Lila’s Big Vacation Fossil Hunt!

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Lila with her perfect Hormatoma out of the rock.

Lila with her perfect Hormatoma out of the rock.

Lila loves to fossil hunt with her Dad. Dad says, “Lila knows more about dinosaurs than I do!” The family was going on vacation and Dad asked Lila what special thing she wanted to do on their vacation.

Lila said, “I want to fossil hunt and find a gastropod!”

So Lila’s Dad contacted me and set up a fossil hunt just for her. All three of her brothers came too. And I had two five-year-old grandkids in tow also – Jax and Veah.

First we went to Masonic Park where she got to see the hidden stream that comes out from under a bluff.

hidden stream with everyone

lila.kids spring

Dad and Lila searched around the creek for fossils.

shawn.lila spring hunting

But they really didn’t find any.

Meanwhile Jax had started to throw rocks into the water, so we decided to leave and go to another fossil hunting spot.

Jax & Veah

Jax & Veah

Lila and her Dad were fossil hunting together.

Shawn and daughter on the rocks

Oh my! Withing 5 minutes Lila had found a beautiful Hormatoma sp. stuck in a rock! Her dad got it out for her.

Lila with her Hormatoma sp. in sitsu.

Lila with her Hormatoma sp. in sitsu.

 

Hormatoma sp.

Hormatoma sp.

Her twin brothers were also fossil hunting along with Jax.

boys on the rocks 2

Jax and the Twins.

Jax and the Twins.

 

They were finding fossils!

They were finding fossils!

Lila, her Dad, and her brothers found lots of fossils!

In less than a half hour they found all these fossils!

In less than a half hour they found all these fossils!

Hormatoma sp.

Hormatoma sp.

Fisherite cross section

Fisherite cross section

 

That may even be fluorescent like this one under a black light.

That may even be fluorescent like this one under a black light.

 

What's this??? We won't know until Dad preps it out a bit.

What’s this??? We won’t know until Dad preps it out a bit.

Lila was happy with all the fossils she collected.

Lila's fossil finds.

Lila’s fossil finds.

 

Categories: Fillmore County Hunts, Fluorescent Fossils, Fossil Hunts, Gastropods, Kids Hunts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Exciting Hunt! Raggedy Man & Old Bev

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Lots of fossils including this Anataphurus sp. trilo:

little trilo site1side1

Raggedy Man with the BIGGEST Hormatoma I have ever seen!

Pual hormatoma

And NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACTS!!!

Scraper/Drill

Scraper/Drill

Chert Scraper

Chert Scraper

Chert Mortar

Chert Mortar

 

Full post on thefossilforum.com

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/66803-exciting-hunt-raggedy-man-old-bev/

Categories: ArcheoPaleo Hunts, Fillmore County Hunts, Fossil Hunts, Native American Artifacts | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

FUN July 9, 2016 Eagle Bluff Group Fossil Hunt!

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The group with Jennie, the EB Skills School Coordinator.

The group with Jennie, the EB Skills School Coordinator.

It was a very warm and humid day, so we kind of took it easy. We started out with the fossil tour of what they were likely to find at Whispering Winds and then headed to Masonic Park.

dragonfly mp 7.9.16

One of the joys of fossil hunting, too me, is getting out in nature and seeing some of the wonders of the natural world. I just couldn’t resist taking a picture of this iridescent green dragon fly we saw at Masonic Park.

It was getting warm, so I took them to a shaded spot where we collected lots and lots of Prasopora sp., Rhinidictya sp., and Batostoma sp. bryozoans. Plus some awesome single links of crinoids were collected.

What’s This?! Crinoids

From there we went to the last site and found more GREAT fossils!

ladywithload7.9.16

one load 7.9.16

Two beautiful Ordovician hash plates filled with fossils.

fossilized rock 7.9.16

more prep 7.9.16

Fillmore county is the most fossiliferous county in Minnesota. It is on the edge of the Driftless. A great 26 minute video on The Mysteries of the Driftless can be viewed here:

http://www.bluffcountryfossils.net/blog/mysteries-of-the-driftless-video/

The group with Bev, the host of the tour.

The group with Bev, the host of the tour.

Categories: Tours | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Incredible 3 Generation Fossil Hunt with LOTS of Pictures!

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This 3 generation hunt was contracted through the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center. The family members were experienced fossil hunters and boy did they come up with some GREAT finds!

A truly Spectacular crinoid:

Praecupulocrinus conjugans

Praecupulocrinus conjugans

And TWO whole trilobites!

I believe this is Anataphrus borraeus, needs prepping to be sure.

