Among my accomplishments for the day: an exchange of one phobia for another.
I've been acrophobic for as long as I can remember. It was an admitted liability when I lived in New York, which is largely a vertical city. It is also a liability in the field, where a lot of the good stuff is hidden along steep slopes. I therefore decided to conquer my phobia by climbing the highest, steepest slope in Logan Butte's south canyon.
I did conquer the hill, but then came the rattlesnake nest. Three rattlesnakes formed a triangle around the spot where I crested the ridge, trapping me against a way-too-steep-for-my-liking slope downhill. There was much rattling, confused steps in every direction, more rattling, and panicked deep breaths.
I did eventually make my way off Rattlesnake Hill. I'm not sure how. I didn't record the details in my field notes and all I can remember at this point is the flood of endorphins that my body released once I got back to ground level.
So, today's lesson learned: collecting fossils can be dangerous. If the murderous sun doesn't get you, then gravity will; if not gravity, then mother nature is next in line to violently guard the skeletons in her closet.
I did find a variety of fossils today--Logan Butte is fossiliferous in much the same way that the Willamette Valley is rainy--but this is overshadowed in my mind by the discovery of three freaking rattlesnakes.