Jump to content
Shamalama

Was At St. Clair Today And Got Some Great Material!

Recommended Posts

Shamalama

Went up to St. Clair today and man did I make out well. Found an old pit someone had dug and, after moving some overburden, got down to good rock. The layers I was working were about 6" thick and bounded on the top by barren rock (possibly a paleosol) and the bottom by a layer of decorticated tree trunks. In between was fern heaven dominated by Alethopteris and Neuropteris. I did find a couple of Pectopteris pieces and some Calamites branch sprouts but that was about it for diversity. Over 100 lbs of rock hauled back to my car in two trips. Here are some pics that are the tip of the iceberg of what I found.

One of my piles of keepers.

post-1408-0-96398800-1414277974_thumb.jpg

post-1408-0-58206300-1414277978_thumb.jpg

post-1408-0-95812100-1414277980_thumb.jpg

post-1408-0-55155400-1414278025_thumb.jpg

More in the next post...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shamalama

Trigonocarpus seed

post-1408-0-94719800-1414278058_thumb.jpg

post-1408-0-77185200-1414278060_thumb.jpg

My best plate, 12" across

post-1408-0-06727900-1414278062_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shamalama

Another keeper pile from later in the day

post-1408-0-76782300-1414278145_thumb.jpg

A slab that I brought home to split some more.

post-1408-0-25887600-1414278143_thumb.jpg

My work area

post-1408-0-45013000-1414278147_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Raggedy Man

Looks like someone had an awesome day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sixgill pete

Very Nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roz

Beautiful! I think it would be hard to beat the ferns that come from St. Clair!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
howard_l

Looks like you found a regular forest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wrangellian

That is quite a haul! Looks like it is tough to dig out sizable chunks to split there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Plantguy

Oh, man. Great finds! I was in a phosphate pit today....andI found some vert stuff but its just not the same!

Thanks for sharing the photos!

Regards, Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeffrey P

Congrats Dave on an exceptional haul. St. Clair still yields an incredible amount of awesome fern material, but your finds represent a really great day. The Neuropteris frond at the bottom of the first post is one of the best I've seen. Question is; where are you going to store all of that stuff? Anyway, you've got me pining to return. Best wishes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossildude19

Great finds, Dave!

Your legendary shale splitting skills served you well.

Thanks for posting these fantastic finds.

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fossilized6s

Very nice haul! That St.Clair stuff with the contrast of colors is amazing! Some of those slabs would look great framed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pagurus

Thanks for showing off some of your great finds, Dave. I know how hard you worked for them. I feel a little sorry for your poor car though, not to mention your back. Ouch. Worth it though.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shamalama

Hey guys, Thanks for all the comments.

Pagurus - Yes, my back is a little sore today. Looks like I found my weight limit!

Wrangellian - In some places it can be tough to get a sizable chunk out. Where I was mostly involved pulling the 4' of debris off the top layers and the rock was fractured enough to pull out slabs. Heck, there was a family that came down from Ottawa to collect and they were getting some good slabs out too from a different spot. One just has to dig and split and hope you get a good layer.

Jeff - Lucky for me I have an unfinished attic to store all my finds and I expanded it when I put an addition on last year. Still, I have to parse through boxes from time to time and cull out the so-so stuff. I wish I could have found that Neuropteris frond intact to the tip. Fist time I have found them with the pointed leaflets intact on a frond. Usually I just find the short rounded leaflets.

Couple of site photos

On the trail to the site

post-1408-0-65021600-1414334973_thumb.jpg

One of the main collecting areas

post-1408-0-38011600-1414334975_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malcolmt

You made out like a bandit.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
erose

My favorite fall foliage: Pryophylite White.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nala

Wow!So many great finds!and a great collecting area also ! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wrangellian

Looks kind of like my local go-to spot except the trees are a little more stunted/thinner!

Wrangellian - In some places it can be tough to get a sizable chunk out. Where I was mostly involved pulling the 4' of debris off the top layers and the rock was fractured enough to pull out slabs. Heck, there was a family that came down from Ottawa to collect and they were getting some good slabs out too from a different spot. One just has to dig and split and hope you get a good layer.

Do people have to fill in the holes they dig, and if so, is it obvious where you should dig to find 'virgin' ground where the chunks are closest to the surface?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lissa318

Holy cow!!!! Way to go!!! Looks like you took tons of beautiful pieces home with you! The white on black is stunning. I'd be framing some for sure. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shamalama

Looks kind of like my local go-to spot except the trees are a little more stunted/thinner!

Do people have to fill in the holes they dig, and if so, is it obvious where you should dig to find 'virgin' ground where the chunks are closest to the surface?

Trees are stunted because of lack of fertile (or in some cases ANY) soil. No requirements to fill in holes and this is something of a boon for other collectors. find a hole where others have been digging and look around for cast off pieces. I left behind some pretty nice pieces because of weight and I already had so many. Once you find a good spot it's a matter of time and hammering to get the slabs out. The area is heavily faulted so finding large intact blocks can be tough. Even then the rock can range from very hard to more easily splittable depending on localized pressure and heat variations (presumably) and weathering. Below are pictures of micro faults running through a portion of the site.

post-1408-0-96146200-1414451264_thumb.jpg post-1408-0-26274500-1414451267_thumb.jpg

post-1408-0-96312400-1414451268_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
squali

That's a lot of work Dave with a worthy outcome.

I haven't been there in almost 20 years but am thinking time has come. Hopefully we'll have a milder winter.

Thanks for posting

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wrangellian

Trees are stunted because of lack of fertile (or in some cases ANY) soil. No requirements to fill in holes and this is something of a boon for other collectors. find a hole where others have been digging and look around for cast off pieces. I left behind some pretty nice pieces because of weight and I already had so many. Once you find a good spot it's a matter of time and hammering to get the slabs out. The area is heavily faulted so finding large intact blocks can be tough. Even then the rock can range from very hard to more easily splittable depending on localized pressure and heat variations (presumably) and weathering. Below are pictures of micro faults running through a portion of the site.

I see what you mean. My local stuff is badly fractured too, and I'm dealing with more 3D fossils, It's got to be easier to collect 2D fossils in such material than 3D ones..

Trees: also less rainfall and maybe harsher winters might have something to do with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
traveltip1

jackpot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stocksdale

Great stuff. I really want to get there at some point in my life.

Alethopteris really dominates this late Carboniferous forest.

Has there ever been any research as to what percentage of fossils are alethopteris at St. Clair?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sue in ohio

Nice finds Dave!! I miss collecting in PA..gonna have to make a trip home next spring/summer and hit up all my old sites...NY too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×