Thursday, July 18

Had a really nice day today. Woke up when I woke up (no clock, alarm or otherwise), greeted by sunshine and a light breeze, then I went into town for a nice morning tea break, catch up on blogging and other internet related things, made a couple of calls, got ice & a few groceries then back to the ranch camp to head out to our second dig site discovered last year.e

At this dig we left all the bones found in place; we removed nothing before we ran out of time. I had two good friends in to do so much (all?) the digging at this location last season. Gaetano & Mariachiara came from Italy to play in the dirt with me last year. Here they are on the last day with the bones covered with a layer of burlap strips dipped in plaster of Paris then applied over the bones.

We did this to protect the fossils with a “winter cast” which then was buried under about 12” of soil to keep all safe until we returned this season.

Just unearthed the winter cast today and all looked good and secure.

Now we’ll continue this dig by searching for more bones and removing this this plaster jacket.

See the newly exposed parts of vertebrae and other bone here:

We’ll map the whole site noting the location of each bone and any other fossilized matter we find (teeth, crocodile parts, turtle shell, etc.) and noting any other features of the surrounding matrix (rock/soils) we discover. We’ll end up carefully attempting to plaster field jacket individual bones so they can be safely removed. If too “jumbled” together we may have to remove several bones together just as they lay there in a larger block. I hope not, because larger block = lots of weight and an unwieldy shaped big ol’ plaster jacket full of bones.

Stayed at the sight pretty late, until almost sunset. Comfortable digging weather and beautiful skies called me to stay put. Here are a couple of photos that kind of represent what I experienced.

That’s my truck about 75 yards away from this dig site. Looks like a Chevy commercial – Like A Rock!

Be back at it tomorrow!