Thursday, 22 August 2013

Another day on the set...of 'Hell Creek'

The team has expanded....not from the CCP Burgers from the local saloon...CCP=Chicken, Cow, have to be here to understand why this is great field tucker! The field team has been swollen by the presence of the vastness that is the legendary Carl Mehling from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and his splendid wife Fiona, but also from the hallowed halls of the AMNH, Wayne Callahan...who seems to have magnetic abilities when it comes to finding the bones and teeth of theropod dinosaurs...we all follow Wayne in the hope we too will learn from his innate fossil-hunting skills. The site has now started yielding little bundles of joy, in the form of fossilised turtle...some quite complete. It looks like this particular corner of our site was once a raging torrent, as the bones, teeth and turtles have been jammed together in a rather unnatural prehistoric soup. Carl, Fiona, Nick, Bill, Victoria and Indy got busy with plaster and water to start the process of protecting our chelonian beasties from their sandy tombs with a liberally applied straight jacket of plaster.

The folks from the AMNH and Manchester did a splendid job (above) of slicing and dicing the fossil bundles into luggable field samples...anything over 100 pounds in weight is too much on our precarious precipice and far too much for my shot shoulder and other cumulative ailments that I will not bore you with....but lets just say, I have been using our field doctor too regularly.

Dr. Nick Edwards (left) and Carl Mehling (right)...about to leap into the Hell Creek Abyss!
It was a longer day for the field team, as I had to head back to our field station early to rehydrate and see doc Charles. Carl finally worked out that he was no longer in New York and his lunch order for a skinny double shot half-caff mocha frappuccino light on the whip...was a longer time coming in the Badlands of South Dakota...his bizarre request (apparently a drink of coffee?) seemed a world away. Another member of our team was preparing for his own change of diet....Dr Nick is about to make a slightly longer culinary journey than New York City. He leaves South Dakota early tomorrow to exchange his CCP burger for spaghetti and meat balls....he is off to Florence (Italy)...lucky toad! His muscle, jokes and editing skills (see prior blog) will be missed....who now could possibly complete the 'Hell Creek' movie...stay tuned!

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