Sunday, October 24, 2010

Collecting 350-400 Million Year Old Shells...

 Rockford, Iowa is home to a treasure...the Fossil & Prairie Park
K and I spent a Saturday afternoon exploring this awesome park. 
This was the first spot we maneuvered down to. 
We immediately began our find Devonian shell fossils.

We decided we really wanted to go here... 

So we climbed down this!

 And we discovered this!

Check out how the fossils are sticking up on little mountains of clay!   
This former quarry was used from the early 1890's to the 1970's to extract clay for brick and tile making.

 This was our haul...
The park fossil hunting identification guide showed seven kinds of fossils...
We think we found examples of all of them.  :)

Crinoids were the smallest and hardest to find...K found these.  I found none.

The park covers about 400 acres...We'll be back next year for sure!  We didn't even get to this part of it...

Do you like to collect rocks, fossils or other bits from nature?  Where do you like to go to collect specimens?


  1. This looks and sounds like so much fun! I loved to collect rocks and shells when I was little -- but haven't managed to do it much now. I do hope to pick up collecting shells again, though!

  2. My son would LOVE this place! We'll have to try to visit it next time we are in the family lives in MO, but fun road trips are so much fun! Thanks for info and great pics!

  3. Oh, I would SO love to go there! What a cache you two collected. Don't look now, but I think I am waaaaay on the verge of near-jealousy. heh-heh. Not really, of course, but only 'cause it's you.

    ~ Yaya

  4. Wow!! Those are fab fossils!!!! Yay for you and K!!! Wonderful! And what a great park! It's massive!!

    I dabbled once in Archaeology (nearly read it for my masters) and went on a few digs - so I do appreciate the joy of getting down n dirty and finding a tiny itty bitty thing that may or may not be a flint! LOL!!!

    Nowadays I do like spotting fungi and plant life - I don't pick any- I just like walking around with my little books of plant/fungi identification and trying to match the reality with the pics! :-)

    Take care

  5. What an interesting little trip... And love those fossils :). Now that summer is here, maybe I need to take little adventure trips too...

  6. Yes, I must admit I purchased wonderful fossils, years ago the most wonderful ones were available for just a few pounds, and it always amazed me that I could buy something so many millions of years old, and so beautiful to look at, for so very little money.

  7. Hey what an interesting day out! Breathtaking!

    Previous post made me smile - Nails!!! See, writers are quirky.

    Also your comments on my blog made me smile :) ... Chips ... See, I was in denial ... chips now in the trash. Hee hee. Thank you :)

  8. What an awesome place and fossil haul. It's sound like you had a briliant day.

    I live in Exmouth, in the UK, which is by the sea and sits at the beginning of The Jurassic Coast World Heritage site. A short distance from us is the seaside town of Lyme Regis, where fossils have been and continue to be found on a daily basis. If you ever come to the UK, you should visit it!

  9. Sounds like a great day, Shannon. Pictures are great.

  10. Holy moly. This is totally going on my bucket list. We used to hunt fossils in the strip-mining spoil piles back in Ohio. This looks amazing! Thanks for taking us along.

  11. Great fossils. It's been a long time since I've been out collecting treasures. Maybe next summer?

  12. I used to be a big geology buff...even went through a phase where I was sure I'd grow up and practice environmental law (sounded fancy at the time, I think). Love these pics, Sharon. What fun to get out and find the joy in the world around us.

  13. Cool post and photos! There's a place in southern indiana, close to where I went to college, that was a crinoid haven. It was so amazing!!

  14. Great photos. I'm not much for digging around in the dirt, but it actually looks like fun.

  15. I loved rocks and fossils as a kid. Must have had a 10lb collection at one time! Thanks for sharing!

  16. hi miss sharon! wow cool pictures you gotta be really careful walking round that place. those fossils are soooo neat. i could like to go hunting for those. i couldnt believe you found sooo much of them just in one day. how do you keep them at your house so people could see them. i got some for my birthday and theyre really cool. yikes! i forgot to say it on my blog post for one of my presents. ugh! im gonna learn more about those fossils cause its real neat to find some thing soooo old that from the sea.
    ...hugs from lenny

  17. Hi Sharon .. looks a wonderful day out - educational too .. and what finds! Rock collecting gets us all at times .. and carrying them all back home!

    If we analyse our earth at home .. it's amazing what the stones throw up at us .. your little gems are great .. I can imagine you all had such fun .. Hilary

  18. So cool!! That would be a lot of fun! :)

  19. Hi Sharon,
    What a neat place! The photos and the corresponding captions are most informative.
    I'm very fascinated by fossils. I wouldn't have mind being a palaeontologist. I can dig that.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Gary :-)

  20. I just wanted to say thanks for dropping by the Divine Secrets of the Writing Sisterhood, and I'm glad you enjoyed my post for this week. Historical writing can be tough, but I think it's worth all the effort. Btw, I love your photos. I know quite a bit about Southwest Iowa and, interestingly enough, one of my novels takes place there after the Stock Market Crash. From one Midwesterner to another, good luck in your writing!

    Ciao for now,
    Mary Mary

    Feel free to check out my book reviews --

  21. My kids all went crazy over collecting shells when we visited Florida earlier this month. Those fossils you found are so cool!

  22. That would have been so awesome. I love fossils.

  23. I didn't even know that existed! We went down to Coralville once to look for fossils but it was FREEZING cold and the kids were unruly so we left almost as soon as we got there.

  24. What a super-cool outing! My kids would absolutely love that.

  25. I’m jealous… I’ve always wanted to do that. Thx for sharing.

  26. I love fossils! Those look really awesome. I collect fossils, along with other types of rocks, and love petrology/geology. :)

  27. My hubby was a geology major and he teaches science now. He loves this kind of thing and I've become so interested in it because of him. :) We have natural stone on our kitchen floor and I thought we'd be able to see some fossils in it, but there's nothing too interesting. Too bad. :(