the time traveler’s rucksack

ammonite
BC Ammonite

And a Monochrome Madness offering.

I haven’t been out much in this inclement west coast autumn weather but I like to open my old sea chest and haul out the  treasures found on my journeys in the time machine.

(By the way, the clinic doctor was wrong and my rib was not cracked but I have an intercostal sprain or bruising- and still excruciatingly painful! It can take as long as a cracked rib to heal!)

In the meantime I’ve been watching BBC’s  Walking with Dinosaurs, and I love Jeff Goldblum  ” How I  hate being right all the time”  in Jurassic Park!

Beneath the Cretaceous Sea

the cretaceous sea
Courtney Paleontology museum diorama

 Vancouver Island was once a shallow and living sea. It was home to frightening aquatic creatures of monstrous proportions and reputation. During the Cenozoic the dry land rose up filling in the sea and I can now take a beautiful road trip up island to the Comox Valley, a land of mountains, lakes and forest. The area surrounding Courtney itself is a trove of primeval treasures scattered around the confluence of the wild and beautiful Puntledge and Brown Rivers.

Many bones of giant marine reptiles like mosasaurs and ichthyosaurs lie sleeping, on the river banks, in the nearby forest and even under or beside roads as one excavation revealed during a highway reconstruction.  Municipal work would not stop for a moment in time.  The little Museum was given one week and the almost impossible task  of removing a huge fossilized skull of a plesiosaur  before it sank below the paved thoroughfare forever.  It was accomplished by those intrepid island paleontologists (and a crane) who follow in the  spirited steps of a dashing, adventurer who searched for ancient dragons in Mongolia (1922-30), Roy Chapman Andrews. Indiana Jones, a make believe archaeologist, was based on this real life character!!

puntledge falls2

                             Time Zones-  from Cretaceous to Pleistocene

fossil frame
a few of my own finds in BC

Elasmosaurus4One day a little 12 year old Courtney girl, Heather Trask, found a new species of elasmosaur while out walking with her Dad. So far I have found only fossilized shells and vegetation, but I’ve been on expeditions with Mike Trask of the Museum, ever  hopeful I will find the bones of a leviathan or a fossilized mermaid!!

 Meanwhile Heather’s discovery lies in a case in the Courtney Museum

Here there be monsters

teeth of elasmasaur
teeth of the elasmosaur

the head is less than a meter in size- body 15 m length

mermaid hair2
Hair of the mermaid that bit you

those nasty carniverous creatures who bite and have been around since the Jurassic– so a successful species

Ammonites (named after the ram horn god, Ammon) are wonderful fossils. When pearlized they are made into the semi precious stone Ammolite  and are biogenic gems like amber and pearl.  Ancient ammonites are the forerunners of the modern day Nautilus and squid. During the Mesozoic era they could grow to huge proportions. Some have been found at 2 meters in diameter  though most were much smaller.

my ammonite
My precious!

and for Leanne and Laura’s Monochrome Madness:  I have a macro lens on spec that I’m trying out!

027ammonitemono

a day in the life of Raven and the Mos
a day in the life of Raven and the mosasaur Plesiosaur hunting on the banks of the Trent River
fearless fossil hunters
great fun for the family
orthoceras
an orthoceros- a nautiloid cephalopod ( feet grew out of it’s head)

and for something completely different ! the possible song of a parasaurolophus ( my fave dinosaur). He may have sounded like this due to the large chambered and hollow horn on his head.

para2
a possible logo for my Parasaurolophus Productions

51 Comments Add yours

  1. smilingtoad says:

    Absolutely fascinating. Vancouver Island sounds majestic. Quite like home to an old craggy slab like me.

    A friend of mine in England has been recommending BBC’s “Walking With Dinosaurs,” and after reading this I must purloin it soon.

    “Comox Valley, a land of mountains, lakes and forest” In other words- heaven. I must visit this place one day, and now must go and filch a book on Roy Chapman Andrews.

    What a rich array of natural history…a wonderful trip back in time. I am captivated.

    Superb black-and-white macro. Very impressive, very beautiful and ethereal. And I love the music. Dashing entry. I just love your blog more and more. Smiling cheers, dear friend,

    Autumn Jade

    Like

    1. thanks so much Autumn!! yes, I believe you would like it here!! I’m so glad you like my blog as much as I like yours!!! Kindred souls!
      There was a documentary on Andrews but I can’t remember on which channel I saw it. I’ll try to find it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. smilingtoad says:

        Kindred souls, indeed 😉 I will look Andrews up on the ol’ YT.

        Like

  2. dbp49 says:

    Thank-you for the very interesting, and entertaining visit. I learned much, and that is always a good way to judge a day as worthwhile. So thank-you once again, and I will be back for yet another look.

    Like

    1. So glad you enjoyed that post!! Thank you for your wonderful comment and you are welcome to drop by whenever you are able!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Roy McCarthy says:

    Fascinating stuff Cybele. Over ‘here’ we tend to think of the Americas as having a short history but your fossils tell a different and fascinating story.

    Like

    1. thanks Roy and don’t forget that further south in Central America we have the ancient histories of the Mayans, Toltecs and Aztecs who were amazing builders. I think you saw my post on them! Along the west coast of Vancouver Island the Haida Gwaii are quite interesting- but of course no written histories though their totems and silver art tell stories of their ancestors and myth etc.

