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FossilNerd

Don’t worry newbie, collecting sites are all around you!

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Mark Kmiecik

As a youngster I found most of my fossils in parking lots, on gravel roads, beaches and creek banks in Illinois. Actually found a pretty good assortment of species. Had close to a hundred specimens by the time I hit high school, some of them quite impressive corals and crinoids. 

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caldigger

You know what you would have if you collected in parking lots around Here?

A pocket full of rocks!

Most are filled with decomposed Granite. :(

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Wrangellian

I think it depends on the area you live in, like caldigger says.

There are some roadcuts around here that can produce, but you might need to spend 1/2 hour to an hour to find anything, and by then most kids would be discouraged (bored). That and the fact that most kids are into dinosaurs and there ain't no dinos in this place! (despite it being the right age)

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FossilNerd

I agree. Your location has a lot to do with what you can find and where. Kentucky used to be on the sea floor many moons ago so we have a lot of fossilized sea life.

 

i just wanted to point out to newer people that fossils may be easier to find than they might think, at least in certain areas anyway.

I can’t walk up someone’s driveway, or walk by their landscaping without picking up a rock or two to examine. Drives my wife nuts! 

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Wrangellian

Ha! Tell her to get used to it.

That area in the Central/Midwestern US is littered with Paleozoic fossils, it must be hard not to find anything there. Over here I have to play Vulture and keep an eye out for newly disturbed shale areas that I can access to find fossils, and if I am too late, the other vultures will have already cleaned up the easy pickings.

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caldigger

Eric, watching the highway crew widen the road.

20190610_185156.png

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JohnBrian

Back in July or August of 2015 I drove from my home in Bakersfield, CA, to Nebraska for a week. We then drove to Bloomfield, MO. Along the way we stopped at a McDonalds in western/central St. Louis, mostly so I could get out to stretch my legs and have a smoke. I found a couple of fossil bits--- a Spirifer and something else-- laying in the gravel parking lot behind McDonalds. I also noticed some orange colored boulders lining the edge of the parking lot. One was filled with trilobite parts and other ancient sea creatures. I didn't dig them out of the rock and since it was busy I didn't go inside seeking permission. I even forgot to take photos :DOH::DOH:. Driving on from there I noticed many roadcuts along the freeways that were the same color as the rocks in McDonalds but I never found one that had anywhere to park! Fossils are where you find them--- even in the middle of a city!

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FossilNerd

I think she could get used to me picking up the occasional rock, but not our 4 year old. He likes to pick up every neat rock he finds to bring it home for me to examine. Most are not fossils, but sometimes he gets lucky. On occasion he will literally come home with pockets full! It makes me smile (and more than a little proud :) ), but I can just see him stopping every 5 seconds to pick up a rock and her trying to get him moving. Cussing me under her breath. :default_rofl:

 

I do feel lucky to live in the area that I do. At least for fossil hunting. I tend to take it for granted that fossils are not as prevalent in other areas.

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Wrangellian
8 minutes ago, FossilNerd said:

 but I can just see him stopping every 5 seconds to pick up a rock and her trying to get him moving. Cussing me under her breath. :default_rofl:

LOL, you've corrupted him!

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Wrangellian
35 minutes ago, caldigger said:

Eric, watching the highway crew widen the road.

 

Yeah, except it's usually like I said - I'm too late. Last time they widened a road near me it was probably a month before I drove by it and noticed, and I discovered that someone had already gotten there: As a poked along, I found the impression of an ammonite on the bedrock with chisel marks around it!  I think other locals might be more like vultures than me. This is right in my neighborhood, too.  :angry: GRRR

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FossilNerd
16 minutes ago, JohnBrian said:

Back in July or August of 2015 I drove from my home in Bakersfield, CA, to Nebraska for a week. We then drove to Bloomfield, MO. Along the way we stopped at a McDonalds in western/central St. Louis, mostly so I could get out to stretch my legs and have a smoke. I found a couple of fossil bits--- a Spirifer and something else-- laying in the gravel parking lot behind McDonalds. I also noticed some orange colored boulders lining the edge of the parking lot. One was filled with trilobite parts and other ancient sea creatures. I didn't dig them out of the rock and since it was busy I didn't go inside seeking permission. I even forgot to take photos :DOH::DOH:. Driving on from there I noticed many roadcuts along the freeways that were the same color as the rocks in McDonalds but I never found one that had anywhere to park! Fossils are where you find them--- even in the middle of a city!

