OLIVER CREEK FIELD TRIP – Same Song, 21th Verse
Saturday, August 22
By Roger Farish
The waters have receded after reaching 20+ feet deep several times in May, so collecting should be good.
A cool, clean, clear stream babbling over limestone and close to home, unheard of, right? Well, just a few dozen miles north of Fort Worth, a bit northwest of Justin is Oliver Creek. A while back we tracked a creek full of tumbled fossils upstream to their source and the gracious landowners have consented, once again, to let us tromp up and down their lovely creek. Not only is it a neat place for a pastoral outing and picnic, but the soft limestone yields ammonites like Oxytropidoceras and echinoids likeEpiaster whitei and the rarer, regular Salenia mexicana and a few shark teeth. Seams of soft marl hold echinoids ideal for mining. It’s not so much, “Will I find anything?”, but “How much of this stuff do I want to collect and take home”. So, you WILL find ammonites and you WILL find echinoids as well as the rest of the typical marine fauna like crab parts, gastropods (snails) and pelecypods (bi-valves).
We’ll be collecting on very private land in the Goodland Formation (Lower Cretaceous, middle Albian) just west of Drop, Texas (don’t look for skyscrapers here). This is a fairly large, open creek bed so many people can collect. Perfect for kids – they will find neat stuff - and pets. Just mind your invitees. We are out in nature, so expect the normal fare of bugs and other creepy crawlers. Hopefully we’ll have water in the creek this year so kids can splash or do tadpoles and crawdads.
Meet us at 8:30 AM in Justin, Texas on Hwy. 156 where it shares the road with Hwy. 407 at the Justin Boot Outlet parking lot right. Or a simpler way to say it is to go to Justin and meet at the ‘horse’. This is all north and a bit west of the Texas Motor Speedway on I35W, north of Hwy.114.
Bring your hard-rock tools (hammer, chisels), a bucket if you have one (plenty will be provided), wading shoes, little clothing, sun protection and plenty of liquids. Much of the creek is overhung by large trees, so shade is available although I am working on some way to rent it out – for the Society benefit, of course. We’ll lunch by the creek, so pack your brown bag. The Society will furnish some drinks and desert – by the way, how are your seed-spitting skills? As always, check the Paleo Hotline (817-355-4693 metro) for any last minute changes, but rain (hopefully) or shine, we will do this one. Contact me if you have specific questions: email – email@example.com or phone - use 972-898-2700 if you get lost on that Saturday. Please don’t be late – IT’S SUMMER.