After leaving the first leg of our day's excursion--field-checking plant localities within an environmentally sensitive outcropping of the Middle Eocene Ione Formation--I wanted to take Howard Schorn and Dr. Diane Erwin to the Discovery Site--the specific locality where I had first found fossil plants in the Ione Formation on July 21, 1991. Seen here are my late father (red plaid shirt, an Engineering Geologist) and paleobotanists Dr. Diane Erwin (blue jeans) and Howard Schorn collecting specimens at the Discovery Site. Pale-brown, grass-covered slopes along left skyline belong to the overlying Lower Miocene Valley Springs Formation. The Discovery Site is noted not only for its unbelievable abundance of leaves, but also for its well-preserved remains of fan palm fronds. Note the brilliant bright sunshine and clear, cloudless skies. Mother Nature was certainly on her best behavior that day--sunny and warm and most-pleasant indeed, a glorious autumnal day in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Image snapped on October 19, 1999.
Please note: All fossil localities in the Ione Formation of Amador County, California, presently occur on private property; explicit permission from the land owners must be secured before collecting fossils there.