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Caleb

Trilobites Don't Mind The Rain, So Why Should I

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Caleb

A few times a year one of the rock clubs I belong to are allowed access to a typically closed quarry in Iowa. This was the second trip this year and I was bound to go. The forcast througout the week just kept getting worse. It started with mostly cloudy, then 30% chance of rain and by Friday it was 90% chance of rain and thunderstorms. I didn't expect many people to show up but apparently this club is a little more hardcore than I had expected. I arrived in the rain about an hour early at the quarry gates and there was already a car there. By the time everyone signed the liability waver and did a final count before entry there were 23 of us crazy souls ready to get wet and muddy for the sake of fossils and minerals.

The quarry is in the Devonian aged Little Cedar Formation. Naturally, I was there for trilobites and other fossils, but many people come to this quarry to look for minerals. One of the more unusual minerals that can be found is Millerite, a fibrous mineral that forms in Calcite voids. While I was focused on trilobites, I did manage to stumble across a very nice geode full of Millerite and Calcite crystals. It was in a massive and very very hard boulder so I went at it with a 14lb sledge and got out what I could. I gave one chunk to a fellow member who was very very thrilled and kept another chunk for myself. In an unexpected turn later that day, he gave me a very nice prone Eldredgeops norwoodensis.

My chunk of Millerite:

post-3840-0-55201000-1346072795_thumb.jpg

I didn't keep any sort of trilobite count at the quarry, but if I had to guess, I would say I collected about 20 complete bugs. I also left a few ugly ones and gave a couple good bugs away. Despite the rain and the mud, it was a great time. We started collecting in the rain at 9 and the rain finally stopped at 4:00... the time we were scheduled to leave.

A couple of the bugs, more to come as I get them washed off:

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A very damp me;

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A view of the quarry. The rocks on the very bottom of the qarry are pretty void of fossils, but are good for finding minerals.

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Edited by Caleb

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trilobiteruss

Cool that reminds me of a quarry just east of Waterloo that you could find inverts, fish and the geodes with all kinds of minerals in the bugs-- again Cedar Valley.

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Empty Pockets

I forget the name of the club but we joined up one year and took the whole family, probably to this same quarry. We found a few bugs and some minerals but not near as good as you did.

Where's your hardhat Caleb? LOL They were required at the quarry we visited.

Edited by Empty Pockets

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Caleb

I forget the name of the club but we joined up one year and took the whole family, probably to this same quarry. We found a few bugs and some minerals but not near as good as you did.

Where's your hardhat Caleb? LOL They were required at the quarry we visited.

It was in the trunk, for some reason they don't require them at this one. They do require one at the Klein quarry, a few miles away though, that may have been the one you were at. I was probably there too!

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Northern Sharks

Personally, I love fossil hunting in the rain, as long as it's not a torential downpour. The water helps to highlite the fossil better against the rock, not to mention washing off any blast dust. Great finds as always

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squalicorax

Nice fossil hunting beard caleb!

Love those millerite fossils.

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Caleb

Personally, I love fossil hunting in the rain, as long as it's not a torential downpour. The water helps to highlite the fossil better against the rock, not to mention washing off any blast dust. Great finds as always

Agree, the bugs do stand out wonderfully when wet. And being in a quarry in the rain is much better than in extreme heat, which this time a year are the only two options.

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Caleb

Nice fossil hunting beard caleb!

Love those millerite fossils.

Thanks, the beard helps slow down those razor sharp pieces of rock that shoot off when I'm breaking out a trilobite.

I wish I could have gotten more of the Millerite. The geode went about 3 more inches into the boulder, but there wasn't a way to get the rest without destroying the rock, and myself in the process. The hard part was making sure it didn't get wet in the rain. If those fibers get wet, they clump together and there's not much that can be done to get them apart again.

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Shamalama

That is a beautiful Millerite specimen you found. As delicate as the crystals are I'm surprised they survived your hammering. The Trilobites are nice too. ;)

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jpc

NIce report, caleb. I'm not much of a mineral fan, bvut that millerite is pretty cool. And of course... nice triobites to add to the collection.

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Crinoid Queen

Nice Pics Caleb! Great finds :) If it is just a little sprinkle I don't mind either. I am reminded of a very rainy April day hunt undertaken by Matt Cable and I. We were soaked to the bone and freezing our tooshies off! But is was worth it on both accounts :) Cheers on your successful rainy day hunt!

-CQ

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Caleb

NIce report, caleb. I'm not much of a mineral fan, bvut that millerite is pretty cool. And of course... nice triobites to add to the collection.

Thanks, I go for the trilos myself and normally just point out mineral specimens to people who may be interested. The millerite will be my first and likely only mineral specimen I keep on display.

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Caleb

My father has been working on getting some of these finds prepped, so here is one of the better ones roughed out. A little more scribe work and a blast with the air abrasive and it will be ready to put in my display.

Before and after pics:

post-3840-0-22232400-1350508452_thumb.jpg post-3840-0-59310600-1350508463_thumb.jpg

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Roz

Congratulations on another successful hunt! You must have hundreds of fantastic trilobites

in your collection by now..

I love that mineral! It's amazing how fragile it looks.. It's a wonder that it survived..

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Missourian

Nice bugs, and I appreciate the quarry pics.

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Quarryman Dave

  1. Great pics and finds! congrads

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evren

Nice trip! Congrats on the bugs and millerite.

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astron

Wonderful report, pics and finds!!!

W.t.g., Caleb!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Fossildude19

My father has been working on getting some of these finds prepped, so here is one of the better ones roughed out. A little more scribe work and a blast with the air abrasive and it will be ready to put in my display.

Before and after pics:

post-3840-0-22232400-1350508452_thumb.jp post-3840-0-59310600-1350508463_thumb.jp

Wow! Nice triple bug! :drool:

Great report and finds!

Regards,

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