Three distant cousins of triceratops were seen basking in October afternoon sunshine at the Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds in Jonesboro. A skeleton of one of these critters only costs about twenty or thirty bucks on eBay. Then again, the skeleton probably won’t be 66 million years old, since the turtles were spotted last week in Union County.It's alive...did not expect to see this on a dark and stormy Sunday night...a skunk...maybe...a raccoon...maybe...a possum...maybe...a fox...maybe...an armadillo...nope...and yet, there it was...

Fossils...a dark and stormy night...and a surprise...

Please read this...

In the things that make you hmmmmm category...

Sunday night, stepped outside to do some sky watching. Nearby wind chimes were ringing. Made me think of a scene from the movie “Twister.” Which, under the circumstances last Sunday night, seemed rather appropriate...

(At the time this was being crafted, we had just received a weather alert about a severe thunderstorm warning in Cape Girardeau County...a little bit later, the tornado warning siren sounded...)

Meanwhile...

Well...only about 20,999,999 to go...

...fossils, that is.

Over the weekend, I got to wondering how many fossil treasures I need to find to fetch $7.74 million. Seven point seventy four MILLION dollars.

That was how much the fossilized remains of Big John sold for at a recent auction in Paris. Paris, France. Not Paris, Illinois. 

As BBC explained on its website, Big John is “the largest triceratops dinosaur ever found.” Guess that why the critter sold for a European record price of the aforementioned $7.74 million. 

As BBC explained: “Some 66 million years ago, Big John roamed modern-day South Dakota in the US, where the dinosaur’s bones were unearthed in 2014. With its huge collared skull and three horns, the plant-eating triceratops was a giant of the Cretaceous period.”

A “private, anonymous collector” from the United States bought Big John’s skeleton. No, it was not me. I don’t pay money for rocks, well, unless you count the gravel which we needed for our driveway a number of years ago. 

After learning about a fossil selling for over $7 million at an auction, I decided it was time to get to work. 

I did a little research online...determined that the kind of fossils which I usually find sell for, oh, something like three for 99 cents. And you get to pay four or five bucks for shipping and handling, too.

Oh, well. Like Ringo Starr sang in his song of long, long ago...it don’t come easy.

So, I went on a fossil hunting adventure last Sunday afternoon. Found one nice fossil of a seashell. All I need to do now is to find a couple more. Then, at a price of three for 99 cents, I will only need about 21 million more to fetch my $7 million. I did some quick figuring, and determined that it should only take about 45,000 years to collect 21 million fossil seashells. Guess I’ll be busy for a while...

Meanwhile...

As I was heading home from my fossil hunting adventure last Sunday afternoon, the song “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle came on the radio. Had to turn it up.

And, just in case you were wondering, you can change the words “Copperhead Road” to “Mountain Glen Road”...and they just kind of fit right in to the song...

Meanwhile...

Remember back in the first paragraph, when I mentioned venturing out on Sunday night to do a little sky watching?

I went back out a second time, to try to get a photograph of lightning. Achieved that goal, sort of.

While watching the sky, I happened to notice something moving off to my left...just across the street from our humble abode. Did a double take. And a triple take...

An armadillo, as in a real, live armadillo, was out for a stroll in our neighborhood. Up until Sunday night, I had never seen an armadillo that was actually alive. All of my previous experiences involved life-challenged armadillos...generally in the form of road kill, baking in the summer sunshine and heat, creating an appetizer for vultures.

Wasn’t expecting to see an armadillo on a stormy night in October in Southern Illinois. The critter quickly vanished into the dark. Too bad it wasn’t a triceratops. Might have made the next 45,000 years a little easier...

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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