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The quintessential hill country experience (October 14, 2023)

Jared C


On Wednesday, I got a text from Lee of an incredible discovery he made. I rushed off with in a multiple hour drive to assist his dig, ultimately spending two days working together on his find until we were both exhausted. He'll tell that epic, still unfolding story when he's ready ;) 


The last day of that dig though, I made it home well into the night, looking like a swamp monster covered in plaster and mud. I took a brief shower, woke up the next morning bright and early with plaster still in my hair, and loaded the car buzzing with energy. 


Pita and I were to drive out west to see the solar eclipse, putting ourselves right in it's path. The Texas hill country can be a wild place- broad swathes of limestone canyonlands and valleys, full of interesting extant wildlife and millions of years of early Cretaceous gems. It was a beautiful way to see a rare astronomical event.




Some phone pics of the event below. The blacked-out photos are how the eclipse appeared through the special eclipse glasses (essentially pieces of X-ray paper in a frame)




Dung beetles were rolling horse manure everywhere we went




Herpetofauna of course. Usually while I'm hunting, Pita frolicks about looking for local herps



On the way back home the next day I spotted a roadcut that I was willing to try. I've tried small roadcuts a couple times before, and I've always been skunked. We hoped our odds would be different. Mapped as upper-glen rose limestone, I didn't have high hopes, since I knew the really productive Glen rose member was the lower unit.


Little did I know I was actually about to embark on a sea urchin bonanza of my wildest dreams. 




From nearly off the bat, Loriola? showed up in force:









Other fossils showed up as well, such as this: Algal fruiting body?




There were also some larger Tetragramma bits lying around here and there



Early on, I saw a beautiful complete Coenholectypus gracing the exposure too. This will be a nice prep project:




at home:



So, a good show from the upper glen rose, a lovely weekend of solar eclipses, rolling hills, unusual animals and amazing fossils concluded!


Wishing y'all good times in the field,


Edited by Jared C

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