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KimTexan

Cepholopods and concretions of the Britton Formation

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KimTexan

Oops forgot to mention the killdeer nest in the middle of the concretions. I thought it looked cool.

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Tidgy's Dad

It does look cool! :)

Very interesting report as usual and those baculites nodules are great. 

Some of the other stuff is very interesting and intriguing too! 

Look forward to seeing the next part! :popcorn:

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Darktooth

Nice report glad you had a good time.:)

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Heteromorph

Nice site! I always like to see Britton fossils. There is such a wide variety in it.

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KimTexan
37 minutes ago, FossilDAWG said:

Looks like you found a sweet outcrop of the Britton Formation.  The baculitids are Sciponoceras gracile, a zone marker for the early Cenomanian if I recall correctly.  The Britton is one of my favorite formations, as it is a great source of a variety of ammonites and decapods (crabs and lobsters/shrimp).

 

Don

No spoilers. I'm getting there.

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Innocentx

Interesting how the killdeer will lay their eggs right out in the open among the rocks. Their babies are the cutest.

 

Glad to hear and see you had a good hunt.  Looking forward to more photos from here.

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WhodamanHD

Great report! Nothing like doing a little exploring and coming back with some smashing fossils!

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Fruitbat

Great report, Kim!  Gee whiz!  For some bizarre reason, I seem to recognize that place! :D'

 

-Joe

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RJB
9 hours ago, KimTexan said:

began to find more fossils now that I knew how to look for them.

 

Hey Kim, you can be an expert fossil hunter, and then go to a new site and have to learn again what to look for.  Nice report.

 

RB

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Pemphix

Thank you for the nice report !

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Peat Burns

Nice finds. Thanks for posting.  :dinothumb:

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ynot

:thumbsu::popcorn:

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KimTexan
13 hours ago, RJB said:

 

Hey Kim, you can be an expert fossil hunter, and then go to a new site and have to learn again what to look for.  Nice report.

 

RB

I so get that. The same formation may present a completely different way. Each location has to be figured out. I had been hunting at a particular place two times. Back in November I took a more experienced fossil hunter than I and watched how he hunted the place. I learned a lot and found completely different and better fossils than I had found there the two previous times, just watching how he hunted the place. He had not even been at the local before, but he had hunted similar places and just knew how to hunt.

The NSR is one of my favorite place to hunt. I have been there many times, but I am still trying to figure the place out. That place will be teaching me its secrets for years to come.

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goatinformationist

Bigger hats and more water next time please. No such day as what you were expecting in Texas this time of year.

 

Okay, and maybe I squealed a little bit too when I saw your hash plates.

 

Great reporting, thanks.

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KimTexan

I kept looking at the pic of the circular concretions and I had a burning curiosity to go back out there. Also, when I had set foot in the creek the time before I had seen and embankment down the creek that looked really interesting, which I wanted to checkout, but ended up leaving before I reached it due to the heat. 

There was rain in the forecast for Wednesday night that week, so I determined that I needed to go back out during the week. I headed there after picking up my daughter and going to the regularly scheduled visit to Braum's on Wednesday after school for ice cream with my kids. Wednesday is ice cream day. We have been going every Wednesday for a few years now. Wednesday is my daughter's favorite day of the week due to ice cream and time with her mom and brother.

Anyway, I headed out there and arrived around 6:00 PM. I had never made it home so I was still in my scrubs, but I had my favorite boots in my trunk. I put my boots on and took the road out to the creek. I got to the place where I had sunk in the mud last time. I thought I knew where to step so as to not have another M&M (muddy moment). It had been 4 days since I was there and it had been hot and dry so I thought the mud would be less. Boy was I wrong. I took my first step to cross the little stream of water and started to sink. If you saw my post about my boots, sorry for the duplication, but I'll repost part of it here.

You have to look closely at the middle right hole in the mud, but here is my boot sunk in the mud. It is obviously without my foot in it after I tried to pull my foot out and the boot stayed. You can see my previous step above it.

27C9FF1E-9B6D-4725-A4CB-05B19360D36A.thumb.jpeg.2a893888d826f6f5d8743dad2448b353.jpeg

I intentionally left my other foot in place for the photo. You can’t even tell, but the foot that’s still in the boot is completely covered and sunk in the mud about 10 inches deep. My leg and where the side of my foot and boot would be are in the pic, but all you can see is mud. I love the adventure of it!!! I think it’s so fun to go out and do stuff like that. Yep, I’m a little crazy in love with nature and the outdoors. I’m out there by myself laughing out loud at how comical a sight I must be and loving every minute of it.

