What a great summer the Master Naturalists, Chert Glade Chapter, are having! Saturday, July 16, a nice geology field trip in McDonald County, and Sunday, July 17, 'The Color Purple' exploration on the prairie!
SNIFFING OUT FOSSILS by Joyce Haynes
THE COLOR PURPLE with Jeff Cantrell
Field trips are a great way to bond with our new members (and boy are they a fun group!). Saturday morning, members met in McDonald County at some road ‘cutouts’ to explore the geology of the area.
One could almost smell the primeval oceans as geologist Andy Rhodes pointed out what was once a reef (now a limestone outcrop) near Lanagan. As we explored the reef, we found evidence of the early life that was once on the sea floor; brachiopods (shells), oysters, crinoids, gastropods and yes, a coveted trilobite or two!
Near Jane, MO, the group had fun finding chunks of iron pyrite in shale deposits, and many members found some spectacular rocks. Jeff Cantrell found a rock type that was a new one for me: “a window ledge rock.”
The Chert Glade rock hounds ended their field trip by displaying their finds on the hood of a MDC vehicle while soaking up the sun, and drinking bottles of ice cold water. Ah summer!
Members met on Sunday with Jeff Cantrell to explore Missouri Prairie Foundation's Welsch Tract Prairie near Lockwood, Missouri. The prairie was a sea of purple and yellow with birds, butterflies and dragonflies hovering. Naturalists dispersed to their area of interest. With a great variety, we found something for everyone. Amazing blazing star greeted us first, then a stream of sunflower varieties before a pond full of blooming lily pads. Each person left with a feeling of satisfaction having conquered the tall grass prairie vegetation to seek out favorite birds, insects and native flowers. Of course, as we typically do, we ended the prairie walk with lunch, pie and camaraderie at our favorite cafe!
No one does it better than the Chert Glades Chapter for instant field trips!
Members, Joyce Haynes, Jeff Cantrell, Karen Richardson, and Ann Butts contributed to this post.