It was plenty hot yesterday and forecast for today, as of this morning, was for 101 degrees and mild winds from 10-15mph. We were a little concerned about handling prospecting or digging in this extreme heat. But we got going and agreed to work under the shade canopy at the Clarence site to try to be productive and stay safe. It all worked out just fine.
We weren’t in any big rush and just took our time to expose a couple more bones that appear to belong to Clarence. Looks like a rib and … not sure about the second bone; maybe a small vertebra, maybe a rock!? We’ll determine what the mystery piece is back in the lab. We worked on exposing both bones and digging all around them to create pedestals of rock underneath to support each piece. We then mixed up some molding plaster and cut strips of burlap to dip into the wet plaster and apply in layers over each fossil. The field jackets turned out fine and we put caps of plaster on a couple of the bones we previous had jacketed and “flipped” yesterday. With plaster on all sides, top and bottom the fossil is ready to travel back to the lab with us in August.
We also worked to remove more of the overburden in the wall that’s towering over where the dig is heading. We’re never sure what’s next or where it may be hiding or when it will end. We just keep following the last bone and expand out carefully searching for the faintest hint of bone. While rock often is sneaky and looks a lot like the bone so there’s a good amount of, “What do you think about this; bone or rock?” And we compare and check in with each other at the dig constantly like that getting confirmation that you’re not crazy and that really is bone, or, “Nope, it’s rock.”
We ended up being out all day and when we finished up and headed to the truck the clouds kind of started to move in. Took a few photos of the landscapes and skies. Late evening is such good light for photos everywhere and it’s just as true here. We’ll be back at Clarence tomorrow and hopefully we’ll have several more bones located? Maybe the skull is lurking just a few more inches back in the wall?