Aurora, NC:

Lee Creek Hunt (in the pit!)
October 2004

"Fall 2004 Collecting Area, the NCPC site in the pit!"

The collecting area goes from the left of the road that is sunken (on the right hand side), all the way over to the edge of the picture. At the far right (not on this image) is a large body of water that marks the right boundary. The collecting area then goes way back toward those drag lines and phosphate mounds near the center of the image.

Oct 2nd was our slot for Lee Creek. This fall season is in the pit! It has been 5 looonnng years since we got a chance to go into the pit. Thanks PCS for allowing us in! Needless to say, the collecting area was much better than the NCPC spoils that have been exhausted over the years. Anyhow, we left Friday evening and arrived Sat. morning nice and tired for the days collecting ahead of us. Within the 1st 10 minutes of hunting I found some nice extant tiger teeth and some decent makos! I turned to Amy, holding up my finds, and said “this is the pit alright!” Unfortunately, I jinxed myself. After the initial finds, collecting became slow, with only tiny stuff to pick up. We slowly combed over the collecting area, and never did make it through the whole area since it’s so large. We picked up fossils here and there throughout the day. Overall, we did ok, even though no decent Megs or Chubs were found by us. I did end up with a squalodon molar with the root broken, some nice looking smaller makos, some nice extant tigers, and decent fish material. Then we left Sunday for the horrible looonnnggg and boring drive home.

Also, we ended up collecting 3 bags of material for our bone garden... Bone garden?? Let me explain… One time at Ditchweezils house, I noticed the coolest thing. There wasn’t a vegetable garden or a rock garden in front of his house; there was a BONE garden. It was full of fossilized whale bone. Seeing this unusual garden that could only be appreciated by a fossil fanatic inspired me to make one of my own. We have a rather large rock garden, perhaps 40 x 15 feet, and another one perhaps 8 x 100 feet, and numerous other rock garden islands throughout our yard, and other big rock garden, about 40 x 20 behind our house. I estimate with all our Tertiary collecting, the rocks will slowly be covered by fossil bone by the year 2015 or so… you gotta start somewhere! Anyhow, Paul graciously plucked us some bone garden material and Amy and I collected 3 large bags of broken whale verts, rib fragments, etc… All bone garden quality. Yup, the neighbors are looking strangely at us right now…

Enough of that! Good luck to all who are signed up to collect this season! The potential is there! Now for the pics!

Here is a decent mako right before it was plucked! There is also a small sand tiger tooth toward the top of the image.

Another mako sitting on some pungo material. Sadly for us, but luckily for another collector, this tooth was dropped back into the mine. See the story further down for an explanation.

Here are the finds from the trip... Notice there are not many teeth... There is a story to this.. But first the finds... Amy's finds were 2 fused fish vertebra and a piece of hake jaw. My finds were some nice looking makos and a squalodon tooth missing some root. Now the story... When we arrived at home, I began to unload the fossils. I unloaded my fishing vest first, then went to Amy's. To my surprise, there was hardly anything in Amy's vest... I then questioned her about the peculiar lack of fossils in her vest. I knew I saw her picking up stuff! She said that she noticed when she bent over to pick things up, some fossils would fall out of her vest, but she thought she was picking them back up... One word... BLOND

Some mako teeth

Some tiger teeth

A Squalodon atlanticus molar with the roots broken.

Here are two tired collectors at the end of the day

Here's the place we stayed at this time.

Another pic of the place.

Good bye south... Up north we go.. Until next season!

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