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Fossil Seed Ferns (Alethopteris Sp.) From St. Clair, Pa


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Fossil seed ferns (Alethopteris sp.). 300 m.y.o. St. Clair, PA. 185mm.



One of the coolest fossil hunting experiences I’ve had. The amount of detail preserved in these fossils is incredible—some appear as if the leaves had just fallen! Exploring this area was like being transported back in time. Looking at a fossil like the one pictured here, it is not difficult to imagine the ancient carboniferous swamp coming back to life.



For me, fossils are all about stress relief; a sobering—yet comforting—reminder of how briefly we are here, and where our priorities should lie. When I feel overwhelmed, it is relieving to recall how petty our day-to-day struggles are in the grand scheme of things. Life goes on.



-Zach



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Tender, dewy, cool green fern fronds, 300,000,000 years old...

A contemplative exercise in perspective :)

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Very nice fern plate. And it has some interesting colors for St. Clair material.

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terrific photography also Zach, thanks for posting it

Carmine

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cool! Where's it from?

St. Clair is about an hour northeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and about two hours away from Philadelphia :)

Reese

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Another excellent photo, Zach!

Thanks for posting it.

Regards,

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crabfossilsteve

Yes, that is one beautifully taken photograph with that black background and low angle lighting that accentuates the texture of the ferns.

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thanks! took some experimenting to get the lighting just right.

Edited by z10silver
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Nice. Some nice alethopteris, part of a macroneuropteris scheuchzeri, and some neuropteris ovata.

We are planning on making our first stop at Saint Clair during a Spring Break trip. I'm getting psyched.

That wikipedia page needs some additional info, I might have to see what I can do about that :)

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Stocksdale, thanks for the additional ID's. Any recommendations on some good plant fossil books?

-Zach

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I found a PDF of the "Fossil Plants from the Anthracite Coal Fields of Eastern Pennsylvania"

A zip file that contains the PDF can be downloaded from http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us.

Here's a direct link.

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_016425.zip

All of the examples in that publication either come from Saint Clair or a slightly younger formation in Wilkes-Barr.

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smokeriderdon

My son and I have been there twice. We love the site. Great fossils. This is just a small part of the area...

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And pieces like these are fairly easy to find...

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Definitely worth it if you can get there.

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Congrats. That's a great piece of shale there, Zach. Not every piece from St. Clair has specimens that well preserved and your photograph displays them well. Glad to hear you had a productive trip.

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  • 1 month later...
exasperatus2002

I'm planning to go up there after we thaw out. Anyone interested in going? I've never been there before but a coworker has and I love the collection he acquired there.

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I have to say also "great photo!"... I wish I knew how to set up for pics like that, but it's always trial and error (and no room and awkward positions)

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