November 27, 2020 - Pennsylvanian - Jefferson County, Alabama

On Friday, November 27, 2020, seven BPS members and guests went to a working strip mine in Jefferson County to collect fossils from the Pottsville formation of the Pennsylvanian period.  The fossils collected today originated in a warm, steamy, oxygen-rich environment and grew to towering heights.  Some of the fossils found are pith casts, formed when sediments filled the hollow center of a stem and later hardened/mineralized into rock.  Other fossils are imprints and show beautiful details of fern-like foliage.
Some of the identified fossils found today include calamites, Lepidodendron, Stigmaria, Neuropteris, seed and cone fossils, brachiopods, gastropods and other inorganic remains (rain drops, fossilized waves and ripples). In one area, several cordaites with characteristic, strap-like leaves were spotted and photographed.  Several huge stumps were identified but were either too high in the debris wall or way too heavy to get into a car today.
The weather was ideal for quarry collecting today.  Early sun knocked the chill out of the air but clouds soon thickened which kept the temperature very pleasant.  Participants observed social distancing but still managed to keep up with the fossils that were being found.  All things considered, it seemed a very successful day.