I believe this is Anataphrus borraeus, needs prepping to be sure.

 

Either Bumastus or Anataphrus borraeus, needs prepping.

Either Bumastus or Anataphrus borraeus, needs prepping.

For the full trip report and lots of links to interesting videos, etc., please go to thefossilforum.com

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/66677-incredible-3-generation-fossil-hunt-with-lots-of-pictures/#entry698817

sandbox

grandpa.kids.decorahshale

on the rocks with dad

Categories: Fillmore County Hunts, Fossil Hunts, Tours, Videos | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

DIY Rain Barrel Down Spout Diverter

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Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about fossils and flowers.

Bev in garden

Well, here is a very cool little invention of mine. I’ve been refining this for about 2 years now and think I have it down to the final revision.

I used a universal plastic ground spout – groundspout.com

Thumbscrews

Pieces of recycle billboard material leftover from fishpond building, rubber roofing could be used also.

Small metal tapping screws

I have my rain barrels set up on cement blocks, with treated wood to support the bottom of the barrel, so that I can get a 5 gallon bucket under the spout.

The single diverter on this is set up horizontally on the downspout.

The single diverter on this is set up horizontally on the downspout.

Cut a hole in your downspout about two feet above your rain barrel (error on the side of too tall rather than too short) to fit the plastic end that comes with the downspout. Secure the end with the metal screws. Tape with duct tape or electrical tape if edges are rough. You can add some silicon caulk if you like.

One in place and one ready to go.

One in place and one ready to go.

Cut a piece of billboard rubber to fit, about a foot long and secure to the inside back with a metal screw. Push it back in in the winter and it will self-store allowing your gutter to work normally until next spring and you decide to set up your rain barrels again.

Rubber secured for self-storing.

Rubber secured for self-storing.

Stuff your rubber into your downspout and secure your downspout into the mounted piece with one or two thumbscrews by pre-drilling the holes. Thumbscrews can stay in the mounted one over winter, so you don’t lose them.  🙂

One thumbscrew secures the bottom of the ground spout to the rain barrel top/hole. When winter comes, just store the ground spout inside the inverted rain barrel until next year.

This double one is done!

This double one is done!

DONE!

Simple, inexpensive, love it!

Beverly Sandlin

Categories: Misc. | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

PapaDave & Old Bev Go Fossil Hunting

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PapaDave, his thefossilforum.com handle, is a retired Earth Sciences prof who has become fascinated with fossils since he retired. He had purchased my Winona County fossil hunting map at the Winona Historical Society and has been hunting with his granddaughter and doing quite well!

He came over for a fossil tour/hunt on Saturday, June 11th about 8:30 am. It was a hot and sultry day with temps going over 94 degrees and high humidity. He had already bought Dr. Sloan’s book – a GREAT deal as just $30 including shipping, check out my webpage for Sloan’s address to get his book – and I wanted to show him as many places to hunt as possible and funnel as much of my knowledge as I could to him, and keep us in the shade as much as possible.  🙂

I just had to show him Masonic Park with the beautiful cliff face, cave, abandoned quarry, hidden stream and roadside hunting in the shade. I pointed out various fossil hunting spots as we went and then hit Norse Road for a bit of prasopora bryozoan hunting as there is a layer there that I just love. Onto an old favorite trilobite haunt of Caleb’s and then we visited another trilobite favorite stop with lots of shale where I have pulled out 5 enrolled Anataphurus borreaus trilos myself.

Trilobite Shale!

Trilobite Shale!

And we just had to stop at the premiere gastropod quarry in all of Minnesota!

PapaDave at Minnesota's premiere gastropod quarry.

PapaDave at Minnesota’s premiere gastropod quarry.

Onto a number of spots around Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park – I’ve just created a map with 16 spots in that location – and we stopped at an area of shade with loads of shale and trilobite sign that I had just discovered this spring. I picked up a nice rock showing a lot of crinoids that I have yet to prep and even a nice subulite gastropod that I gave to Dave.

Shale and Shade!

Shale and Shade!

Then we went onto Wubble’s Ravine.

PapaDave at Wubble's Ravine.

PapaDave at Wubble’s Ravine.

It was past 1:00 and we were both getting tired but I just had to show him a few more spots and Rifle Hill Quarry!

PapaDave at Rifle Hill Quarry.

PapaDave at Rifle Hill Quarry.

He dropped me off back at home and I have to say I collapsed taking an afternoon nap. He later emailed and said he was overwhelmed by the amount of information I had given him and that he very much enjoyed himself.

