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A Little Pit 11 Mazon Creek Collecting 3-19-21


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Nimravis

Today I decided to take a Personal Day today and head down to the cooling lakes and do a little fossil collecting at Pit 11, I was only out for about 2 1/2 hours.

 

The day was cool, 37 degrees and with a 13 mph wind, it made the “feels like” temp 30 degrees. Luckily, I was collecting in a bowl like depression at the top of a high ridge, so I did not feel the wind and I only needed a light hoodie to stay warm.

 

Pit 11 is no way near what it use to be. Back then there was no vegetation and the concretions were easily found. After the reclaiming of the land and reseeding, it has made this collecting a real jungle. The area that I was collecting today is an area that I will not collect in the Summer. By that time the leaves will be on the Flora and the ticks and other insects will be out. It is not so much the ticks, but when all of the leaves are on, you can not see the ground and maneuvering around makes it extremely difficult.

 

Here are some pictures of the area that I was collecting today.


I parked my car on the road near the parking lot for Monster Lake.

 

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A pic of my car, taken on top of a hill.

 

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Collecting area-

 

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8EC2A0D2-9404-4ED6-B7AB-1CE99FFBB7BD.thumb.jpeg.8c6ef3d02a7cb42aa04c3f4aad976fef.jpeg

 

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Yes, it is rough to collect at this spot, but that is why I like it. The harder the spot is to get too, the less likely people hit it.

 

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Nimravis

Here are some of the concretions that I found in situ today.

 

047C7607-7557-4ED1-B792-6B51B3693446.thumb.jpeg.5a17a39740c51c682aa44ca485e95f7c.jpeg

 

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20190F7D-0FFA-4366-B109-B2FBE7E3392A.thumb.jpeg.97a466ad3f663226df534f583787bc8d.jpeg

 

8466FFD7-5B06-4B34-96C9-2656AEE914CD.thumb.jpeg.95d068fd6251ce3e94d6e034552ffa50.jpeg

 

EE98833A-23E9-474C-B507-7E6CF6415195.thumb.jpeg.4171960662c9dd2593253b8859afa630.jpeg

 

2583D771-F04F-4306-AD64-1C03877862BB.thumb.jpeg.31e24ab0bc1fff15ca706ed51647e6f0.jpeg

 

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E95D505F-DD4B-422C-863B-5E578A538313.thumb.jpeg.4481ddd0255fd8f6b857d1ca740bd01b.jpeg

 

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Nimravis
Posted (edited)

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Here is a picture of the Nuclear Power Plant.

 

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On the way home I stopped at the Fossil Ridge Library in Braidwood to see if they still had fossils that were given to them by my Fossil Mentor Walter and other collectors. They display was no where near as big and many of the fossils were gone, but many remained. If you ever pass by, you should stop in.

 

E9928015-B63E-4B23-8FCC-EEED5EF72DF1.thumb.jpeg.153368122cb9791a30c9c565f11a0d2f.jpeg

 

Here are a couple pictures.

 

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Edited by Nimravis
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connorp

Nice report! Hoping to get out there this week, the weather is going to be pretty nice finally.

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flipper559

Great report @Nimravis !! I hope to get out there again on Sunday. I have been 6 previous times this year. And the ticks are out already !!

 

Good luck to you too @connorp !! Find a bunch !!

 

  Phil

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Nimravis
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the info on the ticks, I did not see any, at least, not yet. :unsure:

Edited by Nimravis
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Wrangellian

Interesting to see what you're up against. Not too many other places does a person show just the concretions, before they're opened! But it seems like there are still quite a few to be found. When do you stop collecting, when you only find one or two in that amount of time?

(btw I think you duplicated a few photos there)

 

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Nimravis
1 hour ago, Wrangellian said:

Interesting to see what you're up against. Not too many other places does a person show just the concretions, before they're opened! But it seems like there are still quite a few to be found. When do you stop collecting, when you only find one or two in that amount of time?

(btw I think you duplicated a few photos there)

 

I believe you are tight about the duplicates, I think at the end, but am not positive. I tried to delete them, but they kept coming back.

 

As far as the number of concretions, I believe I found about 20-25. In my opinion, that is not too bad at this time in the collecting of Pit 11. Ant type of complete concretion fro Pit 11 is a keeper since something real good might be inside. But it is discouraging, if as you mentioned, I would only find 1 or 2. Even today, I was hoping for more, and the amount of work that went into getting the ones I found today is a lot. That is why I envy the collectors that walk the beach’s or creeks for shark teeth, mosasaur verts, etc. At least with that type of collecting you go home knowing that you found something. Me on the other hand, I just went home with some concretions that may or may not have anything.