      Like

  4. Fascinating photos, history and information, Cybele. What an amazing part of the country you live in! Your fossils are great. That ammonite shell is gorgeous. ⭐ Hugs! ❤

    Like

    1. Nature is grand isn’t it Linda!!? Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aquileana says:

    Dear Cybele!,
    Your post stands out… Captivating and informative at the same time.. I liked to learn about Vancouver Island as a shallow and living sea, being that one the chosen location the place where many stunning, huge and quite creepy aquatic creatures used to live.
    The fossils are great!. Thanks for sharing those photographs with us as well.
    All the best to you!, Aquileana 😀

    Like

    1. I am happy you liked it!! I enjoyed creating the post. It’s amazing to contemplate the ages of the earth. Thank you for visiting!

      Like

  6. Amy says:

    Fantastic photo gallery! The shell is exquisite!

    Like

    1. so glad you enjoyed the post!! Thanks Amy!!

      Like

  7. Peter Nena says:

    Wonderful photos as usual, Cybele! I hope the pain recedes. Have a healing day! Lots of love and prayers from Nairobi.

    Like

    1. thanks so much Peter! I am on the mend but it’s taken awhile for the soreness to subside. (I’m a whimp lol). I’m heading over to your blog to read your latest story!!

      Like

  8. Katrina W says:

    I love your post, Cybele, and the photos are super! I especially like both nautilus ones, but my favorite is that gorgeous water image! I love looking for fossils too. I have a few little ones from Spain, some fossilized shark teeth that I found in Florida, and when I was married and we were working in the Yukon, a mammoth tusk was uncovered on the jobsite. Very exciting! But dinosaurs (and dragons) have always fascinated me, thank you for posting the song of the parasaurolophus — can you imagine being out in the wilds and hearing that coming??! Oh so impressive!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. always thrilled to meet someone else who loves dinosaurs!! – and other prehistoric creatures!! what a moment, finding a mammoth tusk!!! and happy you like the parasaurolophus song!!

      Like

  9. I love this era of our earth history. All these beautiful photos reminds me the amazing exhibition “Dinosaur: dawn to extinction” which I had a chance to visit when I was in Singapore. Thanks for bring me back to that wonderful time by your wonderful post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this post!! I too love this natural history!! We had a wonderful exhibit here some years ago called Dragon Bones! The dinosaurs were from China.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, it sounds wonderful! I am crazy about “Night in the museum I” cause it has the Rexy 🙂 Peter Trusler is my favorite artist about natural history visualization ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Superb fossils photos Cybele, fantastic!

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    1. so glad you like them!! Thank you Della!

      Like

  11. Love the title of this one Cybele and the idea of your old sea chest. Fascinating pictures and words.

    Like

    1. thank you Andrea!! Roy says you have been writing something about kelpies! I included a kelpie at the beginning of my Tuatha tales. I hope I get to read what you are working on in regards to them.

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      1. Not kelpies, Cybele, selkies – I never knew what a kelpie was until recently, but I guess they have their similarities – although I think selkies are probably friendlier!

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      2. I knew you were writing about selkies! Yes, selkies have a romantic/sexual side whereas kelpies are more like demon horses.:D

        Liked by 1 person

      3. They are fascinating though, so maybe I will have to write a story about them sometime in the future 🙂

        Like

  12. poppytump says:

    Love fossil hunting .. oh and being successful on the odd occasion 😉
    Lovely post . The B&W nautilus shell has a beautiful silvery lustre !

    Like

    1. Thank you for stopping by Poppy and for your lovely comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Debra says:

    Wow. Interesting post with breathtaking photos. I can’t decide which one is the most gorgeous. =)

    Like

    1. thank you so much Debra!! My treasures!!

      Like

  14. joshi daniel says:

    shiny and cool 🙂

    Like

    1. thanks Joshi!!

      Like

  15. Wow, those are superb.
    I used to fossil hunt, but never found anything as cool as any of those. What I did find once (according to some expert) was a tiny bit of meteorite welded to a piece of flint. That was some treasure for a ten-year-old girl to own!

    Like

    1. indeed!! meteorites would be an amazing find!! Perhaps it was a piece of the one that killed off the dinosaurs!! lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Maria F. says:

    I also have some nautilius shells. What fascinating history turned into fantasy.

    Like

    1. Oh I can’t resist putting in a bit of whimsey!! Thanks so Much Maria!! Shells are so intricate and beautiful!!

      Like

  17. Such an interesting post, lots to learn. The MMC image is very beautiful, it just pops up,

    Like

    1. Thanks Snow!!!I hope it’s a good image for MM. I haven’t been out and about too much these last few weeks!! Glad you found some interest in our bit of prehistory here!

      Like

  18. Nicely done! Hey, To borrow from the Bard: Would not a bruise by any other name not hurt as much? Take care…

    Like

    1. you are so right!! I have been in pain but it’s letting up now! Thanks Robert!!

      Like

  19. sixpixx says:

    Oh, please find a mermaid fossil. Dreamy pics – love your ethereal waterfall.

    Like

    1. I will keep looking Six!! Thanks so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. These are great! Underwater is such a fun, alien landscape 🙂 Ouch, you must be very sore! Hope you heal soon x

    Like

    1. yes that was taken with a little waterproof polaroid sports camera. Not so usable here unless you are fitted out with wet suit and gear. Our waters are so cold. I have been diving in the past but I have a problem with my ears!! Thanks Sarah!!! I am getting better!!

      Like

      1. I used to surf etc in the UK but always in a wetsuit! I’ve got a great underwater Sony kit for photos while snorkelling in Greece. I love the way water distorts size and distance 🙂 I do lose track of time when I’m out snorkelling! Glad to hear you’re getting better 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s easy isn’t it when you are in the quiet otherworld!!

        Liked by 1 person

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