January 13-14, 2007 - Cambrian Fossils, Cherokee Co, AL

This month BPS members made an overnight trip to Cherokee County, Alabama to collect from the Conasauga formation. With a good turn out (approx 20 members), ample fossils, and temperatures hovering in the low 70's, the universe cooperated in creating a great outdoor experience for us.

Stop 1 was a late Cambrian site, Dresdachian stage, (515 MYA) which yielded a number of Brooksella.

Stop 2 was in the Albertan stage approx 530MYA. Thanks to Capt. Steve, a short boat trip to the collecting site yielded some good specimens of trilobites which appear to be Kingstonia, Densonella, Norwoodella, and Cossella.

The evening of the first day was spent at a local Seafood house followed by a delightful evening spent at a cabin rented by BPS. We celebrated Jan and Lea Novaks birthdays; Lea baked her own cake, a Czech trilobite cake, which was great. This was followed by much good drink, a spirited backgammon game, Pro football on the big screen TV (yes we were roughing it), more good drink, talk and blues on the radio.

Day 2 was another warm day for January starting with a good and inexpensive breakfast at the local fish camp. There was more fossil hunting on the local beach followed by several hours of splitting shale on another beach which was also fruitful. Later in the afternoon, a number of members decided to scout some new sites which we were told about by a local fossil hunter we met at our first stop.
--Edited by Vicki Lais

(Photos courtesy Bill Fowler, Steve Corvin, and Vicki Lais)

members on fossil collecting trip
Everyone is anticipating a great day of collecting!

collecting fossils at lake

brooksella fossils
Samples of the nice brooksellas that were found.

Lea and Claire collecting fossils at lake
Lea and Claire surveying the area.

collecting fossils at lake and arrowhead
Steve found a nice point in the area.

fossil stromatolite
Nice stromatolite found by Vicki.

Bill and micro photos of fossil trilobites
Bill and some of his small trilobite finds under the microscope. Click photo (then click photo) for larger image.

collecting fossils at lake
The next site required a short boat trip. The shoreline in this area is composed of deteriorated Conasauga shale.

Nancy's brooksella fossils
Nancy found some nice (but decidedly muddy!) brooksella.

Steve with his fossil trilobite
Steven with his trilobite find.

Bob collecting fossil trilobites in shale
Searching for trilobites in the broken shale.

Bob found double brooksella fossils
Bob found a double brooksella.

searching for fossil trilobites
We learned the meaning of "don't leave any rock unturned" today . . .

fossil trilobite and brooksella

fossil trilobites
Samples of what was found on day 1.
fossil trilobites
More trilobite specimens from day 1.

searching for fossil trilobites
People were scattered all up and down the shoreline.

close up shot of fossils in rock
Another find by Bill, shown under the microscope.

small fossil trilobites under the microscope
A pebble filled with small trilobites, found by Bill.

Claire and her fossil trilobites, brooksella
Claire and her best finds of the day - very nice brooksella and trilobites.

fossil trilobite
Very nice trilobite found by Bobby.

fossil trilobites

fossil trilobites

shale layers containing fossil trilobites
On day 2 we collected at a different site. Large outcrops of Conasauga shale turned on edge held numerous trilobites.

Becky searching for fossil trilobites
Becky is extracting small hunks of the shale to carefully split apart.

fossil trilobite
Nice trilobite specimen found at this site, found by Pam and Bob.

fossil trilobites

fossil trilobites
Leisa was having very good luck splitting the shale.

David and Becky searching for fossil trilobites

fossil trilobite

fossil trilobites