Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Fossil Hunt

Last Saturday Brighteyes and her Daddy went fossil hunting. The state paleontologist visited the local Rock & Gem club to show them the ropes, and Daddy thought Brighteyes was old enough for it. They drove an hour to the spot and listened to a lecture from the paleontologist on what to look for. Then they went digging. Brighteyes followed the paleontologist's directions to the letter, while most of the adult had their own ideas where to look. She hit a vein of the appropriate mud and soon found lots of fossilized shark's teeth and a myosaur bone. She gave some of the teeth away to grownups who didn't find any. As the rest of the club consists mainly of grandparents and retired schoolteachers, she was then showered with a giant fossil clamshell and a few pounds of mineral samples.

On the way home they stopped at a family owned Westernwear shop to see if the owners needed any turquoise jewelry. (Their customers were only into disposable chic, much to the disappointment of the owners.) The white-bearded husband was putting out new boots when they arrived. Brighteyes walked right up to him and asked, "Hey old man, what are you doing with those boxes?" He doubled over laughing.

Sunshine was too little for the trip, so she and I spent the day sorting art postcards. I had some other things planned, but she was quite happy to look at the pictures. She doesn't know what to make of Dali, but she likes quilt patterns. Then Daddy and Brighteyes came home and told us about their trip. "I found more teeth than the grownups did!" Sometimes it pays to follow the instructions.

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