If much of August wasn't too scorching, it was raining, either of those conditions pretty much kiboshing plans to get out and dig. And now, with a heavy teaching load this semester, I walk into prime fossil collecting season with more demands on my time.
But I still managed to get out twice in the past month and some. Nothing too dramatic in terms of finds, and no exotic/new locations - just my Thedford area spot. I may as well roll the finds from both trips into one. Both trips were six hours in duration, and a lot of rock was moved.
Some Greenops partials that may be good for restoration parts.
A few shiny Tornoceras.
Nearly full, but missing the right eye and disarticulated.
A heartbreaker multi piece, impressions only. I managed to only find the positive side of the lower one.
The positive side, with the rest of the cephalon on the negative side.
Semi-prone on its side.
Complete, but tiny (about 1 cm). This one will be a challenge to prep as these tinier ones have much thinner skin.
There are a number of other partial Greenops I won't post here. Nothing pristine has been coming out of my spot for a few months now, but there is promise to extend my benches and access fresh blocks if I'm willing to throw a good shoulder into a lot of overburden digging in sticky clay.
I did, however, treat myself to two affordable Corynexochiids:
This first one is Ectillaenus benignensis, mid-Ordovician, from Morocco. A robust and fairly well preserved specimen.
And this one is Ectillaenus giganteus from the mid-Ordovician Valongo Fm, Portugal. It makes a big difference whether they are in limestone or shale, with the latter pressing specimens flat.
So my two forays into the Widder did not yield up any pristine bugs, but that is the nature of the Widder shale: for every 100 pygidia and cephalons, there may be one 2/3 complete; for every 100 2/3 complete you might find one complete. None of the trilobites I've found in these two trips are good enough for my cabinet, but they may do for some prep to function as parts for restoration, trade, or for sale on eBay.
I hope to get out there again as the autumn collecting season kicks into high gear, but I'm also due for the biannual quarry visit to Bowmanville on October 21 for the usual seven hour clambering over piles and splitting of dense limestone layers in search of large, complete Isotelus. This past May trip was not an entire bust, but all the Isotelus I found were partials. Finding a near complete Leviceraurus mammiloides (just missing the long tail spines) was the highlight, as that is among the rarer bugs one can find there. This time, I'm going to wander less and split more, I think. I haven't been out to Penn Dixie since late April, and unsure if I'll fold that into my hectic schedule this fall... The US border has become a bit more problematic these days, and it is a bit of a hassle to find the same old Eldredgeops rana. So unless there is a side trip to another location with different fauna, I'm unsure if we'll be making the trip.
Last October was fantastic as I got to make three site visits on three consecutive days: Arkona, Brechin, and Bowmanville. It would be great if something similar could happen again!