Saturday, 7/8

Got up and going early today and at the dig site by @8am. It takes a full half hour of off road driving to get there from our base camp site on the ranch. Promptly sat down when I got there finished my hot tea and read a bit of something unrelated to fossils. Wonderful spot to sit and think.

Morning view from dig site

Had a productive day working on clean up from how we left the site last year. I removed the plaster “winter jacket” layer that we covered all bones with last season. It had been wet and was thin so not hard to remove it with little to no damage fossils underneath. I’m puzzled with what I see. It’s been a year since I saw this site and some of the bones seem familiar and recognizable, a scapula (shoulder), one or two humeri (upper arm bones) and maybe some triceratops frill, the huge shield behind the animal’s head. Then what else?, not sure. Need to do a little more careful peeling away of the surrounding matrix to find the definite edges of bone so we can start the process of mapping everything on to scale paper map and then apply plaster soaked burlap strips to make the protective filed jackets around each piece so they can be safely excavated. Easier written than done because the bones are in a jumble, criss-crossed over and under each other. This is a classic example of how bones get deposited and pushed up into a spread out pile. Photo of uncovered bones –

Had a nice visit with one of the ranch hands who brought along her 3 yr old son. Here he is hanging out with me at the dig. With his foot about 8” away from a newly discovered and exposed large dino bone!

I think he “kind of” trusted me, but kept his Mom in his eyesight

Took off from the site a little early to clean up, eat supper and head into town for a special event. One of my favorite spots in town is a local brew pub – the Old Skool – a converted old schoolhouse for their special “BrewTunes” music trivia night. I walked in and lo and behold two nice ladies we invited to join our team last year were all set up and ready to go. Last year they were apprehensive to join in as they’d never played before so we invited them to join us. They returned the favor and I got to sit in with their team. They are old hands at the game now, helping me remember the rules and how we play. Good night visiting with them and trying to remember what song that is…!

Here are a couple of photos of the dig site in a long line of buttes off in the distance. When you know where to look you can spot the dig from a long way away. I circled the spot to show where we are working this year. Photo –

Great expanse of prairie with badland buttes in the background. Our dig site is circled.
And there it is