Anyway, I pulled my boot and other foot out of the mud. My other sock was covered in mud too. I didn't want to put it in the boot so I took my sock off and put it in my bag. You could say I started off on the wrong foot in the mud, but I was not deterred. 

I went to the spot where the circle of concretions was. I couldn't see anything. They were so weathered and flat if anything had been there it was weathered away. Since I was there I decided to check out the area some more. As if I wouldn't!

I walked around picking up interesting concretions and more baculite fragments. Then I came upon this little ammonite. Squeal! I was so excited to find an ammonite out there. I'd seen a number of fragments, but they were so fragmented you couldn't tell what they were. I kind of think it looks like a Menabites danei, but I don't think the Britton has Menabites. I think the Britton has possibly 5 species of Metoicoceras irwini, M. whitei and M. gibbosum, and Placenticeras  but I have never seen a Metoicoceras and need to work on figuring out which it may be. I have worked on removing the concretion matrix and have made some progress, but it needs more work still. The other side looks to be in very good condition from what I can see. It appears to still has the shell on it.

IMG_7347.jpg.8f7f99c3d28b71ad27a3de0a92d99cb4.jpg

It appears to have pyrite disease or something. The center of it has eroded away on one side at least. Not sure about the other side yet since it is covered in matrix still.

IMG_7350.jpg.17aeb4fc126c3fe539d8f3c2412a4f2e.jpg

 

I looked around a bit more and found more interesting concretions that I put into my bag. I suspected they had something inside of them.

I also found this fragment of a larger ammonite, probably one of the species of Metoicoceras  ammonites.

IMG_7353.jpg.e86125ebca35fd4ce09c32b2bc9aec31.jpg

 

Many of the concretion were covered with a thick layer of grayish white precipitated looking substance. Some just looked like a film, but I found a few where you could see the crystallization. I believe it is calcite. I thought it was pretty cool looking. This is a zoomed in shot.

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I found a few more clam fragments as well. This is one of them with parts of both valves side by side still attached.

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Rain was forecasted for the evening. Initially it was very calm with an occasional breeze, but it was almost 8:00 then all of a sudden there was a strong gust of wind. I was preoccupied with the stuff I was seeing, but then the gust turned into a sustained strong wind and I could hear thunder off in some dark clouds that were headed my direction. I began to pick my way back. Thunderstorms can get nasty around these parts. I have watched straight-line winds blow down trees in my yard and other places old oak trees, because of the severity of the winds. I did not want to be out there in that kind of wind. Also, I did not want to be out in the rain. The creeks are known for their flash floods in the area. The clay doesn't adsorb the water so the water accumulates rapidly. Plus it would be sunset in about 30 minutes and I didn't want to be out in the dark.

 

I made my way through the mud without incident and out of the creek and up onto the road. If you remember there was an embankment on one side. It blocked the wind so that I couldn't even tell that it was blowing, but I knew it would rain soon so I needed to get back to my car. However, I got distracted taking pictures of flowers and the scenery. Plus my bag was heavy and taking pics helped me have a rest from my bag. Here are a few of the scenery shots I took. Some I took on the way in too, but thought I'd save them for the last for those who don't enjoy the scenery as much as the fossils.

I am not sure how I got this effect with the tree, but if you look at the top of the tree there is a shadow image of the tree over the top of the tree. The tree is perched on the edge of a creek and the roots are eroded. I thought it looked kind of cool.

IMG_7331.jpg.ce8fcb747148b0685643cdb39bc8df2e.jpg

 

It is basically summer here. It is getting hot and staying that way, but we still have flowers blooming. Many are quite small. I don't know what this is, but it looks a bit like baby's breath.

IMG_7366.jpg.b26d589de072702a41644a79c4f2dd45.jpg

Not sure what this is, but I recently spent a long time pulling a bunch of it up out of my yard. It didn't have the flowers on it though.

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Some of the wild garlic that is in bloom.

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Some yellow daisy type flower. It has a spider web on it, but I didn't get the spider focused.

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The yuccas are in bloom. This one had a single spike. Another had 2 spikes with the flowers opening up.

