It’s been quite a while since I’ve written an update for the Solite excavations. No, the excavations did not stop for three months. And really that’s the best part, despite if I write regular updates or not. I am happy to say that during these past months we have been able to continue removing the fish and Tanytrachelos bearing layers, therefore uncovering and collecting a significant amount of insect bed. This past Saturday, Ray and I spent the day collecting as much of the exposed insect bed as possible before the rains came.
Upon our arrival to the pit, we were greeted by an impressive assortment of plants that have thrived in the month’s increasing heat and humid. In the image above, you can see one plant in particular growing to the left of a pile of discarded shale. That plant, within the span of about two months, has grown almost as tall as the pit is deep. In the image below, Ray is walking towards the pit passing plants as tall as or taller than him.
In contrast, during our excavation on May 30th, the plants were only around hip height. Once we made it through the jungle-esque entrance, we collected five boxes (~6 cubic ft) of insect bed before ending our day. To give you an idea of what that much insect bed looks like, see the red outlined area. Based on this picture, we have approximately another 6 cubic ft of exposed insect bed to collect.
And lastly, it’s always fun to note the random findings during an excavation. For example, a brightly collected Flat millipede (Apheloria sp.) that I found in the pit and a 1927 Ford T parked beside the Railroad Cafe in Eden, NC. Until next time!