I LOVE Fossils!

I grew up in Central New York, in the town over from Jamesville where there is a limestone quarry, also known as part of the Onondaga Limestone Strip. Limestone is sedimentary rock formed from marine life. The rock on our land was shale, another sedimentary rock formed under water, and very hard to dig through, but it splits apart easily horizontally. Every time we split a rock apart, we would find tons of fossils. We also found fossils we called horns. My Dad recently told me that when he and my Grandpa built the first house on the land back in the early 50’s that Syracuse University used to come out for fossil digs. I thought I had examples of these fossils around here somewhere – I’ll have to round them up for you. I just assumed that fossils were everywhere until we moved away and it’s rare for me to find a fossil. Until today. I had taken clothes out of my dryer and put wet clothes in, went to close the dryer, and found something was preventing it from closing. Upon investigation, I remembered that I ‘borrowed’ a fossil of a piece of a plant stem and put it in my coat pocket. So here’s photos of a washed & dried fossilized plant stem found at Onanda Park in Canandaigua, NY:

04Sep2006-003c 04Sep2006-007c

Here it is on end:


I feel bad because washing & drying it chipped little bits of it off and left shiny spots. But I think this is so cool, don’t you?

The next photo is of the bad boy that was *inside* my home today. He’s the Western Conifer Seed Bug I saw here. Also known as a stink bug. Ewwwww. Now I have respect for things outside of my home, but once they come inside, they’re m-i-n-e. I got out my kill jar, and put him back outside, safe and sound. Here he is on his way outside:

I went looking in my wooden bowl that I keep my dried plant stash in for the fossils that I mentioned above. I didn’t find them here, but I thought I would photograph the bowl for you. I love wooden bowls:


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan Gets Native
    Sep 04, 2006 @ 21:52:12

    I love wooden bowls, too! I am drawn to them in stores…our nature center has some awesome ones carved by a local artist. If only I could afford them!
    I hear ya about bugs in the house. When they set foot in the house, it’s GO time!


  2. Lynne
    Sep 05, 2006 @ 09:18:49

    Cool fossil! We found some tiny shell fossils camping in southern Minnesota a few years ago. They really set my immagination going. I love your wood bowl- full of treasures!


  3. Pam
    Sep 05, 2006 @ 12:53:03

    Hi Susan, Yeah, wooden bowls are so expensive, but so cool. The one I photographed here is in my bay window so I can see it all of the time.

    Hi Lynne, Thanks – don’t you love finding fossils. It’s such a treat to find them. I think I need to go fossil hunting again soon.


  4. Laura
    Sep 05, 2006 @ 21:24:58

    Beautiful bowl and the collection suits it just perfectly. I’d keep it nearby to look at often, too!


  5. Trackback: International Rock Flipping Day « Nature Woman
  6. Grace's Dad
    May 21, 2010 @ 18:28:15

    I just discovered horned corals were at the intersection of Route 80 and Route 20, known as Lord’s Corners. My nephews and I gathered several hundred lying in a roadside drainage ditch in our first experience with fossil-hunting and thought it was thrilling.

    I then discovered brachiopods along Sweet Road in Jamesville. Plentiful, as you say, when the shale is split or lifted horizontally.

    I live in the Valley, adjacent to Jamesville, and love having found that fossils are so findable in the immediate area. My wife and daughter have been members of the earth museum in Ithaca but I hadn’t caught the bug until this past month. I’m making a fossil garden or sculpture (or mound) of sorts.

    Among the brachiopods, there were a couple bivalves. Susan, where should I go next for a different type of common fossil? I tend to go with my 10 year old daughter or kids even younger and so the easier the better. I was very impressed with how well-defined some fossils were.


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