Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Digging Deeper

Since we just spent a month in Germany, you'll have to read some tall tales of some of what we experienced there. Today, we're taking a little step back in time, to the Jurassic period. I had the great fortune of growing up close to an area where fossils of prehistoric fish, turtles, and crocodiles are to this day discovered on a regular basis. Amusing anecdote: When I first told the husband that I really did find fossils when I went to 'play paleontologist' as a kid, he didn't believe me. So we may or may not have climbed through a hole in the fence of a local slate quarry in the midst of winter, while I may or may not have been 4 months pregnant, just to hear him say 'I was wrong and you were right'. Hah! For the record, we didn't take anything that day, just poked around.*

This time, everything was on the up and up, we paid our 1 or 2 Euro entrance fee, brought hammers and chisels and set to work. This family does approve of child labor, in case you're wondering. They have not unionized yet.

This is the kind of stuff you can really find in an hour on a summer afternoon:

We wonder if those are prehistoric bird bones? We didn't dig them up, too fragile.

Pieces of 'Ammonites' - prehistoric sea snail type squids.

When the pros dig and prep, this is what it looks like:

An Ichtyosaurus head (or similar) and pond lilies.

The human in this picture is small, but you get the sense of scale of this magnificent fossilized log full of pond lilies. The kids love having age-old souvenirs on their season science table, that tell stories of worlds humans have never seen, and at the same time stories of wonderful times with friends and family.

*Here's a picture of me during that visit in 2005, just for old times' sakes, in front of a large ichtyosaurus:

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