What do you think of, when you think of NEBRASKA? Possibly mile after mile of wheat fields? Bitterly cold winter when the arctic winds blow down from Canada, across North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and sometimes even into central Oklahoma, with little to stop the freezing air, sleet, snow and hale?
Well, there is certainly another NEBRASKA!!!.
YES, when thinking of Nebraska, you may think of vast miles of waving wheat or perhaps cattle or very cold winters. None of this is wrong, because you will find that in NEBRASKA.
However, besides being a vibrant State, with basically excellent highways, a sound government, and wonderfully friendly and generous people, there are some really exciting things about NEBRASKA in the way of natural history (which is, of course, our main interest in everything). There is great beauty in the so-called "Badlands". Forget the Westerns and people dying from the heat, starvation and endless miles which look the same. Those endless miles are beautiful!!!
There is an area, primarily in the Northeast corner of Nebraska, running over into South Dakota and Wyoming known as the "BADLANDS". While the "Badlands" is undoubtedly a proper name given by pioneers, cowboys, Indians and mountainmen to this area, in certain times of the year and conditions, it also is one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas you could imagine. The eroding formations in this area are Oligocene and Eocene primarily with some other ages showing, most notably some Pleistocene top layers where you may find Bison and other Pleistocene age fossils.
One will find beautiful wildflowers in the Badlands, along with a multitude of Nebraska fossils. While in Western Nebraska, one certainly wants to make a stop at the Agate Bed Fossil National Monument on State Highway 29 between Mitchell and Harrison.
In 1999 the PMNS Curator, T. W. "Terry" Proctor and Duanne Clark, a member of the PMNS Board, both also members of the Houston Gem & Mineral Society-Paleo Section spent better than a week digging Oligocene fossils on a Ranch whose owners (man, wife, son and daughter) could not have been more cordial and gracious to these two bone diggers.
While there, Terry took a number of pictures of the landscape, fossils, flowers and the dig site. These pictures appear on several pages, which you may go to by clicking the above or following blue underlined words.
Click below for the other pages on the PMNS website, related to Nebraska and the Badlands.
|Badlands fossils||Nebraska Badland flowers||Nebraska Badlands Scenery|
|Badlands Article||Oligocene epoch||Agate Fossil Bed
Additional information on Nebraska will be added here later.