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when a person or place has a fossil and they don’t even know it?! Or worse, maybe they do know it, but don’t appreciate it. Ive seen many local businesses here have large rocks for landscaping, or parking barriers, or whatever, that are just full of fossils. Similar to your McDonalds example.

A lot of people here like to use fossiliferous limestone as yard decor. Just full of brachiopods, crinoids, and everything in between. I just want to scream sometimes! 

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FossilNerd
8 minutes ago, Wrangellian said:

Yeah, except it's usually like I said - I'm too late. Last time they widened a road near me it was probably a month before I drove by it and noticed, and I discovered that someone had already gotten there: As a poked along, I found the impression of an ammonite on the bedrock with chisel marks around it!  I think other locals might be more like vultures than me. This is right in my neighborhood, too.  :angry: GRRR

Dang Wrangellian! That’s no good! It’s always aggravating when someone gets there before you. Especially in your own backyard! 

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Herb

FossilNerd,  I live in Louisville, what part of KY do you live in? I can tell you some locations.

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Macrophyseter

Here in Palos Verdes, the most common locally natural rock is Monterey Fm. shale and can even be found littered in the yards of many houses due to its past popularity as house decor. These shales commonly hold bits of fossil fish scales (and others) which can easily be split with a hammer and any chisel-like tool. Quite literally you can find fossils in your backyard. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that fossil-hunting doesn't seem to be a very popular activity here.

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Wrangellian
3 hours ago, FossilNerd said:

Dang Wrangellian! That’s no good! It’s always aggravating when someone gets there before you. Especially in your own backyard! 

More or less.. it is a busy secondary road, so it's not surprising, but irritating for sure - not knowing who took it or what they did with it (I hate to think of all the unsavory possibilities). Even more irritating, and shocking even, was about 10 years ago when an ammonite was stolen right out of our wheelbarrow while my dad and I were just around the other side of the shale pile up at my usual site! I get the impression fossiling is a dog-eat-dog world. Probably not another fossiler, most likely just some sticky-fingered kid walking through, but still...

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FranzBernhard
6 hours ago, FossilNerd said:

A lot of people here like to use fossiliferous limestone as yard decor. Just full of brachiopods, crinoids, and everything in between. I just want to scream sometimes! 

Understandable, but no need to scream?

What about tracking down the source, and select and buy the best boulder directly at the source?

Franz Bernhard

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Yoda
14 hours ago, FossilNerd said:

Don’t worry, fossil collecting sites are all around, and may be easier to find than you might think!

 

I wish it was this easy for me :envy:

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FossilNerd
8 hours ago, Herb said:

FossilNerd,  I live in Louisville, what part of KY do you live in? I can tell you some locations.

Hello Herb. Nice to meet you! I live in Elizabethtown, but grew up in the Bardstown area (so most familiar with those areas) I visit Louisville from time to time to see friends, take the wife shopping, etc. 

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FossilNerd

Not my best photo, or specimens, but I did promise a pic of some of the things I had found in driveways and landscapes. Hard to take good pictures or hunt through your collection with kiddos pulling at your legs! Hahaha

0BBA6556-3BAC-455C-AD68-AD8AFC87CE0D.jpeg

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Herb
11 hours ago, FossilNerd said:

Hello Herb. Nice to meet you! I live in Elizabethtown, but grew up in the Bardstown area (so most familiar with those areas) I visit Louisville from time to time to see friends, take the wife shopping, etc. 

Try the low road cuts on Veterans Prky near the housing platt road entrance for Mississippian corals. and the third to the  last road cut on the left side of 313 going to I-65

SR 313 Mississippian site.jpg

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FossilNerd
14 minutes ago, Herb said:

Try the low road cuts on Veterans Prky near the housing platt road entrance for Mississippian corals. and the third to the  last road cut on the left side of 313 going to I-65

Thank you very much Herb! I drive down 313 all the time and have been eyeing a few spots near the one you mentioned. I have hunted on one road cut on 313, but it was closer to the 31 (Dixie Highway) side. It produced a few crinoids and some brachiopods if memory serves me correctly. Not very much, but it was a good day out with my brother. He is into gems and minerals, so we go out together and play in the rocks from time to time.

 

Haven’t paid much attention to Veterans Parkway, but I’ll definitely check it out now.  Thanks again!

Edited by FossilNerd
Clarification

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CSimpson176

Good to see some fellow Kentuckians on here! I live in Northern Kentucky, about fifteen miles south of Florence. Haven't had the opportunity to look around the Louisville/E-Town area.

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Herb

Contact me if you are going to be in the Louisville ,KY area and if possible we can get together and collect some Ordovician sites.

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