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I made it back to my car just in time. It started sprinkling after I got in my car. I headed home and began working to remove the matrix from the ammonite.

 

I had been in touch with @Fruitbat aka Joe. We had met for dinner earlier in the week. I have him some of my carboniferous plant stuff that I had found. We agreed to go hunting on Saturday. I'll post that trip next.

Sorry there are not more fossils. I think they are all trapped in the concretions.

If anyone has some suggestions on how to remove the  matrix more quickly please let me know. I'd love to just dip them in something and be done with matrix removal. I can dream about it.

 

IMG_7335.jpg

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FossilDAWG

I'm envious that you have yourself a nice exposure of the Britton to collect.  I said before that it is one of my favorite formations, which is true despite the fact that I got to collect it only once, at the Lewisville Dam spillway, and that was only for two hours and under the constant surveillance of a rather bored Army Corps of Engineers guy.  I also won an auction of Britton material from Boneman a few years ago.  I have wondered the same thing as you, about how to clean that ironstone concretion off the fossils.  The only thing that sort of worked for me was to use an Exacto knife or scalpel and slowly scrape/flake off the matrix.  Boneman actually sent me an Exacto knife with my auction winnings, and it was clear he didn't have any other tricks to suggest.  I found one specimen of a very spiny ammonite encased in ironstone, and I am waiting until I have a proper set of pneumatic chisels and air abrasive before I try to clean that one.  I agree it would be wonderful to have some magic solution that would dissolve the concretion and leave the fossil, but if that exists I don't know about it.

 

Don

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Monica

Great finds, Kim!  Love the Baculites :wub::wub::wub:

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Innocentx

Very cool!, Kim. The blue flower is a gentian, I believe. Beautiful place.

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KimTexan
14 hours ago, FossilDAWG said:

 The only thing that sort of worked for me was to use an Exacto knife or scalpel and slowly scrape/flake off the matrix.  Boneman actually sent me an Exacto knife with my auction winnings, and it was clear he didn't have any other tricks to suggest.  I found one specimen of a very spiny ammonite encased in ironstone, and I am waiting until I have a proper set of pneumatic chisels and air abrasive before I try to clean that one.  I agree it would be wonderful to have some magic solution that would dissolve the concretion and leave the fossil, but if that exists I don't know about it.

 

Don

The spiny ammonite sounds very intriguing!! Do you know what kind it is? Was that a personal find? How big is it? Would you be willing to share a pic? That way I’ll know what to look for when I’m out there. 

I have a set of diamond coated Dremel saw blades for my rotary Dremel tool. I use them for cutting rocks to get most of the stuff off before I start using my other tools. 

I also have a set of stainless steal carving tools and a set of sharp tipped picks that I got from Harbor Freight, both combined for under $9.00. Sometimes I use my diamond tipped bit set to take off matrix when it’s too hard for the other tools. I use them manually or with the Dremel. I found a set of 50 on Amazon for $16. Some are very tiny and fine engraving tips that work well for fine detail on my echinoids. I’m sure a pneumatic air abrasive type tool would work better though.

Gotta go my lunch is up.

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KimTexan
11 hours ago, Monica said:

Great finds, Kim!  Love the Baculites :wub::wub::wub:

One of the fragments I found has a beautiful coppery to dark bronze patina to it. This picture doesn’t do it justice. It makes it look a lot lighter and silver almost, but it is copper like with the mother of pearl or ammolite appearance in copper.

If you’re ever in Dallas look me up and I’ll try to take you out hunting for baculites.

D21B8124-F068-4EE7-9844-D9D69A8CE173.jpeg

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KimTexan
5 hours ago, Innocentx said:

Very cool!, Kim. The blue flower is a gentian, I believe. Beautiful place.

Thank you. Thanks for the flower name too.

I will look it up in my native flowers of Texas book. I have 2 of the books. The larger, more extensive book is still packed in a box somewhere since I moved.

I don’t have enough bookshelves to unpack all my books. I need taller bookshelves or another one. Before I moved I had books stacked 2 deep on one of my bookshelves. I didn’t want to go back to that. I worked in a library 2 different times. So I love books especially reference, science and natural history type reference books.

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Innocentx

Nice bit of nacre on that last baculite.

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henpecked

Always enjoy your adventures, nice pictures.

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