Saturday, July 22, 2017

W. M. Browning Cretaceous Fossil Park

   Today's adventure took us to Twenty Mile Creek in Frankstown, Mississippi. It is known for prehistoric shark teeth and other fossils. This fossil park is a day use area just off of Highway 45 Near Boonville, Mississippi, about an hour from where we live. We have been planning to make this trip for several years after some of the boys were given one of the best birthday presents...a bag of sand and a sieve. Eventually realized that it was dug from this area and even though the bag of sand was lots of fun to search through and find stuff we just figured it would have to be loads of fun to go out there and dig for "hidden treasures".


This morning we decided we should just go, so we packed up the kids and headed out...we stopped off at Walmart to look for kids sand toys or something that we could use as a sieve. There weren't any more, so we decided on cat litter scoops and some sink sieves. When we go back for a second try I think I'd like to be prepared with a bigger sieve box.

 We arrived and headed down to the creek and I quickly realized that even though pictures would have been fun, the camera would have most likely gone for a swim. I made the right choice it would have definitely drowned a couple of times from either falling or sinking into deep spots. The entrance to the creek was very steep and very slippery with no where to go but straight into the water. So I took a few pictures before we explored and searched for prehistoric shark teeth and other possible fossils.



We spent several hours sifting through the creek bed sand and gravel. It seems to be a relatively safe area. The current wasn't overly strong, and the deepest point was probably at the top of my legs so even Benjamin(4) was able to stay above water at all times. Everyone found something interesting to take home; several shark teeth, shells a few fossil pieces. Benjamin found "peanut rock" it was bigger than him so we couldn't bring that one home, but we know where to visit it. Some of the other interesting finds were the critters in the water.

There were bunches of minnows to chase through the water, tadpoles to watch, dragonfly nymphs, some small blue dragonflies...but the most interesting that was weird, interesting and a bit creepy were the tiny bright blood red worms that I was really worried were some kind of leech. It was actually the larval form of a type of midge fly and thankfully harmless but definitely very interesting to come across.

One warning that I did read was that May was the best time to go because at this time of year there is a heavy accumulation of algae. They were definitely right about that and it did affect the ability to sift through the sands and it was a bit icky to rub against in the water. The water was mostly clear, but I would definitely recommend wearing some type of shoe in the water. No one got hurt, but while sifting through I found several pieces of glass a nail and some old pieces of barbed wire.



This would be a great field trip to do with some experienced people that could explain some of the formations and types of rock and soil that are found in the creek bed. 
I really loved the rock formations in the creek, they are called concretions. If you look closely on them many have fossil shells on the surface.  The article below explains how they are formed. 

This was a very interesting history of the area that I enjoyed reading. http://magsfieldguide.blogspot.com/2007/07/upper-cretaceous-fossils-of-frankstown.html

Monday, July 3, 2017

Farm and Garden: Blueberries!




Recently we went to a friend's house and picked some blueberries. It was a really fun day the kids had a great time picking...and eating fresh blueberries straight off the bushes, got lots of outside time and sunshine, and we came home with lots of lovely sweet blueberries.














With so many blueberries, we decided to put some of them away. One thing we are trying really hard to do is remove a lot of sugar from our diet and eat more natural. So I am trying to change my usual practices and make jams and jellies with as little refined sugar as possible or none. The first thing we did was to make a topping for cheesecake, other desserts, and maybe pancakes using the whole berries and a little bit of maple syrup for sweetness. The other was to use my berry smasher and remove the skins to make a jelly with some of the berries again using a little bit of maple syrup and a low-sugar pectin to help gel. The last thing we did was to smash the berries and put them in jars to start fermentation in order to make blueberry wine. I am trying the method of using natural yeast. I will probably start a new post to update the happenings of our wine journey.




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Birthdays: Evelyn Turns Seven

A little tribute to our favorite little girl in the whole world. Our Evelyn, smart, sweet, spunky, and adventurous.

She's got a style all her own. Born into a world of boy, she has paved her own path that has blended a world of knights and swords, and dragons and mud with the world of rainbows, and princess, and fairy, and glitter galore.

The fairytale story dynamic didn't change that much, she just added a whole new dimension to the story.




She still lives very much in the world of play hard and get dirty, just in beautiful dresses and the world of pink and purple. She is lively and loving, tough and tender.


Always ready for the next adventure and to explore.

She can run and dance and twirl with a ribbon and play with her babies and in one instant is ready for the world of swords and everything boy in the next.



She is the perfect mix of princess and tomboy. She might seem girly, but she will not be out done by the boys and will always fight to come out on top.




There is never a dull moment with our little girl. Full of adventure and mischief, a twinkle in her eye, and a smile that can melt your heart.