Jump to content

I & M Canal Corridor Association MAZON CREEK Trip


Recommended Posts

Today I had the pleasure of attending I & M Canal Corridor Trip to collect on the "actual" Mazon Creek (River) in Morris, Illinois. I believe that this is the 11th year for this trip, which is held on Saturday and Sunday on a 400 acre farm that has access to the river. This is the first time that I have participated in this trip and thanks must go out to Rich @stats for letting me know about this trip last year. In January of this year Rich contacted me again to let me know that the sign-up for the trip was on line, so on 1-6-20 I sent my payment of $150.00 in and reserved my space. Some of you may question the $150.00 payment for this trip when you can collect out at the pits. First off, the money goes to support the I & M Canal and at the end of the day there are drinks, hors d'oeuvres and then dinner, which includes steak, chicken or pork chops, plus vegetables, corn on the cob and dessert. (Social Distancing was in place).

 

We all met around 12:30 pm and the lecture started around 1:15 pm. The collecting started around 2:20 pm and we collected until 5 pm, which was plenty of time. When we arrived back we had dinner and sat around to talk until about 8 pm and then I headed out for the 1 hour drive home.

 

Prior to the collecting portion, there is a nice informative talk given on the history of Mazon Creek fossils, what to look for and also some displays so the participants can visualize what they are looking for and what they might find. There were also a number of Fossil Forum members present and I will let Rich tag those members since I forgot their Forum names.

 

I will start off with a few pictures of the pre-collecting time of trip.

 

 IMG_1082.jpg.8753dd136f2f9608b7b70a0923e4b536.jpgIMG_1099.jpg.8c498c73b968df81da7c93d6459f9289.jpgIMG_1101.jpg.4f1d6d296e6299b14d26b26b7ed0dca8.jpgIMG_1103.jpg.b26fcd37110cbe0bba1ee4a2211ee7e9.jpgIMG_1107.jpg.6f7df794e4baa94b9b6997c67865d976.jpgIMG_1108.jpg.de8907d64187061c73ccbf4dda6c4f83.jpgIMG_1090.jpg.be9d3dba4effaa7577abed5de3007f90.jpgIMG_1091.jpg.7e53979b069ae45bb375241a1c79161e.jpgIMG_1092.jpg.46476b7c717c0f4eb19ebd859a7f43b9.jpgIMG_1093.jpg.2cef5739df271b6836c35ae43a80f4e0.jpgIMG_1095.jpg.815e8b02a4ecc7c12902c705c869c2aa.jpg

 

There were 3 dogs that were running around the property and I could not stop petting them.

 

IMG_1084.jpg.0a1f3679706feb5986919f46e93b75b0.jpgIMG_1088.jpg.a3c8660da7de5fdde68133a5d09711cf.jpg

 

 

Some pics of us driving to the collecting site-

 

IMG_1112.jpg.d1e8171f1ba73ac01174e89fd12dd3fb.jpgIMG_1119.jpg.cda8ec0a2344b28af65416db1af34657.jpg

 

 

The walkway to the river.

 

IMG_1162.jpg.03b8bc9368fc359d011809b782b302c4.jpg

 

 

Here are some pictures of the creek area.

 

IMG_1125.jpg.9582a3d401dec980a60431a7d0a96862.jpgIMG_1128.jpg.29df2b649db7f9da08dc11149c991127.jpgIMG_1133.jpg.18fd6358585592ab90f14a227c8848eb.jpgIMG_1134.jpg.0a498620e02600317f315028313c90e3.jpgIMG_1140.jpg.88967f9c0356eef9efd69e66717be8e8.jpgIMG_1145.jpg.74f547bed87d7f46f1496ab57a27e69d.jpgIMG_1149.jpg.9842dedf6505820814e086edb5dc7d67.jpgIMG_1150.jpg.5b3bc90102ec9aa1953cf3285b48049a.jpgIMG_1158.jpg.f93e42aad7b04fd391ce0d9d4f0c8f22.jpgIMG_1169.jpg.5de99037e1dda9370296c1b7c9b60077.jpg

 

 

Continued on next post.

