field journal #1

well i'd set myself a task while i was back here in canada. i was going to try and find evidence from nearly a 100 years ago of the activities of the old time fossil hunter, francis slate. my buddy darren tanke had taught all i needed to know to find slate's "lost quarrys", now i had to go out and do it!

to do that i had to head out into these. the badlands of alberta.

so off i set into those badlands to look... they're a big place to have to search though. trying to find traces of francis slate would be like looking for a needle in a galaxy stack... uh a galaxy the size of the hmmm, badlands, i guess!

the posts that will be coming out in the next few days on the blog are the interesting and highlight moments of my expedition.

i'm bound to come across many cool and interesting things. yet only the highlights can make it up here. otherwise i could spend years discussing every little thing i see!

the first avenue of exploration i took was up a "coulee"... coulees are any run off path that rain water carves in the hills, and the size doesn't matter in giving it that name.

they can sometimes be just a mini-t-rex wide, or sometimes big enough to considered a gorge.

there wasn't anything particular about this first coulee i picked. in fact often the best finds are made in "ordinary" looking spots around here. this one just happened to be the first i hit heading off behind the museum.

one slight advantageous detail about this coulee was its rock layers were mostly sandstone and mudstone (check out my early Palaeo FACT on rocks if you need a reminder on the difference)... meaning there was a higher potential for dinosaur and other fossils here, then if i'd picked one made mostly of, say, coal!

within 3 minutes of setting out on my exploration i hit "pay dirt". well at least in the sense that i found something. (don't get your hopes up too high. it'd have been too easy if i found something HUGE right away!)

my first fossil of the trip. not just any fossil. a dinosaur bone!!!

mind you it was just a fragment of what looked like a rib. it wasn't from the rocks i found it in either (which is the most valuable thing information a fossil can offer often). rather it'd been washed down the coulee at some point, reburied in silt carried down the hill by water, and once again eroded to the surface (as it had before when it got broken off to end up here).
a very common find around drumheller (not nessecarily elsewhere in the world mind you. somewhere else, like new zealand, this could be a huge find!).

it is only starting my field journal as it was my first find of the outing, plus i can show you how easy it is to find fossils around here.

from here on in my journal won't note such trival finds as they aren't much help when studying the red deer river valley. for that you need more complete and impressive finds...

which i was hoping to make, and soon!


Raptor Lewis said...

Awesome, Traum!! Can't wait for the next one!!

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

Oh my .. I recognized the so called "orange peels"! I mistook them for ... Oh my .... well ... old story! LOL
Now I see what they really were!

Congrats for your bone!