And then came the rain!!
First I would like to thank Curtis Ormond, the guides and all the other people who help make collecting at this site a possibility. Without them we would never have the chance to enter the mine and collect such wonderful fossils. Thank You!!
The day started out raining but not too cold. The view from the top of the ramp took my breath away...the collecting area is huge!!!! As I walked into the mine I saw hill after hill of great looking Yorktown and Pungo. The area has something for everyone. The material isn't too weathered yet so there should be great finds all season long, as long as we keep getting rain.
About 15 minutes after starting I saw a small corner of root sticking out of the side of a gully in some Yorktown. I leaned down and plucked the Mako from the dirt....but wait this wasn't a Mako. It was my first Great White from the Yorktown! What it lacks in size it makes up for in color. I continued on my trek toward the back of the mine picking up teeth and other fossils as I went.
Midway through the day I saw a bone and picked it up..nothing really special about this I thought to myself as I dropped it back down to the ground. But then as I looked at it again something told me I should take it with me so I stuck it into my pack and kept moving. This later proved to be a wise move as it turned out to be a Walrus humerus! As I neared the top of one hill I noticed two sets of footprints and right in between them A nice 2" upper Mako. Not long after I spotted the tip of a tooth sticking out from the ground. I slowly uncovered it with my fingers expecting to find the broken end any second..but then there it was the complete root. I wiped it off and looked at my biggest Mako from the mine at 2.5". While it's not even close to being considered big by most collectors it is my best yet from the mine. As I moved on I continued to find Shark and Whale teeth along with other fossils at a steady pace. I looked at the time..2 hours to go. I started hunting my way back out as the wind picked up and it started to get noticably colder and the rain started again. I saw a whale phalanx and as I picked it up saw another one under it. I dug around a bit more and when I was finished I had 5 complete phalanges and two partial ones. I would have to say they are associated since they came from a area the size of a paper plate! I packed them away as the rain started to mix with sleet. On my way out I found another Mako just an inch from another footprint. For those of you going in later in the season don't let footprints discourage you there are more nice fossils that get walked past than are carried out of the mine! Just hunt slower and more carefully than the other collectors and you will do well. Good Luck to all.
|Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina, USA