozan with black phosphatized nodules in them. You never know where you may find fossils at the NSR.

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Also, what specific Cretaceous formation is this?

The Sulphur River drainage basin is Upper Cretaceous /Gulfian and lies within the Taylor Group

which consists of the;

Ozan fm = Ko

Wolf City formation =Kwc

Pecan Gap chalk =Kpg

Marlbrook Marl =Kmb

You can type any of these formations in your web browser and get detailed descriptions on each.

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Had a feeling it was Ozan. Thanks guys! Seriously are there any water moccasins, copperheads, or rattle snakes? :S

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Had a feeling it was Ozan. Thanks guys! Seriously are there any water moccasins, copperheads, or rattle snakes? :S

I have seen a few moccasins down there but the are few and far between. Just stay alert on your way down into the river and you should be fine. The river is quite large and you shouldn't have any problem down there. If you want moss material I would suggest the 34 bridge just north of ladonia. You will see the parking area on the left as you cross the river. Look for what we call the red beds down in the river bottom. You'll know it when you see it. Good luck.

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there are venomous snakes pretty much everywhere in texas right now. it's the time of year they are very active.

but the biggest threat around waterways is drowning. i know two people drowned in my area within about the past week. i'd seen a report that two others were missing in a waterway and never saw a follow-up regarding their status.

storms, high winds, and flash-floods are the things i worry about when i go out, but when my pre-departure weather analysis seems sketchy, i don't go out.

lately water hasn't been a problem. i haven't seen any rain in like four months.

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Tracer, your post brings to mind advice that I was given about the North Sulphur River years ago as well as an experience we had there. The advice is, if it looks like it is going to rain to the west of your location, get out of the river. Several years ago I was leading a DPS field trip into the NSR and it started raining to our west. Still dry where we were but raining westward. I had a group of about 10 people in the river. Somebody (can't remember the gentleman's name) found a turtle pelvic girdle. It took him a little while to dig it out and while we all watched the water kept rising. When he was finished there were no gravel bars left. We were pretty lucky to get out without losing anyone, but had to scramble up a pretty steep bank to do it.

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Ooh thats kinda a scary story vertman, nothings as scary as getting caught in a rising river! No fossil should be worth the risk of your life. If the fossil has waited 70 million years or so it will be still there in the river (somewhere) waiting. Darn snakes ruin all the fun- I should prolly go when it gets colder or with a large group. DPS huh? Ive wanted to join them for 3 years now and since I now live in Texas I can! I dont think I can go to their meetings because the drive to Dallas is crazy even from McKinney. I would absolutely love to got to NSR with the DPS. Do you have to go to their meetings to go on the trips?

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Ooh thats kinda a scary story vertman, nothings as scary as getting caught in a rising river! No fossil should be worth the risk of your life. If the fossil has waited 70 million years or so it will be still there in the river (somewhere) waiting. Darn snakes ruin all the fun- I should prolly go when it gets colder or with a large group. DPS huh? Ive wanted to join them for 3 years now and since I now live in Texas I can! I dont think I can go to their meetings because the drive to Dallas is crazy even from McKinney. I would absolutely love to got to NSR with the DPS. Do you have to go to their meetings to go on the trips?

For most of the trips you don't have to be a member. I have seen more snakes in local creeks though than at the river.

Larsa, you can also join without going to any meetings. Lots of people live too far..

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:) Just tossing in my 2 cents to help.It always pays off in the long run to belong to a local club.Not only for the field trips,but also for the years of knowledge amassed such as our club.For Snakes :startle: carry a walking stick with you.You can use it to toss the snakes[or smash them if needed]also to help sturdy your footing when needed.Hope this helps. :D

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Ok I know its in or near Ladonia but I dont see a single river on google maps. I also have no clue where we would need to drive to get there. I wanna go there and fossil hunt with my BF so I can finally find a darn mosasaur tooth or at least a vert. I need some cool Texas fossils!!! Thanks : )

Larsa,

If you're looking at satellite view on Google Maps, look for the big , white line just north of Ladonia.It looks more like a highway than a river. As you zoom in,you'll see a few puddles . The river was pretty dry when the images were taken.

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Ok Larsa, you asked about snakes in relation to the NSR. Here are two examples from today out there. Not trying to scare you into canceling a trip out there, but it is the season for them to be out and about. The first pic is of Water Moccasin that I manipulated for a photo OP. The second pic is of a harmless water snake that in appearance and behavior is trying to present itself as it's dangerous counterpart,the Water moccasin. Note the flattened out head and overall puffy appearance of the water snake. That's because I cornered it and it was trying to say in body language"Don't Mess With Me". Also note the round pupils of the water snake, a Water Moccasin will have Vertically Elliptical pupils"like a Cat" whereas most of the harmless snakes in N.America will have round pupils.The only venomous snake in N.America that I can think of right now that doesn't have Elliptical pupils is the Coral Snake. With this being said, the Sulphur river basin is very open and you can see very well in most areas.Just be careful when walking through tall grass and places where foot placement is obscured.