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Wrangellian

Well I think you're in one of the more interesting (and rightly famous) sites, so that should be taken into account. :Smiling:

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Caverat

Goodness! I collected at Pit 11 back in the 1970's and it was a barren strip mine with little vegetation. I wouldn't have recognized the area at all. Then, there were concretions everywhere and you broke the ones with the right "look" open immediately to not carry a lot of weight home!   

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Runner64

Nice post @Nimravis I think I actually saw your car on my way in and was wondering if they were looking for fossils. Fingers crossed you get something in the ones you found!

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Nimravis
2 hours ago, Caverat said:

Then, there were concretions everywhere and you broke the ones with the right "look" open immediately to not carry a lot of weight home!   

That is true.

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siteseer
4 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

Well I think you're in one of the more interesting (and rightly famous) sites, so that should be taken into account. :Smiling:

 

Yes, and I know what it's like to find absolutely nothing while others find at least 2-3 nice specimens.  I would be happy with a few concretions even if they are big maybes.  I have heard about Pit 11 since the late 80's and have seen some fantastic specimens from old collections.

 

Someone on the forum once showed what one of the sites looks like in late spring - all grown over.  He had a long walk too but still found some concretions.

 

Jess

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Wrangellian
5 hours ago, siteseer said:

Yes, and I know what it's like to find absolutely nothing while others find at least 2-3 nice specimens.  I would be happy with a few concretions even if they are big maybes.  I have heard about Pit 11 since the late 80's and have seen some fantastic specimens from old collections.

Indeed... We all know that feeling from other sites, but most of us will never make it to Mazon.

I guess people will be bushwhacking as long as there is even a slight chance to find one of those fantastic specimens.

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siteseer
On 3/20/2021 at 5:20 PM, Wrangellian said:

Indeed... We all know that feeling from other sites, but most of us will never make it to Mazon.

I guess people will be bushwhacking as long as there is even a slight chance to find one of those fantastic specimens.

 

Yeah, it would be fun just find my own fern.

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What a beautiful day, Ralph! @Nimravis  I think it's so cool how fossils are found in that area of Illinois - please let us know if anything turns up as the concretions open.  Will you be freeze-thawing them, or will you be whacking them?

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Nimravis
1 hour ago, Monica said:

What a beautiful day, Ralph! @Nimravis  I think it's so cool how fossils are found in that area of Illinois - please let us know if anything turns up as the concretions open.  Will you be freeze-thawing them, or will you be whacking them?

Thanks Monica- I still have several buckets that I need to whack open, I will do it with some of these concretions, but the real ice shaped ones I will put in my other buckets that I freeze.

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deutscheben

Thanks for sharing your trip to the Fossil  Ridge Library! I had heard of their collection but have not yet made the time to stop by. I really should since I work in a library myself. 

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Nimravis
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, deutscheben said:

Thanks for sharing your trip to the Fossil  Ridge Library! I had heard of their collection but have not yet made the time to stop by. I really should since I work in a library myself. 

It is very small collection now, but it is a nice library.

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FossilDAWG

If the collection was once much larger, do you know what has been happening to it?

 

Don

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Nimravis
4 hours ago, FossilDAWG said:

If the collection was once much larger, do you know what has been happening to it?

 

Don

No I do not, the person that was in charge of the Library when we use to guide trips for them has been retired for a long time. Maybe some of the other pieces were only on loan to them, but I really do not think that is the case.

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Nice post!  I've been out a few times already.  I went to the area you hunted a few times in the past.  The hill on the way in/out is very high.  Did you make it to the back of that section where the large shale exposure was?

 

Good luck!  I hope you find something good!

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

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Nimravis
12 minutes ago, stats said:

Did you make it to the back of that section where the large shale exposure was?

No Rich, I did not. I was only out for a couple hours and did not travel very far.

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1 hour ago, Nimravis said:

No Rich, I did not. I was only out for a couple hours and did not travel very far.

 

Was that exposure called the Great Wall?  Or, was that somewhere else?

 

Cheers,

Rich

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Nimravis
16 hours ago, stats said:

 

Was that exposure called the Great Wall?  Or, was that somewhere else?

 

Cheers,

Rich

I do not recall ever hearing that name Rich.

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