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Ferns And Mushrooms


brachiomyback

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I recently had a two day project north of the Philadelphia area last week and ended up finishing it fairly early on the second day. So I sat there at the site in my rental car for a good 15-minutes debating if I should drive to St. Clair (about 1½ hours away) to collect some fossils or go back to the airport and dodge the rush hour traffic, beat the inclement weather scheduled to roll in later that afternoon and insure I make the last scheduled flight that evening.

Since I literally haven’t been out fossil hunting in over a year I decided to give that one hour window of opportunity a go. So with no gear and a cardboard box that I got from my project site, I drove up further away from the Philly airport.

With a fairly intact memory in addition to some much needed map / aerial photography assistance from my smart phone, I finally arrived to collect some of the infamous St. Clair fern fossils. The only other time I’ve collected here was my maiden excursion in 2009.

I hustled down the path dodging mud holes and localized areas of ice sheets.

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Realizing my turn on a side path was too early, I made my way through some woods. While hiking, I observed some razor strop mushrooms (Piptoporus betulinus), commonly known as the birch polypore which was growing on a dead birch tree.

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The velvety cut surface of the fruiting body was traditionally used as a strop for finishing the finest of edges on razors. After taking some mycology pictures, I continued the short hike and finally reached the opening to the north section of the collecting area.

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With no tools I was limited to picking up discards strewn about the area. I was lucky enough to find a small excavated pit area that had a couple of larger discarded pieces and looked just fine to me.

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The hour went by quick and with my box filled to capacity, I made my way back to the airport (only to get a voicemail from Southwest Airlines halfway back that my flight was delayed 2 hour due to weather).

With over 35 pounds of fern fossils squirreled away in my luggage and carry on, I made my way through security. And as with my 2009 trip, suspicions were raised with the X-rays and further inspection of my bags was warranted. My luggage literally stopped a lady TSA agent in her tracks as she tried to lift the bag off the conveyor. The follow up male TSA agent gave the same look of shock; however, was able to get my luggage bag down.

I explained that I had a bunch of fossils in my bags, stating they were fern fossils from the Carboniferous / Pennsylvania Period. When I said they were roughly 300 million years old, interest was raised and some other TSA agents in the proximate area came over to see the commotion as the fossils were taken out for further inspection. I finally received the “OK” and made my way to my gate. Luckily I was able to stow my heavy roller bag in the overhead.

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With a replenished supply I’m thinking of making some more of my St. Clair fossil art again.

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For those interested in mycology, I’m pretty proud my picture albums of the various specimens I’ve found, photographed, collected and even eaten over the years. There is an old mycology saying... All mushrooms are edible, some only once.

http://brachiomyback.imgur.com/

I also have some of my fossil albums on the bottom.

enjoy…

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Great trip report as always. :)

You did well with just the discards.

It always amazes me how much material there is there in St. Clair.

Thanks for sharing your trip with us, and the TSA agents.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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I love the trip report. I wouldn't be brave enough to try something like that before a flight.

We need a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, skin-of-your-teeth trip thread. :)

Context is critical.

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Great mycology album! Another interest of mine that I'm a total novice in, but I have identified at least 5 edibles around here, and maybe more, but if I have a shred of doubt I won't try it.

Fascinating and often beautiful, but the weather in the last few years hasn't been favorable for them.

Now, back to fossils. Loved your edge-of-the-seat report. Great finds for a rush job without tools. :)

Steve

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Fine looking fossils Brad. Heading to the Greenville creek Saturday - let me know if you want me to stop and pick you up.

-gerald

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I enjoyed your account and browsing your mychology album. Your story ended with a great morel.

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Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, also are remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. - Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

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One of my favorite places to collect. You really got me on your saying- All mushrooms are edible, some only once. :D

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Good to hear from you again, Brad.

:thumbsu:

The human mind has the ability to believe anything is true.  -  JJ

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I enjoyed your account and browsing your mychology album. Your story ended with a great morel.

:D

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Enjoyed the report! Great you were able to get back to your spot and find some pretty ferns! The shroom pic's are fantastic. :)

Edited by masonboro37

Process of identification "mistakes create wisdom".

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Brad, always great to read about your adventures and all the details and pics. You were very ambitous and resourceful, and without tools or much else, you still made off with a box of goodies! Persistence pays off!

But Dude, you gotta get out more often. I can't believe it's been over a year for you. I know your girls are young and demanding, the job, wife, etc. Do you have any micro material to go through? Do your girls still enjoy going through the micro material?

take care,

Daryl.

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Brad, always great to read about your adventures and all the details and pics. You were very ambitous and resourceful, and without tools or much else, you still made off with a box of goodies! Persistence pays off!

But Dude, you gotta get out more often. I can't believe it's been over a year for you. I know your girls are young and demanding, the job, wife, etc. Do you have any micro material to go through? Do your girls still enjoy going through the micro material?

take care,

Daryl.

Yes still have the micro and pick through it once in a while. I might have to hit that micro material a little more often. I plan on posting some of my finds that I know you'll be interested in. Since I've haven't been out much, I've been trying catch up on cataloging / organizing most of the fossil finds. My girls still enjoy picking through the micro stuff, but really want me just to take them to GMR since the second eldest daughter is big enough for the trip.

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Nice ferns. I like those mushrooms too! I grow mushrooms in the forest behind my house.

Stephen

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nice ferns, could you tell me where to go in st. clair so i can collect a few? Thanks

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nice ferns, could you tell me where to go in st. clair so i can collect a few? Thanks

PM sent. :D

Regards.

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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  • 6 years later...

Can anyone tell me if this site is still open to the public for legal collection.  I will be driving through the area on a family trip in about 2 weeks and my son is very interested in fossil collecting. 

 

Also, can anyone provide detailed directions or GPS coordinates?

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4 hours ago, SusanG said:

Can anyone tell me if this site is still open to the public for legal collection.  I will be driving through the area on a family trip in about 2 weeks and my son is very interested in fossil collecting. 

 

Also, can anyone provide detailed directions or GPS coordinates?

Hi, Susan, and a very warm welcome to TFF from Morocco. :)

I don't have any local knowledge but I believe it's all closed or on private land now, unfortunately.

See http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/65550-st-clair-pa-fern-fossils-looking-for-legal-place/

Perhap Tim @Fossildude19 can provide you with more up to date info. 

Life's Good!

Tortoise Friend.

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7 hours ago, SusanG said:

Can anyone tell me if this site is still open to the public for legal collection.  I will be driving through the area on a family trip in about 2 weeks and my son is very interested in fossil collecting. 

 

Also, can anyone provide detailed directions or GPS coordinates?

@SusanG

 

The site is off limits now. No collecting of fossils by the public.  :( 
Schools can contact the Reading Anthracite company that owns the land and set up field trips.

People have been arrested for trespassing. 

Unfortunately, another sad tale of greed of the few spoiling it for the many.  :shakehead:

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg    VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png  VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015  

__________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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