Deb and I made it out to Arkona for about four hours yesterday, back to our coveted spot searching for little other than Greenops trilobites. We had full sun, about 16 degrees celsius, so not too hot nor too cool for some dedicated hammer time.
Left and right photos of the bench I've been working for a few trips now. This shot is taken before the real work gets started. The tools are resting just below the rich layer in the Widder Formation from where I have been lucky to find large, not crushed Tornoceras uniangulare specimens, and the highest concentration of mostly complete Greenops widderensis due to its low energy environment. Layers above are mostly dense and filled with shredded bits or weather into crumbling nothingness. I am having to work to the left and right to chase after the rich layer that is maybe only about 3-6 inches thick. It will also mean most of this trip will be me removing overburden, as well as moving a lot of suboptimal shale to get at that layer.
Deb sifts through the debris from chunks I've pitched down the cliff in my bench-making. Leaving them to weather like this over a few weeks makes them a bit easier to split, and allows for finding stuff I might have missed in the throes of some shale-moving frenzy.
First blood. Within ten minutes of some splitting, I find an almost full Greenops.
And then barely moments later, a full Tornoceras uniangulare. Sadly, it is in rough shape, and it was the only one I found on this trip (see my previous visits for some nicer ones I found here, and here). It did break when I tried to remove it, so some crazy glue is going to be needed.
Possibly a full Greenops, much of it trickily tucked into the matrix. Picture on the right is what it looks like after just a quick chipping off of matrix.
Here is a piggy pile of partial Greenops. You can tell by this image just how flaky and delicate these are, which presents an enormous challenge in terms of finding them well preserved.
More partials. I've collected quite a few in the last while.
Deb strikes trilobite gold. This one may be dirty and somewhat sunk into the matrix (nothing a good prep couldn't fix), but this is a full and intact Greenops, making that not one, but TWO full ones in our four hours there.
Associated pieces from the large fish plate Deb found a few weeks ago.
Another neat find by Deb: a phyllocarid mandible. First one I've ever seen on any trip I've been on to Arkona.
Deb is working her bench. My bench is gradually getting closer to connecting with hers (to the right, near the 3' yellow pry bar).
The hammer and the damage done: from the base of the cliff, my bench after four hours, extended more than double the width I started with. Sadly, my layer trail went cold and it was a lot of hauling for no new leads. All that rubble is from a lot of shale removal.
A panoramic stitching of three shots at the bench itself.
So, not a bad trip. Short, but intense. My best finds were in the first hour, while Deb's were happening closer to the end of our time there.