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Today, Thursday January the 2nd, 2020, a few of my friends, some old, some new, decided that they would like to join me on an expedition to Purse State park, which has now been subsumbed into the Nanjemoy Wildlife Management area. On our previous expedition, my buddies dubbed Purse the “Best beginners spot,” despite not having visited any other spot before;). Thus, I decided that this would be a graet spot for any beginners to come along.

Starting at around 6 o’clock, I woke and gathered my gear for the expedition. Our group gathered at my house around 6:45 to 7:00. One of my buddies had offered his 8 person van to accompany our 6 person party, making the journey easy. Upon arrival we donned our gear and marched down the woodland trail to the edge of the Potomac. It was not a particularly cold day, reaching around the 50s in fahrenheit. However, the water remained cold, making it hard to collect the specimens with only our fingers. I used my one handed tactic, where one hand is used for collecting and the other holds neccesary tools or containers. I advised my friends to do the same, so one hand can be swapped when the other gets too cold.

The reason we were dipping our hands farther into the water rather than plucking specimens from the shore, was that the tide seemed high! At the point of our arrival, the tide was supposed to be falling, but there were no waves, suggesting a lack of lunar influence! On the other hand though, the lack of waves left the water very clear, and allowed us to see teeth we otherwise would not have.

Most of the fossils we found were what was expected. I found a contemporary fish bone of some sort, which was probably the most interesting find. Among our other finds, there were ray teeth, plenty of sand tiger shark teeth and related species, and the steinkerns of turritellas. In the above image, three of our group member’s finds are displayed. Mine are in the center. The note left on the left image is an attempt at comedy at the expense of the cleanliness of the member’s fossils.

Towards the end of our visit, some of us began to get cold, so we returned to the woods, happy with our finds. All in all, this was a good introductory expedition.