Fieldwork and Contests

Examining a Boyne outcrop.
I didn't provide any field updates last week, so I'll write a bit about that now. We haven't found a ton of new stuff in the last couple weeks, but a couple of neat things have cropped up; while doing a stratigraphy section in the Pembina shale, our Fossil Crew found small pyrite veins and blue bentonite. The bentonite is really cool because it means that it had never been exposed to oxygen, making it fairly rare (by now, it's turned white or yellow), and pyrite veins have never been discovered in the Pembina before (pyrite is also known as fool's gold because of its sparkly color). We've planned a field trip with the Manitoba Geological Survey on account of these discoveries.

Measuring bentonite layers.
A lot of our recent field  activity has been devoted more to hiking and exploring rather than intense fossil excavation, although we have located a few neat specimens. It's been getting pretty hot out, with most days peaking at 30 degrees Celcius or higher, but the trade-off is that the tick population is in steady decline and should probably vanish around the beginning of August. The heat is nasty enough on its own, though, especially in areas where there's lots of sun and little wind (like in the creek beds or shale pits where we seem to spend a disproportionately large amount of time searching for fossils). Of course, swarms of mosquitoes appear as soon as the wind dies down, so a day outside in July requires a lot more preparation than one in May when this year's field season started; sunscreen and bug spray are absolute requirements, while it's sometimes necessary to bring two or three bottles of water depending on humidity.

The CFDC's Dino Day Camp is now in full swing! If you needed any incentive to drop off the kids and get the day to yourself, we've just begun a promotion in conjunction with Amell's Gas and Go in Pilot Mound where all Day Camp registrants receive a coupon for a free ice cream cone; conversely, those of you who order a T-rex Burger at Amell's and present the receipt at the museum will get a 10% discount on a Day Camp booking. Our Youth Program Coordinators have a whole bunch of great activities planned, so don't hesitate to visit Amell's or the museum.

Matt Remple
Field Tech