July 24, 2010 – Rockford Fossil Quarry

There are some places that are so incongruous.  The Rockford Fossil Quarry in north central Iowa is just such a place. It is only one of three public fossil collecting sites in the nation.

fossil brachiopod

Here’s a fine example of the kinds of fossils you can easily find.

Rockford Iowa sign

The town in quite proud of it’s claim to fame, as it is proclaimed not as “Home of Devonian Fossils” but Home of THE Devonian Fossils”

boy collecting fossils

The landscape has a decidedly western feel to it – something you’d expect to see in South Dakota or Wyoming, not surrounded by corn fields.

Martin readies to pluck a 370 million year old fossil exposed to the light for the first time in a LONG time!

Martin showing off one of his finds.

Again, Linda and Emma collecting on a Badlands-looking outcrop.

mud cracks

Mud cracks – nothing screams the desert west more than these!

beehive kilns

The quarry was originally home to these beehive kilns that were used to make bricks.

A waste pile of bricks leftover from when the kilns shut down.  I think they’ve got a bit of an artistic look to them, much like Tiffany glass patterns popular in Frank Lloyd Wright homes.

one year ago…”Who Put a Spell on Mark”