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xonenine

Little Falls Ny

45 posts in this topic

A few highlights from the terrific trip Michelle and I made to Little Falls NY, where we met Tim and his son, Scylla and his two boys, and later Mikeymig and his clan joined us as well. The trip started at a picturesque bridge where Scylla/Gus initiated us to the subtleties of collecting the area, which I believe is Ordovician...

we started out with some promising looking limestone which yielded some fine Brachiopods for myself, and later some large isotelus bits. Gus' boys had me enthralled as they made find after find, and discussed them excitedly.

next we started splitting the shale which Gus again pointed out to us, and after a slight detour, headed up the creek, proper.There were numerous graptolites, straight cephalopods, and some gastropods as well as a few triathurus pygs and cephs. I latched on to a massive graptolite plate or two early on, and was thrilled w these, they are comprised of several layers that I will split again in a few weeks....more fun. :)

It was great meeting Gus and Mikey, and Tim was the real driving force behind getting us all together, thanks Tim!

Tim and Gus discuss a find

myself looking for shale to split

post-4577-0-69524200-1374376058_thumb.jpg

post-4577-0-54928600-1374376065_thumb.jpg

post-4577-0-58848000-1374376072_thumb.jpg

Edited by xonenine

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...also a couple of my favorite pieces of quartz from the trip :)

post-4577-0-38760500-1374376417_thumb.jpg

post-4577-0-06265300-1374376453_thumb.jpg

post-4577-0-34065100-1374376456_thumb.jpg

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What?!? Ordovician.... there goes the neighborhood! :P Congrats on a fun Fossil-Fest!

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What?!? Ordovician.... there goes the neighborhood! :P Congrats on a fun Fossil-Fest!

thanks Scott, I was so excited to be out of the Devonian for the first time since my move to Buffalo, it was just shameful :)

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Glad to see you had a fun trip in good company and you had plenty of shale

to choose from! Good fossils too. I love hunting places like that.. It's very scenic

too.

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Well, it was a great trip, despite several setbacks. :)

My son, Aidan, and I were on track to be at the site by about 8:30 am, when the monkey wrenches started to hit!

To begin with, I had a blowout on the NYS thruway, about 40 minutes from the site. Had to change the tire (after emptying the trunk of cooler and fossiling gear.) Got it changed to the spare donut in about 15 minutes, but had to double back to Albany for a new tire. Or 4. :wacko:

(The whole tire incident threw me for a loop, and I regretfully never even got my camera out of the car. :blush: When you have limited time to hunt, you end up forsaking certain things.)

So, two hours and 4 new tires later, we were back on the road, and met up with the gang on Creek Road around 10:45 am.

Gus and his kids are the nicest people, and his kids are fantastic fossiliers. They did not stop the entire time, and Gus was great, bringing loads of rock back to the car for them. His sons were very knowledgeable about what they were finding, and had eagle eyes on the ground and rocks at all times.

Carmine I already knew, :D but it was nice to get to meet his girlfriend, Michelle. It was a new experience for her, as she was more used to surface collecting devonian spots of Western New York, and so shale splitting was a different experience, altogether. Unfortunately, the Utica shale is not as fossiliferous as the Windom shale!

Here we found a crew working on the road, as it had been damaged by recent floods, and access to the main fossil site (down the road a ways) was blocked off by heavy machinery. You can see alot of debris stuck up under that bridge - and flood damage was visible on the other side for about 100 yards from the top of the creek bank.

Carmine and Gus wisely chose to hunt the immediate area. We persevered, though, and were able to hunt under the bridge, and the other side of the creek not too far from the bridge.

The bridge had limestone blocks underneath it (that had been transported and put there by road crews) that were filled with Isotelus trilobite parts.

That was the good news. The bad news was these blocks were some type of dolostone, and very, very hard to break up, and extract fossils.

We decided to try to get to the main site, as they were letting some local traffic through. No dice! But we were able to spot shale beds in the creek, accessable from the other side of the creek. We decided then and there to get across, and hunt that area.

The trilobites were elusive, - we found some cephalons here and there, but they were sparse. More commonly found were some nice graptolite plates, some gastropods (I think,... not sure) and orthocone cephalopods. Some of these were pyritized.

At this point, around 1:30 pm or so, MikeyMig and his crew showed up. :)

Mikey is a great guy, and if you get the chance to hunt with him, I highly recommend it.

We spent the afternoon, hunting the far side of the creek, and made some cool finds. There were several large orthocones found by Gus and Mikey, and carmine found a graptolite plate that was as big as a dinner table!

Gus's kids were eagle eyed powerhouses, and found some nice trilo bit plates.

Around 4:30 or so, Mikey and Carmine decide it was time to hit the road. We spent a few minutes discussing the day and saying good bye. My son and I stayed with Gus and the kids for about another hour, and then made our way home - with a thankfully uneventful trip. :)

All in all, a nice meet up, despite some obstacles and the shyness of the Triarthrus trilobites.

I have yet to take pics of most of my finds, but I will include a few here:

These black shales are not the best to be able to photograph, but here ya go.

Graptolite - Climacograptus sp? You can make out the thecae and stipe.

post-2806-0-96734400-1374407525_thumb.jp

Graptolite and gastropod:

post-2806-0-91609300-1374407532_thumb.jp

post-2806-0-10317300-1374407517_thumb.jp

More to come.

Thanks to all those who showed up. :D

We'll have to do it again.