 

 

  • I found this Informative 13
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some pictures of concretions and open pieces of flora that I found.

 

IMG_1148.jpg.0cca24f5f7766137e7a4b8b2b6206441.jpgIMG_1157.jpg.56ca69ab05d2b1d98220b803a07c9536.jpgIMG_1161.jpg.493fb1cc938782ba1d0290b49aefccab.jpgIMG_1171.jpg.be178d553f5a2fd54ec625a24433a257.jpgIMG_1178.jpg.ba46095096b24311ae07d47b7394e283.jpgIMG_1153.jpg.9b7267da9ac2f8e136bfe53bf8420413.jpg

 

IMG_1132.jpg.5775f4ba91fd0c1ffea8402f8017f872.jpgIMG_1137.jpg.01365ebb479a0b7f07975bf0a2a1191b.jpgIMG_1142.jpg.9309a1d4515fc4c2d1a56d82e4aaa26d.jpgIMG_1144.jpg.a7fa66444e12cabaf7e9276bb58b6e3c.jpgIMG_1152.jpg.4838ccda4c0c2727b18d651ea344b5f5.jpgIMG_1155.jpg.add3741ff86051f822b05641db1db4b1.jpgIMG_1160.jpg.a5b2cfb522fe8980a70bcf3110e6667f.jpg

 

Here are the concretions that I found, many of them have very nice shapes and hopefully will contain something nice.

 

IMG_1175.jpg.76382381b39d7a45a7fe9c595be8504f.jpgIMG_1174.jpg.14ae256f6a99f46b3518705e5bbd17e0.jpgIMG_1176.jpg.77b5994b3fc22f5085efd09b59abbcaf.jpg

 

 

Here is a nice millipede portion that one of the participants found in the water.

 

IMG_1183.jpg.c7ace8af1c255b2105ae06d081f8fab8.jpg

 

Wrap up of the collecting portion.

 

IMG_1179.jpg.a035dd1199b2849f42c6c2df8da18775.jpgIMG_1181.jpg.d243f0a4554ffe8069279fa62b97e392.jpg

 

 

Continued on the next post-

 

  • I found this Informative 16
Link to post
Share on other sites

After trip festivities-

 

Rich @stats and his lovely wife.

 

IMG_1185.jpg.deb0b9e8e16e296e6b981d5d3c24088e.jpg

 

IMG_1188.jpg.07e93fe63cca9df1646969f9545dfbcb.jpgIMG_1191.jpg.4ebbecad4341b8efeb577779ce78cff7.jpgIMG_1192.jpg.4e6cb3639a7e41d7d2519a408a9da713.jpgIMG_1195.jpg.36b22a9a3774791a35d7c281166ee957.jpgIMG_1196.jpg.557d985d7d888e54768f5700cb0cf93f.jpgIMG_1198.jpg.03cfb091540bef301ccd5eba0ff67826.jpgIMG_1199.jpg.4eacfca6adad2623301cac45c911f583.jpgIMG_1200.jpg.fbd99e8295d5faab634d4fcf1146df19.jpgIMG_1202.jpg.829dc49ce2720a4f2693a5822c08dbcc.jpgIMG_1204.jpg.5cc417e8a6e11153dc78fd81dd79d8d9.jpg

 

This was really a great time to spend 7 hours and I plan on doing it again, especially if you have never collected on the river.

 

Lastly, I want to thank Rich and ESCONI for the copy of Jack Wittry's @fiddlehead  new book, if you do not have a copy, you should get one, things are updated, it is very informative and the pictures are great.

 

IMG_1207.jpg.682bce192f4afee8e763e0cd844645d3.jpg

  • I found this Informative 14
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this was one of the prettiest places I've collected at before.

