That was this morning’s activity – a fossil hunt organized by a great local group called Fresh Air Family.
We met at a Wal-Mart parking lot, handed in our waivers, and then caravaned to the site, which is a now-unused strip mine.
All the coal that could be profitably taken had been, and reclamation was about to begin when the owner’s grandson found a fossil…and it was discovered that this patch was a treasure trove of fossil remains – mostly reptile, amphibian and insect tracks, as well as vegetation. The requirement to reclaim the land was lifted, and in the years since, it has been a fruitful area for study. More about it here.
Fresh Air Family takes groups out there twice a year.
We searched for a little over two hours, armed with our hammers and screw drivers, searching, digging, and splitting promising-looking slabs of shale. We didn’t find any tracks, unfortunately but we did find plenty of evidence of hundreds-of-millions of years-old plant life. Pretty amazing.