Here is the Venomous one

post-417-0-68336100-1304643568_thumb.jpg

And here is the harmless one

post-417-0-40315100-1304643648_thumb.jpg

Let me also add this;

I would be happy to be you and your boyfriends guide for the day if you would like...

Edited by CreekCrawler

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Creekcrawler...

Did you actually snare that cottonmouth on the Sulphur? In all of the times that I've been out there I've seen PLENTY of Nerodia (harmless but obnoxious water snakes) but NEVER an Agkistrodon! Was it in the main river channel or one of the side tributaries? That's really WILD!

-Joe

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Great photos, Barry.

"Manipulated" is an understatement for how I've seen 'CreekCrawler' exercise extreme caution around venomous snakes. There's a story about that on The Forum somewhere. Anyway, another characteristic of Agkistrodon is that stocky body and much narrower tail, as opposed to the tapering body and tail of other Texas water snakes.

Ok Larsa, you asked about snakes in relation to the NSR. Here are two examples from today out there. Not trying to scare you into canceling a trip out there, but it is the season for them to be out and about. The first pic is of Water Moccasin that I manipulated for a photo OP. The second pic is of a harmless water snake that in appearance and behavior is trying to present itself as it's dangerous counterpart,the Water moccasin. Note the flattened out head and overall puffy appearance of the water snake. That's because I cornered it and it was trying to say in body language"Don't Mess With Me". Also note the round pupils of the water snake, a Water Moccasin will have Vertically Elliptical pupils"like a Cat" whereas most of the harmless snakes in N.America will have round pupils.The only venomous snake in N.America that I can think of right now that doesn't have Elliptical pupils is the Coral Snake. With this being said, the Sulphur river basin is very open and you can see very well in most areas.Just be careful when walking through tall grass and places where foot placement is obscured.

Here is the Venomous one

post-417-0-68336100-1304643568_thumb.jpg

And here is the harmless one

post-417-0-40315100-1304643648_thumb.jpg

Let me also add this;

I would be happy to be you and your boyfriends guide for the day if you would like...

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of all the means i've seen of people trying to keep everyone else away from a good fossiling site, planting a bunch of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes there is the best.

but you got the "photo op" backwards. should have handled the nerodia and not the a. piscivorus. what if a horsefly had landed on your nose and you'd instinctively slapped at it without letting go of the ouch-worm?

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A bit of trifling, but technically Ringnecks are venomous but totally harmless to humans. They're just too small, and I've never known one to even attempt to bite.

Sorry for getting off topic.

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A bit of trifling, but technically Ringnecks are venomous but totally harmless to humans. They're just too small, and I've never known one to even attempt to bite.

Sorry for getting off topic.

Bullsnake;Another venomous snake in N.America would be the Hognose. They actually are rear fanged and secrete a mild toxin in their saliva.It was originally thought that they use these fangs for toad popping,but there is no evidence to support that.

Joe; The Agkistrodon was crossing a trail on the upper bank leading out of the Sulphur at the 904 bridge. Here are two pictures of it before capture.

post-417-0-54610500-1304687045_thumb.jpg

post-417-0-00549300-1304687074_thumb.jpg

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...another characteristic of Agkistrodon is that stocky body and much narrower tail, as opposed to the tapering body and tail of other Texas water snakes.

The quick-taper in this one is quite exaggerated because it's a female ;)

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I was aware of the rear fangs, but not of any toxicity. That's interesting also that there is debate about the function, I thought the toad popping was logical, but I don't doubt your expertise. I love Hognoses. I had a friend give me one one time (wild-caught) and woke up one morning to find a clutch of 22 eggs. 18 hatched. Too many baby frogs to catch, so back to nature they went.

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I was aware of the rear fangs, but not of any toxicity. That's interesting also that there is debate about the function, I thought the toad popping was logical, but I don't doubt your expertise. I love Hognoses. I had a friend give me one one time (wild-caught) and woke up one morning to find a clutch of 22 eggs. 18 hatched. Too many baby frogs to catch, so back to nature they went.

I think Hognoses are a really comical looking snake. The Eastern subspecies is quite dull in appearance compared to the Western.The Westerns can be quite beautiful and breeders have produced albino forms that are just too cool. I also like the Patchnose,Shovelnose, and Leafnose snakes.

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I've always liked the rear-fanged North American snakes. I tried for YEARS to find a live example of the Texas Lyre Snake out in the Big Bend area without success. I did find one DOR (Dead On Road) at the top of the 'big hill' on the River Road for those of you familiar with the area. I also really like the Night Snakes (Hypsiglena) which are also rear-fanged and common as dirt in southwestern Texas.

-Joe

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I could go on and on about snakes. Another passion of mine, but I don't breed them. I have a poss. het whiteside Pituophis, he's my buddy! Fostering an anery Kenyan Sand Boa for my niece. I'll post pics in the 'pets' thread soon.

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