Tuesday, July 25

Up early after a hot day yesterday and quite warm at night as well. Turned the camper A/C on last night and not sure what I’d get after the hail damage it took two weeks ago. It worked! Comfortable dinner meal and relaxing and good for sleeping as well.

Got going to the triceratops dig site and started off by updating our scale map where all bones found on the site are drawn in place as they are found. We’ve come up with a few small pieces in the last week that hadn’t been added to the map yet. They are still in place until they get mapped. Takes me a while to do the drawing and mapping; but needed information gained by having a clear map showing location of every bone and their relationship to each other in situ (in place before they are moved). It was getting hot so mapping wrapped up and got the shade canopy up as well as the two side panels we created to give more shade from the direct sun. It was windy today, really windy at this exposed site and had difficulty getting the canopies up and to stay in place. Seemed several times that the whole thing was going to be uprooted and take flight. And it actually did while I was on the phone with someone! One of the side tarps flew up and ripped the metal rebar stake right out of the ground. A lot of noise and quick action stopped it from taking off and taking the whole deal with it. I ended up standing there holding the tarp in my arms while on the phone call and while part of it was still attached to the frame and trying to set sail.

It was windy most of the day but eventually it either slowed down a little or I just got more used to the howling of wind as it rushed through the openings we cut in each tarp to let some air through to keep it from flying away. It did quiet down eventually. I am working again on removing the stubborn solid rock coating that is locking the individual bones to each other (making it very difficult to separate them so they can be field jacketed for removal). had some successes where a rib piece was touching the scapula and where the scapula touches the frill. Also removed a rib that was nestled up against the huge scapula by wrapping it in foil then covering it with duct tape. Also taped a couple of wood splints to it where it was very fragile. Will field jacket it tomorrow. It’s looking more clear to me each day we clear away the rock coating holding each piece to its neighbor.

Good look at the frill so far exposed. Doing too much “preparation in the field,” which I know better than to do, but need to find where the separation is between different bones so we can take each out.
Piece that was touching the large scapula bone next to it. Ready for plaster and burlap jacket.

The time seemed to get away from me and the sun wanted to set so I cleaned up the site, covered tools and the fossilized bones with a tarp, put the shade canopy away and went up to the top of the little butte I’m on for the sunset and a photo or two.

From up top above the dig looking East
Pano shot from on top of the butte we are digging on.
Sunset over the truck again tonight
Sun setting beyond “Big Butte” and the cow pond on my path back to camp.