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Theme: (very, very, very) Old Things

  • Posted July 14, 2010 by Marsha Viewed 3681 times

  • This is a migrated legacy post. Image resolution is low. Info

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument [nps.gov]
Florissant, Colorado

Over 35 million years ago near what's now Florissant, Colorado, there was a lush green valley full of insects, small mammals, birds, plants, and giant redwood trees.

During the Eocene age enormous volcanic eruptions buried this valley trapping the plant and animal life in layers of sediment and pumice, and petrifying the redwoods.

The area, which now holds a wealth of finely detailed remnants of this prehistoric life secured between layers of shale, was designated as a national monument in 1969.

The scene below is an area where scientists and experts are allowed to excavate under very strict protocols.

One of the many petrified redwood stumps in the area.

The lay of the land at Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument.

On privately owned land near the national monument there's a fossil quarry that for a fee is open to the public for exploration. My 13 year old grandson, Jackson, who’s been interested in paleontology-related subjects for many years, had great fun combing through the pieces of shale, searching for fossils.

Jackson using a tool to pry apart piece of shale to see if there's a treasure inside.


Jackson was successful in the hour we were there finding several fossils containing leaf fragments and this small insect which is relatively intact. Doesn't look too bad for a little critter that's tens of millions of years old!!

In keeping with the “old” theme, here's an old picture of Jackson at age 4. His pre-school teacher asked the children to dress up for the graduation ceremony according to what they wanted to be when they grew up. Jackson chose….you guessed it….a paleontologist!

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    There are 26 comments, add yours!

    • # Christa

      So an interesting post Marsha, I love to look after fossils and we have also a similar place near where I live.

      2010.07.19 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Brenda Nelson

      What interesting shots and informative narrative. (I love learning new things!) #6 is awesome, #7 is amazing, and #8 is adorable (Indiana Jones in the making!) Wonderful set, Marsha!
      And thanks for liking my "post" post!

      2010.07.18 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Ricardo

      before insects were much bigger than they actually are! what makes me scared! imagina big old filthy centipede...gooosh.. (i've milipedophobia haha)
      I love this documentary from you Marsha! Here there is some archeological thing, I once was to be part of one, but my schedule didn't help me with it :/

      2010.07.16 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Darlene Foster

      Great post, Marsha! I have been in this area many times, but I've never gone to the fossil beds. Must put it on my bucket list!

      2010.07.16 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Tom

      Wow what an interesting set, looks like its alot of fun to explore Great shot of Jackson

      Perfect for the theme

      2010.07.15 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Sadhya Rippon

      Lovely and very interesting post Marsha. There are some good places in the UK for fossil hunting, and on my shelf right now there are a couple of fossils that I have found. So exciting and interesting.

      2010.07.15 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Ray

      What a great post. And knowing from age 4 what one wants to do in life! Now that's amazing. I don't even know what I want to do tomorrow!

      2010.07.15 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Brian

      How cool to have a place to search for fossils. My kids would love to do that.

      2010.07.15 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Lucinda

      What a wonderful set! And adding your grandson to the set was great!! Well done!

      2010.07.14 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jacki

      Nice post! This looks like you guys had great fun, thanks for sharing!

      2010.07.14 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Helen

      Fantastic set. I thought my 11th century church was old but you beaten me by several millennia here!! :-)

      2010.07.14 Edited Reply Cancel