This weekend, I took another trip to Mazon Creek on a traffic-less lazy Saturday. I wish I could say it was one of my more productive trips, but I only collected a small bag of fossils. It was a windy and overcast spring day and I did not stay as long as I would have liked.
I hiked to a ridge I have not searched before, and found a couple areas that had some nice fragments and concretions that had already weathered open (below). 3 different plant species, and what appears to be an aquatic worm or slug. Not bad for one of my shorter trips.
Part of the reason I left early is that I felt a bit unmotivated. While the diverse finds below are very interesting and decently preserved, as you may have seen at the bottom of my previous Mazon Creek post, I’ve found some very impressive and rare fossils in the past 2 years, and smaller finds like these are not as exciting anymore.
Also, since the weather has gotten warmer, the Mazon fossil collecting area is getting thicker and thicker as the plants and trees start filling up with their summer leaves. Animals are becoming more active, meaning ticks and mosquitoes will be in near-chaos mode.
I’m not saying it is not worth braving the elements for an outdoor adventure, I just need to take a break from it for a while.
For a summer outside of Chicago, it is well-worth the drive. And if you would like to make the most of the time, I’d encourage you to buy the field guide I published and update periodically. You can read more about it here: Finding Mazon Creek Fossils: The Ultimate Guide