Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

Petrified wood from near Natchez, Mississippi

from the October 6, 2006 Newsletter, written near Natchez, Mississippi, USA

One of my friend Karen's hobbies is exploring the gravel-bedded, deep, steep-walled ravines so common in this area. Mainly she likes to look for things in the gravel. Over the years she's accumulated hundreds of pounds of odd or pretty pebbles, Native American artifacts and fossils. Among the most impressive of her fossil discoveries are various kinds of petrified wood. You can see a selection of her finds I photographed this week above.

In that image the largest chunk is a bit larger than a hand with outspread fingers. Notice the woods' range of colors and textures.

There's a page focusing on "Louisiana Petrified Wood," describing how wood becomes petrified, at http://www.intersurf.com/~chalcedony/Petwood.html.

A page describing the kinds of fossils that can be found in this area's gravel deposits can be accessed at http://www.intersurf.com/~chalcedony/gravel1.html.

You might enjoy looking at fossils collected by Lonnie and Freida Looper of Greenville, Mississippi, mostly on sand and gravel bars of the Mississippi River near Greenville, on my own page at http://www.backyardnature.net/loess/fossils.htm.