Spent the day at the biannual Bowmanville dig at St Marys Cement quarry. Sadly, it seemed that wherever the real gems were to be found, I was not there or others found them first. It wasn't all disappointment, but it felt a bit demoralizing to come away with not the greatest stuff given how much I scanned and split.
Here I am in the parking lot before the dig began. This is a working quarry (even on Sundays), and full safety gear is mandatory. Once everyone is suited up, we go to the office, sign our waivers, and listen carefully to the safety procedures as told to us by the pit boss.
This is a vast quarry with six levels. Depth of field illusion here does not convey the size of this place, nor the blast piles that can rise several storeys.
While a few others were finding full Isotelus trilobites, I kept coming up with moulted fragments. This piece here is a partial ventral side of a cephalon, so if it were full it would be fairly large.
Large Isotelus tail pieces.
Small Isotelus pygidium and thorax. It might be complete, but enrolled. Some air scribe action may confirm it, and I'll post an update if it is complete. UPDATE: it is not complete.
A possible Leviceraurus mammiloides, but waiting to hear back on ID. This is after I prepped it a bit. In the field, only the thorax and part of the pygidium was showing. Unfortunately, it is missing any long tail spikes.
Weathered to the point of hardly being recognizable, a Ceraurus sp.
Other bits from the Lindsay Fm. A Calyptaulax cephalon, a busted Isotelus roller, and something I haven't figured out below that.
Could be Isotelus, but not quite sure yet.
By about 1:30, we retreated to the top level to split large books of Whitby shale. There's not a lot of diversity in the shale in terms of trilobites (Pseudogygites and Triarthrus, which usually only appear as disarticulated moults). But this was an oddball piece, and somewhat uncommon. There is some disagreement as to whether this is a cephalopod or a gastropod. UPDATE: it is a cephalopod, and a rare one: Trocholites ammonius.
Pseudogygites latimarginatus. I kept it because there was a chance it might be complete. After some work to remove the covering shale, I was disappointed it wasn't. Someone else found a full one that was a whopper of a size at about 6ish cm.
He left the impression, so I took it as a consolation prize.
Pseudogygites latimarginatus, mangled.
Typical hash plates from the Whitby shale.
In all, a pretty poor showing by my standards. It's been a while since I've been skunked like this, made doubly disappointing when we can only gain access twice a year. Here's hoping the next trip is much better. If I do have a Leviceraurus, then at least that would be a new species in my collection.