IMG_9267.jpg.a5d00885e636aad30a36f2437ac25add.jpg

 

Warm weather, crystal clear water, tons of fish and other critters. Not something you see in the suburbs.

 

IMG_9265.thumb.jpg.e115e99e07fe1aaecee72edd45f62e86.jpgIMG_9276.jpg.537afaf9ed7a18b106eab47d1a617273.jpg

IMG_9259.jpg.3a355491c4e1ef0ad9d678179a7d5ac2.jpg

 

I don't know where else you can collect nice big flora specimens anymore, so the price tag was well worth it for me.

IMG_9278.thumb.jpg.58d85751a1f9571a1934dbe6aca04a7d.jpg

  • I found this Informative 14
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like a great way to spend a day. Good thing that there is still access (if only via a private property owner's permission) to the river, if all the mine areas are to be overpicked and/or overgrown eventually.

I don't remember if I asked before, but do you ever find fossils in the regular shale there, even if they are more crumbly and hard to recover intact, or do they pretty much only occur in concretions?

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing finds and great pictures! Thanks for the photo tour. It looks great out there. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like you had a perfect day yesterday, Ralph!  You had sun, great food (at least it looks like it was great!), and fossils - I am very :envy:

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossildude19

Great report Ralph!

Thanks for putting this together.

Looks like a great time had by all.  :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

don't remember if I asked before, but do you ever find fossils in the regular shale there, even if they are more crumbly and hard to recover intact, or do they pretty much only occur in concretions?

I did not at this location, but other locations I have and yes they were crumbly and did not hold up well and eventually fell apart.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Monica said:

It looks like you had a perfect day yesterday, Ralph!  You had sun, great food (at least it looks like it was great!), and fossils - I am very :envy:

Yes Monica, the weather was beautiful, the river temp was warm, the food was tasty and the company was great.

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

Great report Ralph!

Thanks for putting this together.

Looks like a great time had by all.  :) 

Thanks- it was fun and I would guess that there were at least a couple thousand concretions collected in total by the participants.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, looks like it was more than worth it in the end after all. 

Great report as usual Ralph. :)

And lovely to see people acting responsibly. 

Whack it or freeze/ thaw? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nimravis, as always, great write up!  I love this trip for the collecting, the food, and the conversations afterward.  I'm not sure of everyone from the forum that was there, but @Roby@bigred97, and @flipper559 were definitely there.  That was about my 5th or 6th trip.  @Roby has been there more.  It's great to see some of the same people every year!

 

I collected some good shapes and hopefully there will have some fossils in them.

 

Here's part of an insect that someone found.  Too bad it was tumbled a little bit.

IMG_20200829_190242.thumb.jpg.ee5bd8cedf9ebdc9837323106b470387.jpg

 

Nice multiple frond fern.

IMG_20200829_174542.thumb.jpg.53ef0779fd20ccd02097909d344eac90.jpg

 

Truly a beautiful spot!

0415182232.thumb.jpg.3e0e9340a5d307e7fdfd6f26a8fdf3ba.jpg

  • I found this Informative 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Wrangellian Here’s a small fern from the shale itself I collected yesterday. The shale turns to mud really quickly so it’s tough to get anything decent from it, especially along a river.

9B8A29E7-3BDD-4957-BFE8-A29C48841281.thumb.jpeg.22bb8d9c60a28601b5de1e4cb5d69c21.jpeg

  • I found this Informative 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

Looks like a great way to spend a day. Good thing that there is still access (if only via a private property owner's permission) to the river, if all the mine areas are to be overpicked and/or overgrown eventually.

I don't remember if I asked before, but do you ever find fossils in the regular shale there, even if they are more crumbly and hard to recover intact, or do they pretty much only occur in concretions?

Here is a piece that I found in my bucket from yesterday, and yes they fall apart.

