The up-side to the insane amount of rainfall: 70 and 80 degree days which equals perfect digging weather. The blue skies and sun continued as we moved into Day 5 and the new recruits came ready to dig.
Every dig day begins with surface collecting in order to get one's eyes trained before digging. You never know what you're going to find even when others have looked in that place before you. We usually find things like chunks of bone and rib, tendons, and Edmontosaurus teeth which families can keep. Occasionally, we discover some things outside of the norm which are exciting to the staff because they tell us even more about the site.
For example, today 8-year old Tory discovered a raptor claw within the first 5 minutes of scanning the surface! This was an impressive find because not only are those rare, but the one that she found had been bleached by the sun and thus more difficult to spot. Not even our Paleo guys had seen it! Because of its rarity, Tory did not take it home with her, but her name was put on its case as the one who discovered it. It will be yet another clue as the guys continue their research.
8 hours of digging can sometimes be a lot for some of our some of our younger diggers. Today we had a couple of young diggers that needed a change of pace so Michele and Nicole quickly reached into their bag of tricks and pulled out a fun game of Necks n' Tails (think Shoots n' Ladders the Cretaceous version). We also had a visit from a little friend who decided to stow away in one of our supply bins! Don't worry moms and dads, this little guy was unarmed and happy to be returned to his beloved clover fields soon after discovery. There's always plenty to do at the dig site to keep us entertained.
The end of the day always comes too soon for us all. With so many fossils yet to be discovered, it is often difficult for families to tear themselves away from the site. However, the fossils will always be there when they come back next year!