The White Ferns of St Clair

April 2015

I had a free Saturday and the weather forecast didn't look all that bad so I packed
the car on Friday night for an early start. The mountain top was cold and windy when I arrived so I got right to work. A few hours of digging exposed a decent shelf and I lucked
out when I found a nice section cleanly separated from the shelf. Another hour to free it from the overburden but worth it, a beautiful bookmarked slab.
Many people consider the fern fossils found St Clair to be some of the finest in the world. This is one of the few places where one can find detailed white ferns on a jet black slate. The white (Pyrophyllite) is believed to be the result of a later replacement of the pyrite.

Additional Info:  Sadly the latest reports posted on the have the St Clair site now closed to collecting.



Just a light spray with the hose the next morning.
Each half is over 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide


This one plate was about all I could carry back.
In order to reduce the weight thin sections were taken off the back of the plates.
The plate on the left shows the backside, a nice dark color with some excellent ferns.
My wife confiscated a few of the nicer pieces for display over the fireplace.




Some of the smaller pieces from the plate

This St Clair ferns are approximately 300 million years old
(Pennsylvanian Period)


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