February 2, 2019 - Mississippian, Franklin County, Al.

Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 was an absolutely PERFECT day for a field trip!  There were 14 BPS members and guests who got together to spend a much-needed day in the great outdoors looking for fossils.  The general area was a lakeshore in Franklin County (lower Bangor limestone formation) and our leaders selected 3 sites from which to collect.  The first site, a public boat launch, was fairly void of fossils (except for a nice shark tooth in limestone matrix) but we had heard that the area had been over-collected recently so it was not unexpected.  Even with slim fossil findings, the beautiful very spring-like weather had everyone enjoying the hunt. 

It was decided to relocate to the site we collected last year so we all packed up and headed over.  Thanks to expert navigation by Bob, we made it to the next site quickly and without a hitch – good job, Bob!!  And this site proved to be as productive as it was last year.  The shore consists of fossil slabs and loose fossils that had washed out of the matrix.  Copious crinoid components, bryozoan components, horn corals, bivalves, brachiopods, and blastoids were all found while at this site.  A non-fossil but interesting find was a pharyngeal dental plate from a freshwater drum fish.  It was very pleasant to sit in the warm sun, with the fresh breeze, sifting and searching the washed-out fossils along the shoreline. 

Some called it a great day after this but the remainder of the group ventured on to a road cut several miles away.  Still in the Mississippian strata, we found a few blastoids, a brachiopods and even a couple of trilobites or, rather, the infamous “trilo-butts”.  One specimen was very nice, being in pristine shape as if newly exposed.  By this time, the sun was beginning to set so the remainder of the group wrapped up the hunt and bid the fossil hunt good day.  There’s a great Mexican restaurant on Hwy 157 that is convenient to the interstate so the last of the Mohicans stopped there for good food and conversation before heading the rest of the way home.  What a great day!