Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 31, 2007

Today's Mother's Day Site (MDS) temperature: 110 degrees

Well, today I had a recurrence of sinus and chest congestion which I first picked up before leaving Cincinnati. The dust, changes in altitude and temperature, and numerous other factors have affected several of us in camp over the past two weeks. We had a beautiful morning up on the Beartooth Plateau, climbing once again to well over 10,000 feet and surveying the 3.8 billion year old rocks lying right next to the much younger sedimentary rocks. We all managed to spy a marmot playing on the rocks, and a few even spotted a pika. For those of you not familiar with this small "rock rabbit", it is a cousin of rabbits but is much smaller and lives primarily in very mountainous areas. They're very skiddish and not very camera friendly.

I ended up staying at the YBRA after the morning drive in order to get some rest and let some cold medicine work its magic, but the rest of the gang headed out to the Mother's Day site for a few hot hours in the quarry. John was hard at work on a metatarsal (foot bone), Tom is working on some limb elements which are still too buried to identify, Kim is making some great progress on some gastralium (belly ribs) and a chevron, while Bill has his hands full with a very delicate and complicated cervical vertebra.

In news from camp, Angela and Gary managed to corral a baby rabbit which had somehow become impaled by several cactus spines. After having the spines removed, it fed on a fair bit of watermelon and appears to be doing better. Another couple of days of TLC and it should be ready to go back out...that is if Angela will let it out of her sight.

Today was a MUCH better day on the prospecting front, with Dale, D.M. and Sam finding more bones today than they had in the previous four days. Included among their finds were more turtle scutes, a few dinosaur vertebra and select other small bones, and a few unidentifiable pieces of float. The problem with this excellent prospecting spot...it's about a 40-minute walk across the badlands. Any volunteers?

I'll be posting some photos from today, hopefully first thing in the morning (Mountain Time). Assuming that I'm feeling better, I will be camping tomorrow (Wednesday) night and therefore not posting again until Thursday. Keep cool thoughts.

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