Paleo Day 2

By Ruby and Hamilton

Hi I’m Ruby and I grew up in Philadelphia. My day started with a moose sighting, he had massive antlers and dewlap. Normally I am used to waking up to the noises of my brother’s tv shows, but today I got an amazing video of a moose trotting. Afterwards I hopped in the car for the hour drive to the Mother’s Day Quarry. We did tasks such as flipping rocks, looking for crystals, jacketing new fossils that were found and we also prospected for new fossils. William and I were assigned to a cool dinosaur rib that was not yet extracted from the ground. We worked on extracting the rib for about 15 minutes and the rib tipped a little to one side, letting us know it was loose enough to flip. Jason S. walked over and guided us to successfully flip the rib, in which it was a success! We flipped the rib without fracturing it at all. Then we learned how to plaster the rib with JJ’s. We unrolled the JJ’s and ripped them to reasonable lengths. We then dipped the JJ into water and covered the extracted rib. 

Jason, Ruby, and Will carefully flipping the fossilized rib
Fossil flipping success!

Afterwards, we looked around for more fossils but unfortunately there wasn’t any to be found. Jason thought that it could be because the people who found the rib, already probed the area. So then I decided to help Way get water for the next plaster, this time it was a huge fossil that was found, so it needed actually plastering using plaster powder and water, rather using JJ’s. The hike back to the cars was really hot and I started getting a headache. Then I remembered Chris Vito saying laying under cars was really cooling and so I did that when we arrived to the car. I felt a lot more refreshed so I started filling bottles and refilling the plaster water container. 

We walked back and Kelsey guided us on the actual way of plastering. I dumped water half-way of the bucket and Jason Poole poured the powder. We all stirred the mixture with our arms, which got messy pretty quick, but because we stirred the mixture a bit too much it was too well mixed and diluted. We ended up throwing in the burlap and waited for about a minute to thicken. We talked about colleges during the mean time and got carried away. The mixture thickened a little too much so we had to work faster, this made things even more messy because of splashing. We finished in 15 minutes and then Rosie told us about a site that was found with awesome crystals.

 Immediately Lauren, Bridgid and I went to the site and pick-axed rocks with possible crystals in it. Chris Kelly taught us about the crystalized bands that tell us how much possible crystals that could have formed within the rock. Bridgid found an awesome rock with massive amounts of crystals formed inside and broke it open. I found really cool crystals with green, white, and pink bands and gently placed it in my pocket to take home. We headed down to the site we were at before and started helping other groups. William and I plastered another fossil with JJ’s and then Marie announced that it was time to head back. We all helped carry tools back to our cars and headed back to camp. The car ride back felt like only 10 minutes rather 45 because Hannah and I had a pretty fun time back. 

My name is Hamilton, and my time at the quarry today was spent between two main parts. I started off re-jacketing a fossil that had been ruined the day before by rain with Kelsey and Chris K. After two coats of of jacketing and plaster-covered hands, it was ready to go. Next I went off prospecting with Justin and Henry, and we found something. Henry brought something he found to our attention, which we thought was likely fossil bone, so we checked the spot for more. We were pleasantly surprised to find a couple more pieces, one of which was undoubtedly bone, so we brought it to Jason P’s attention. He told us to go back and look for more, so we did.

Hamilton, Kelsey, and Chris K re-plaster a jacketed fossil

We began searching the surface and digging to see if any more would turn up. As it turned out, I think it became a question of if any less would turn up. There was so much stuff uncovered it had to be left to be excavated next year, due to it being the end of the dig season. From what I saw, a lot of it was cylindrical, though fragmented with a range of color from blue to black. They had striations running down the outsides and were generally smooth on the inside where it was fractured from.

We drove back and after about an hour of free time we listened to Jason P’s chalk talk on osteology, followed by a filling dinner of polish sausages (basically hot dogs) and had ice cream for dessert. As ironic as it was having just eaten what was likely pork, we went to what may be everyone’s new favorite event: pig racing. We were all cheering for which number we thought would win, making one of the most energetic parts of our day. People were sticking their hands in the track, letting them sniff, lick, and nibble their hands. In the end, I lost every time (I always bet for #4), but I saw some cute piggies racing.

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