Thursday, August 8

It was a hot dig in the field today; even with the shade from the canopy, it was just plain hot. Not much breeze and high temperature with added feeling of a little humidity. It’s been really pleasant lately so I’ll just have to deal with a little elevated heat.

We removed the hip bone (ilium) plaster jacketed yesterday and installed a plaster cap on the open portion on the bottom for safe travel back to Indiana and safe storage until we can work on it in the lab.

Also put cap on the large bone we rolled over and removed yesterday; so it’s ready to travel. I added another piece of wood 2×4 for stiffness to help this big bone stay in one piece.

We wrapped the three vertebrae, that were laying next to the sacral vert’s, in aluminum foil then installed the burlap & plaster field jacket on all three as one big block. They were touching each other and would have likely caused them damage to try to separate them in the field, better done in the controlled environment of the prep lab.

In removing the soils left under bones recently jacketed & removed I found what looks like a tarsal/metacarpal bone (long bone in foot or hand) under the pubis bone and a bunch more of the long, pencil thin ossified tendons overlapping each other.

I also found what appears to be the proximal ends (closest to the body) of the set of ribs seen a couple days ago.

These ends of the ribs are running under an (currently) unknown bone; I think this may be the matching piece of ilium from the other side of the specimen. The three hip bones are all paired with left and right, roughly identical, mates. The three bones that make up the pelvis and create a socket opening for the thigh bone (femur) are: the pubis, ischium and the ilium. They’re in pairs so if all present then we’ll have six bones.

I cut out from the dig about 7pm to clean up and have a streak on the grill. Both the shower and meal were great. With many less mosquitoes around now I’m able to shower with the shower tent door open to the great outdoors. Feels wonderful to have a warm shower with a view and gentle breeze. Cooked a good steak and served it with sliced potatoes and a beer – life is good. (no food pictures here – seriously!)

I carried out from the dig site a couple of jacketed bones that I could carry in my arms the @100 yards back to my truck. We’re storing them in an open garage building at camp so the plaster can dry in peace without them being rained on. All will be good and dry when I pack up to head home next week.

I will need to borrow a quad vehicle that can drive directly to the dig site to be able to transport the big bones back to the truck – there are several that are bigger than a person can carry on their own.

HooDoos – Toadstools – rocks that are holding it all together. Here are a couple cool photos showing the crazy results of erosion, both wind and water, that form these hoodoos (pronounced- “who-do”) where just a small bit of underlying, softer soils are held in place by harder cap rock. Pretty cool landscapes!

Considered going into town this evening to do laundry that had stacked up; then thought better of it! I’m good and tired so decided to go into town in the morning instead. I’ll get laundry done then and can review bills to be paid for work, grab some ice and hopefully a soothing chai latte from my fav coffee shop in Baker!