The backhoe plunges with dynamic power and efficiency into the highly fossiliferous, leaf-bearing shales of the Middle Eocene Ione Formation at Lygodium Gulch, Ione Basin, California. Note the large blocks of shale spewed around the perimeter of the entrenching process. Paleobotanist Howard Schorn and I spent the next three days sitting on those piles of shales, carefully splitting them to expose beautiful fossil leaves to their first light of day in some 45 million years. Image was snapped on July 30, 2002.
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.