Thanks for looking. :)

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More pics:

Unidentified Brachiopod:

post-2806-0-12919300-1374411072_thumb.jp

Slab with inarticulate brachiopods, graptolites, and an unidentified gastropod.

post-2806-0-27307700-1374410956_thumb.jp

Unidentified gastropods or coiled cephalopods? Not sure.

post-2806-0-71985800-1374410964_thumb.jp

post-2806-0-10532500-1374410973_thumb.jp

post-2806-0-63729900-1374410982_thumb.jp

And some Triarthrus cephalons.

post-2806-0-40168300-1374410992_thumb.jp

Regards,

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I'm glad you all had an enjoyable fossil hunt and wish I could have been there. You had a little too much adventure for one day, though, Tim. Glad you made it. Little Falls is such a beautiful area. My wife and I got to collect there last year. I really did want to meet up with all of you. Next time, hopefully. I spent that day with family in Boston and did get the chance to visit Harvard's Museum of Natural History, which was terrific.

You found some awfully nice graptolite slabs, that big one is awesome, and I love the one Tim found with the gastropod too. Thanks for the report!

Mike G

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Mike,

Sorry you couldn't make it - but as I said, the trilos were fairly scarce, and the actual locality inaccessable. Probably will be for some time. :(

Yes a bit too much adventure for my taste. :P

Well here are some more pics of our finds.

Graptolite slab:

post-2806-0-60559200-1374439779_thumb.jp

Unknown gastropod :

post-2806-0-93909300-1374439805_thumb.jp

Unknown: Gastropod or coiled cephalopod?

post-2806-0-55401700-1374439837_thumb.jp

Unidentified orthocone cephalopod:

post-2806-0-56210800-1374439886_thumb.jp

More to follow...

Edited by Fossildude19

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... Continued ...

Unidentified - maybe bryozoan or sponge?

post-2806-0-12208800-1374440073_thumb.jp

Tiny Triarthrus cephalon:

post-2806-0-02022800-1374440106_thumb.jp

Slab with trilo- bits and unidentified gastropod:

post-2806-0-37335400-1374440147_thumb.jp

Piece of an Isotelus perhaps? Maybe pygidium?

post-2806-0-29018200-1374440199_thumb.jp

a few more to follow ...

Edited by Fossildude19

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And the last few...

a nice little cephalon of Triarthrus:

post-2806-0-83561100-1374440288_thumb.jp

Strophomenid brachiopod?

post-2806-0-19091700-1374440337_thumb.jp

Unidentified pelecypod:

post-2806-0-83744800-1374440363_thumb.jp

Another unidentified brachiopod:

post-2806-0-88572500-1374440404_thumb.jp

Hopefully Gus and Mikey will chime in with some of their finds.

Thanks for looking.

Regards,

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Fossildude,

The "gastropod" in your post #9 might be a coiled nautiloid, Trochlites, that shows up in these shales from time to time. The evolute form is suggestive, but unfortunately it seems the preservation isn't good enough to see the ornament that would clinch the matter. In shale, these nautiloids are always very flattened and suture lines can't be seen, but they do show up in more three-dimensional specimens from limestones.

The more involute coiled shells are gastropods, possibly Sinuites, though again preservation is an issue.

The orthocones are often identified as Geisonoceras, but I don't personally know why they are assigned there and not, for example, to Michelinoceras. All my specimens are flattened, so examination of internal structures is problematic, although the earlier growth stages may be a bit 3-dimensional and show sutures.

Don

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Thanks for that, Don. :)

I appreciate your comments and ID's.

Regards,

Edited by Fossildude19

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Glad you guys had fun! I wish I could have gone.

Carmine: those are some nice leptaena brachs you got (as far as I can tell from the pics!)

Tim: awesome peclyopod! and killer graptolite!

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thanks Mike, thanks Jim, that was my first thought as well - Leptaena, but I have no experience outside of the Devonian :)

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Thanks, Jim. :)

I was initially disappointed with the trilo take, but am glad I found a bunch of other things to make up for it.

Regards,

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Nice finds guys and looks like a wonderful location!!!! Some fabulous fossil hunters (and their cute fossil loving offspring) all together finding great specimens... ;) Success.... :D

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Looks like you all had a great time. Field trips with kids are usually a blast!!

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post-3451-0-60523800-1375298241_thumb.jpg

The site with sheets of shale and kid for scale.

The amazing thing is that this trip happened at all with people's work schedules changing at the last minute, Lyme disease, lost tools(some of mine), blown out tires, closed roads, and disappearing donut shops to name but a few obstacles the fossil gods unleashed upon us. The site we were aiming to hunt was closed off due to construction, but the site we stumbled upon was a good substitute. Tim, Carmine and Mikey all brought good fossilling partners along. I was pleased Tim's son was able to come and that he was so polite and enthusiastic. It gave me hope that I may avoid the pitfalls of teenagehood with my little fossilers. Michelle was hitting the rock like an old pro in no time. My biggest regret is that by the time Mikey showed up I was toast from hauling all that rock back to the car in the sun so that I really didn't get to hunt with him as much as I would have liked. I'll post some pics of our finds soon.

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Looks like a fun and productive outing. I like that ?bryo/sponge, the grapto with stipe and the orthocone. It's whetting my appetite to get up to my local site (not Ordo alas, or even Paleozoic, but still fossils). I'm on my way now!

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Sorry I've been away and I couldn't get a sunny day to photograph our finds. Here is a coiled and uncoiled cephalopod to start:

post-3451-0-36722200-1377575078_thumb.png

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