Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fossicking a Brachiopod

As a gatherer in a month without mushrooms, vegetables, fruits or nuts, I am drawn to the LaBarque Creek streambed 50 yards away and entertained by fossils from the Ordovician Period -- 400 to 500 million years ago, when Missouri was underwater, specifically warm seawater. I found today the imprint of an ancient living creature, a simple clam-like bivalve called a brachiopod. As the first human being to lay eyes on it I never know what to say. It's an honor to meet this bookmark in time. Did it know it was beautiful?

"Fossicking" is a British-ism for "searching for gemstones among matrix rocks," but I like applying it to the enjoyable pursuit of fossil hunting. Have found fossils of marine plants and coral and creatures such as this brachiopod. Fossicking is made easier by the amazing fact that rocks with fossils and imprints usually lie on the ground fossil-side up.

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