Thursday, July 5, 2012

It was during my enchanted days of travel that the idea came to me, which, through the years, has come into my thoughts again and again and always happily—the idea that geology is the music of the earth.
— Hans Cloos

I've lately, as the poem above suggests, been very enthralled with rocks, fossils and meteorites. While traipsing around Wyoming I've picked up some interesting items right off the ground, and plucked from the rivers and streams.

Yesterday, Brian's Geologist friend Chris spent 4th of July with us. It was a lot of fun, we watched the parade and then came back to the RV for bratwurst and potato salad. Eventhough it was Chris's day off, Chris went through all my rocks, explained what they were, how they were formed, even where they came from. Very cool!

Chris teaches every summer up at Timber Lake Ranch and lives in Virginia the rest of the year. Pretty good gig :-)

( back to my rocks)
My most exciting find was a gastrolith. Gastroliths are stones that dinosaurs eat to aid in digestion. I thought I had Jasper:-) But instead it is a chert stone swallowed most likely by a brachiosaurus in the Jurassic period!!( two exclamations are in order, and I am restraining myself you see). BUT for full disclosure I must say the only problem with my specimen is that I put olive oil on it about a week ago to bring out the colors better. Chris does thinks it is a gastrolith out of the Morrison formation, says it does taint the authenticity a bit, but still has no problem saying it is a real gastrolith. All the other markers are there. :-). Chris also happened to of found a gastrolith just the other day a few miles from where I found mine and was kind enough to give it to me. So I have TWO stoneths runneth over :-) ( He He I love geology humor). It took great restain on my part not to put them under my pillow last night as I understand right? These rocks were inside DINOSAURS!

Another find which Chris called my most interesting piece is a fossilized sand ripple. The picture will not do it justice but will try anyways. You know how sand can make a ripple pattern from the wind and waves? Well this is a fossilized sand ripple....too cool.

Above, example of sand ripples

My fossilized sand ripple. Like I said, the picture just doesn't do it justice.
Oh and my earlier post of a rock that I thought was a fossil was actually uh er fossilized mud :-)

What you see is 510 million year old limestone mud. The mud would dry and flake off from the wind and the flakes would sink into the mud. The official name is Flat pebble conglomerate. Well if you are still reading this your eyes are glazed so I won't show any more rocks, though I could if you want me ello? ello? Anyone there? Did I loose you at 510 million year old limestone? Well the Devils Tower is next, gotta be some good stuff around there so girdle your loins!


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