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page ten of my online mineral museum: mississippi petrified wood, breaking woodpecker beaks everywhere for 30 million years

2010-12-21 - 7:17 p.m.

all photos � 2010 by elaine radford
throw another log on the fire! this huge specimen which probably outweighs me and DH combined, is resting proudly on the tile apron in front of our fireplace

How about some Mississippi Petrified Wood for today's walk through my online mineral museum?

I didn't collect these items myself. In the early 1990s I was in contact with a gentleman from Pontchatoula who got a canoe and went out with a buddy "somewhere" in Mississippi to float some of the petrified wood out to join his collection. He was a teacher and wanted to swap some of the wood with me, for some items I held, so that he could get a more diversified collection for his classroom. As a sad note, the school in question burned down, and his collection was destroyed; the last time I saw him, he was too sad at heart to think of starting again. Now I haven't encountered him in many a year, and I have never known the exact location of where he collected his items, but I had the impression that it wasn't far across the Louisiana border in a very swampy part of southern Mississippi.

A couple of hours to the north, in Flora, Mississippi, near Jackson, we have the Mississippi Petrified Forest, where you can see many of these large petrified logs. If my wood is the same age, and I have no reason to believe it isn't, it would be from the Oligocene Epoch, around 30 million years ago. Apparently, there was a disastrous flood, or series of floods, that knocked down huge old trees and washed many of them quite a distance. The action of water is clearly visible on my large specimen.

My smaller piece is interesting because of the woodpecker holes. Well, I call them woodpecker holes, as my little joke. They could be insect or termite holes. I really don't know how to tell for sure. But if you have ever seen the sign outside Jackson, advertising the Petrified Forest, complete with a woodpecker with a bent-up beak hammering on a stone'll get the humor element.

this piece is significantly smaller than my log, i put the quarter in the picture to give you an idea of its size

I doubt I would ever sell these pieces, but I have lots of other petrified wood pieces that I need to get off my duff and post online, that I would sell. Stay tuned.

a closer look at those "peck" marks, ouch!


Some kind person has informed me that the holes were likely created by beetles. Thanks, folks.

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