Dry Dredgers Joint Field Trip with the KPS
July 10, 2010
 Bardstown, KY
Ordovician to Silurian Formations

The Cincinnati Dry Dredgers have made it a tradition to meet with their closest fellow fossil club, the Kentucky Paleontological Society, based in Lexington, for an annual meeting, picnic and field rip. Each year we take turns hosting the event. This year the KPS invited us for a tour of our favorite central Kentucky locations.

We gathered at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, which is south of Louisville. There we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, enjoyed shared covered dishes and had door prize drawings.

It was interesting to meet people with some of the same interests and varied backgrounds. This is much more informal than a Dry Dredgers meeting. There was plenty of time to discuss fossil site locations, identification tips, trilobite finding methods, fossil preparation, .... you name it. I enjoyed discussing fossil molding and casting techniques with Glen Kuban who specializes in molding Dinosaur tracks.

Here are some photos of our picnic. The photos speak for themselves in saying it was a good time.

After we all satisfied with our time picnicing, we headed to our first fossil site: dolomite limestone facies loaded with the Silurian trilobite Gravicalymene.

Parking was not available at the site. So we had to park in a nearby parking lot and walk with our picks and hammers to the road cut.

The dolomite is pretty hard. It's not like the soft flakey shale in the Cincinnatian Ordovician. This stuff requires a good sledge hammer to force the wedge or pick between the sedimental layers.

The hammering is hard work....

But it pays off with nice internal molds of Gravicalymene celebra.

Finding or seeing people finding these trilobites and trilobite parts kept the motivation going to keep up that pounding. And unlike the last time we visited this site in 2008, the temperatures were mild and the sun was in and out. So we were able to keep at it longer.

Nobody had to keep going with the hard work of cracking dolomite. We had the advantage of sitting around resting. We shared our finds and stayed hydrated.

When everyone was ready, we headed back to the cars to a little more tired than when we started.

After a convenient store stop for snacks, we moved on to our second site. This site exposes the Ordovician layers rich in Corals.

The corals often formed balls that you could see in the strata.

These coral heads are found at road level along this road cut

They can be distinquished from balls of bryozoans by the fact that each hole has septa lines radiating from the hole's center. Study the close-up in next photo.

Many of these coral heads are quite large and broken portions are found.

This site was mostly coral. But other types of Ordovician fossils were also found. Here's a nice crinoid stem.

Perhaps though the best find of the day was also not a coral. It was an unusual and in good condition example of a stromatoporoid named Beatricia. This specimen is a rod shape with 6 sides. It's in better shape than most. Nice!

Special thanks to the Dan Phelps of the Kentucky Paleo Society for organizing this fun trip.

Now see photos of our September 2010 field trip to a creek in Ohio

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