We both collected some awesome fossils that I neglected to take a picture of!  🙁  But the real adventure was in the learning and sharing.  🙂

Categories: Fillmore County Hunts, Tours | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

What an AMAZING Group Hunt! May 14, 2016

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This was the first Eagle Bluff Environmental Center Skills School group hunt of 2016, and it was GREAT! Nine participants plus the EBEC bus driver, hailing from the Twin Cities down to Decorah, Iowa and parts in between and west. And what did they like best? THE FOSSILS! So I think I will start out with the great fossil finds instead of making you wait.  😀

I believe it was the couple from the Twin Cities that

scored a partially enrolled it appears complete TRILOBITE!

Further prep will tell if it is an Anataphrus sp. or Faillena Sp. trilobite.

Further prep will tell if it is an Anataphrus sp. or Faillena sp. trilobite. Thanks to Raggedy Man from thefossilforum.com for the ID.  🙂

Ray collect TWO Maclurites crassus!

Rays mac from site 1

Maclurites crassus make up only about 1 in 50 of the Maclurites we collect here and they prep out like this…

Maclurites crassus prepped.

Maclurites crassus prepped.

And Robert scored a Complete Fisherite! I only find maybe one complete one a summer.

Complete Fisherite

Complete Fisherite

Pretty AWESOME!

So, back to the beginning…  🙂  The bus got here and we did a meet and greet and proceeded with a walk around of the various fossil gardens to familiarize them with the Ordovician fossils we would be looking for at the various sites. A bit about fossil preparation – getting them out of the rock – and then several people wanted to buy maps of various fossil hunting sites. I now have 3 maps, $5 each, each with ID sheets and laminated for durability: 7 sites within 10 miles of Spring Valley, 8 sites within 10 miles of St. Charles which includes the site that Whitewater State Park takes people to for their fossil class, and 16 sites with 10 miles of Forestville State Park which includes the sites that Mystery Caves takes visitors to for their fossil class. Then back on the bus and off we went to site 1.

We went to Masonic Park first where I showed them the Prosser member of the Galena cliff face, mentioned that it was an archeo-paleo site that gives up not only Ordovician fossils but Ice Age fossils and Native American artifacts as well, and made sure to mention to look to the right for the cave as we drove back up the hill. We parked across from the hidden spring that bubbles from the base of the bluff and next to the abandoned quarry. Most of the people worked the Stewartville member of the Galena Formation that lines the side of the road going down to the park.

Overview of the road going down into Masonic Park.

Overview of the road going down into Masonic Park.

Combing the drywash beside the road.

Combing the drywash beside the road.

Searching for fossils.

Searching for fossils.

Hidden spring bubbling from beneath the bluff.

Hidden spring bubbling from beneath the bluff.

And the nice find at this site was this horn coral embedded in the rock, but a beauty with so much detail from 450 million years ago.

Horn Coral

Horn Coral

Then off to site 2, just west of Dream Acres – wood fired pizza every Friday night May through October YUMMM – and a shot at both the Stewartville and Prosser members of the Galena Formation.

I had just hunted this about two weeks ago, but we had had about two inches of rain since then and with every rain out come new fossils. And yup, Ray came up with those two beautiful Maclurites crassus.

Ray finding TWO Maclurites crassus.

Ray finding TWO Maclurites crassus.

 

Ray quite proud of his finds and he should be! I would be! LOL :-D

Ray quite proud of his finds and he should be! I would be! LOL 😀

site 2 2 hunters

site 2 3 hunters

More searching with some nice finds of flowstone from caves and I even came up with a nice Fusispera sp. gastropod.

Flowstone, one with cross-section of Fisherites and gastropod.

Flowstone, one with cross-section of Fisherites and gastropod.

Fusispera sp. Ordovician gastropod prepped out.

Fusispera sp. Ordovician gastropod prepped out.

Onto site 3!

Overlooking the Village of Fillmore.

Overlooking the Village of Fillmore.

This road cut is massive and very fossiliferous. As you look over the embankment you can see the Village of Fillmore and a branch of the Root River. This site was continuously occupied by Native Americans for over 1,000 years before the advent of the white man. Native American arrow heads, spear heads and other artifacts frequently come to the surface after an intense rain.

It was a beautiful day, a bit chilly, but in the sun no one was complaining and this site sure offered up some nice finds!

site 3 4 hunters

site 3 3 hunters

Bill, our bus driver, flipped a rock and came up close and personal with a Milk Snake!

Bill & the Milk Snake.

Bill & the Milk Snake.

 

Milk Snake

Milk Snake

It was kind of cool and he wasn’t moving too fast. ID made by members of thefossilforum.com

Robert with his complete Fisherite.