 

43EE5F5E-6D92-4DA5-849B-B4AF8F00DB66.jpeg.481d7e4c2b31576db38ef9cdb9c4c1f9.jpeg

  • I found this Informative 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the vast majority of the better looking concretions that I picked up yesterday, I will freeze thaw these over the winter.

 

85B41A33-7969-4883-81E8-43FAF2130570.jpeg.95ce4721ed9a816db7b49ee5eb448516.jpeg
 

 

This cute little piece broke open on the drive home.

 

46C05F8A-4CB8-470C-94C3-F7C8F7E8BBC1.jpeg.ed3d3e6f083dd2e890c07f86360ddd33.jpeg

  • I found this Informative 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark Kmiecik

I found that the ones from the creek don't need too much freeze/thaw to open them. Those who have collected the creek before know this, but for those who collected there for the first time you might want to let them dry for a week and tap them with a hammer to see how many open. Then soak the rest for a week and begin the freeze/thaw process. The concretions in the creek have already experienced a few(?) freeze/thaw cycles over the winter(s) prior to being collected, and so they have a "head start", depending of course on water levels which do tend to be lower over winter.

 

P.S. -- How deep was the water? Were you able to collect from the "holes"?

  • I found this Informative 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

How deep was the water?

The water was super shallow. Most areas no more than a couple inches deep. The land owner said it was the lowest he’s seen it in a while.

  • I found this Informative 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing, all! I swear next year will be the year I finally get up there for this trip, it looks like an absolutely lovely time.

  • I found this Informative 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

P.S. -- How deep was the water? Were you able to collect from the "holes"?

Mark, like @connorp said, the water level was very low, but the deeper portions were probably 2 feet deep.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, connorp said:

@Wrangellian Here’s a small fern from the shale itself I collected yesterday. The shale turns to mud really quickly so it’s tough to get anything decent from it, especially along a river.

 

7 hours ago, Nimravis said:

Here is a piece that I found in my bucket from yesterday, and yes they fall apart.

I guess you're not used to carrying glue around if you're focusing on the conc's, maybe the fossils are relatively not worth it, but I'm used to stabilizing fragile shale fossils with thin superglue or paraloid solution, but of course the rock needs to be dry.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

I found that the ones from the creek don't need too much freeze/thaw to open them. Those who have collected the creek before know this, but for those who collected there for the first time you might want to let them dry for a week and tap them with a hammer to see how many open. Then soak the rest for a week and begin the freeze/thaw process. The concretions in the creek have already experienced a few(?) freeze/thaw cycles over the winter(s) prior to being collected, and so they have a "head start", depending of course on water levels which do tend to be lower over winter.

 

P.S. -- How deep was the water? Were you able to collect from the "holes"?

Great advice, Mark!   I do tend to let them dry out.  Quite a few open pretty quickly, but not all.  I hope to be freeze thawing into December like last year.

 

Holes in the bank or in the bottom?  There are some banks that collect quite a few.  You can see and pop some concretions right from the river bottom.  Ralph posted a few pictures.

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

Here are some new openings from today.  These were not mine.  I'll post more pictures after cleaning some up and as they open via freeze/thaw.

IMG_20200830_173415.thumb.jpg.ea6a8e9c0bca8d3ffa51cc1836b09679.jpgIMG_20200830_173518.thumb.jpg.3633f04c521a398e7d91bf1423e64c57.jpg

 

  • I found this Informative 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks like a fun trip.  Thanks for the report.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I tapped all the unopened ones I collected and had about 20 split. Out of those, only one was blank. Some were unidentifiable debris, but ~19/20 having some fossil is certainly a far cry from Pit 11. Here are my better finds so far.

IMG_1.thumb.jpg.e17044acee4aef3e71c66ad6d6d28356.jpg

IMG_2.thumb.jpg.c10505f676db43e916eae744733118d8.jpg

  • I found this Informative 8
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.

×
×
  • Create New...