Robert with his complete Fisherite.

And some very nice graptolites were found here. Graptolites are an unusual find hereabouts. Not considered rare, but I seldom find them and the couple from the Cities found several! They are defined by their toothy edge.

Ordovician Graptolite

Ordovician Graptolite

Some of the finds:

fossils 2

fossils 1

Some beautiful hash plates showing the Ordovician sea bottom from a time when Minnesota was located on the equator, gastropods, cephalopods, and brachiopods. And of course, the wonderful, perhaps complete, TRILOBITE!

Further prep will tell if it is an Anataphrus sp. or Faillena Sp. trilobite.

Further prep will tell if it is an Anataphrus sp. or Faillena Sp. trilobite.

The next fossil class through Eagle Bluff is scheduled for June 11 and is open to families. I also do individual tours of the fossil gardens and barn, about 90 minutes, for $15 per person and then you can purchase a map and go hunting yourself or for $10 an hour I will go with you/your group. And you can even come back and prep in my fossil barn afterwards.    🙂

Everyone went home with bags heavy with fossils older than the dinosaurs!

😀

Categories: ArcheoPaleo Hunts, Fillmore County Hunts, Fossil Hunts, Tours, Village of Fillmore | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW! Forestville/Mystery Cave Park Fossil Hunting Map

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16 Fossil Hunting Sites

Around

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park!

These sites include the ones that Mystery Cave takes its guests to for their fossil camp, and a whole lot more. Lots of shale, so excellent for trilobites. And although you can’t collect in the famous in fossil literature Rifle Hill Quarry, you can collect just outside of it and take your picture overlooking it.

DUST N BONES at Rifle Hill Quarry.

DUST N BONES at Rifle Hill Quarry.

$5

Laminated for durability,

with the best Ordovician ID pics in Minnesota!

 

I also have an 8 site map for Winona County just west of Whitewater State Park that takes you into the heart of the Amish Community there – no Sunday sales.  🙂

And the 7 site within 10 miles of Spring Valley map where I take the Eagle Bluff Fossil Tours.

These maps are NOT exhaustive of the fossil hunting sites in these areas, rather a guide. I have specifically kept some sites off the maps per requests, some sites I consider too small for the map (hence good pickings), and some I just overlooked. Which gives you lots of room for ADVENTURE!

All Maps Are $5 Apiece.

Remember: You may not hunt fossils at State Parks,

on Private Property, or at any working Quarry.

To get your maps, just contact me at:

bcfossillady at gmail dot com

or

507-922-0083

Categories: Fossil ID Sheets, Misc., Tourism, Tours | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Fossil Hunting Class May 14, 2016

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This class will be through the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center Skills Classes:

Published in the Bluff Country Reader May 9th.

Published in the Bluff Country Reader May 9th.

Tap to make readable.

The same paper had this very interesting article on the geology of Bluff Country.

tropical paradise article

Tropical Paradise article part 2

Again, tap to make larger and readable.

Here is a link to a Fossil Tour we held last year with Eagle Bluff:

Family Fun Fossil Hunt – River Roots Skills School

We will spend about an hour and a half going through the basics here at Whispering Winds. View the fossil gardens to accustom the eye to see fossils, go through the basics of prepping fossils and some creative examples of what to do with your fossils. Then we will go hunting!

My plan is to hit 3 sites with this group, one will include an abandoned quarry. Guaranteed to find fossils, but what we find always varies.

Bring a sturdy bag to carry your fossils in. If you are bringing a hammer, bring eye protection. Dress for the weather. Once we leave Whispering Winds there will be no restrooms or water, so bring something to drink.

Laminated maps and ID sheets for 7 hunting sites within 10 miles of Spring Valley and 8 sites within 10 miles of St. Charles (which includes the Amish community in Winona county) will be available for purchase, if desired, for $5 apiece. I am working on a new map that has sites around Forestville State Park and Mystery Cave that may be available that day also.

You will be that much further ahead if you read The Beginners Guide to Fossil Hunting on the sidebar.  🙂

Categories: Tours | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

NEW TOOL! Bedrock Geology with Road Maps!

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Cliff F., who recently took my fossil tour, shared this:

http://umn.maps.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingSwipe/index.html?appid=455ad2a467ed4717a09794e2d36261d0#

If this link doesn’t get you there, go to: Bedrockswipe-arcgis

On the left is information on the bedrock categories. Zoom and you can see the road map overlays to the bedrock!

THANK YOU CLIFF!!!   😀

Categories: Geologic Formation Maps | Tags: , | Leave a comment