Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Each day I travel miles down this river, in the gravel bars, always searching for the fossil, for the great Woolly Mammoth Tusk. In shallow water I traverse to this point where I photographed this Mammoth tusk as I first spotted it.  This is how to find a Woolly Mammoth Tusk in Arctic Alaska."
"Very 'shallow' and clear river, and even on a cloudy day a Mammoth Tusk is easily the river gravel, this particular 'Cow Tusk' Mammoth was in very excellent shape as far as the quality of the ivory...but at some point in it's history, it had been broken.  This is common for some tusks, as the tusk, when first exposed by erosion in the river bank, still remains partially frozen in the permafrost.  As 'Spring Breakup' the huge ice flows rushing downriver can intercept the tusk and 'snap' it off leaving part of the tusk remaining in the frozen wall of ice."

Friday, August 12, 2011

"I am mesmerized by the hours of walking in the surf, searching for a piece of walrus ivory, mammoth ivory, artifact or bone of some kind that is so common on some beaches, as this one has proven.  A while ago, I discovered a broken ivory harpoon point with a iron blade still in tact although severely rusted, then I discovered a leg bone of a Sandhill Crane in fossil condition, orange brown in color and in nice condition, a broken seal skull, a walrus tooth, and now a Killer Whale tooth, lost in the sand every time the waves washed over it, it then became buried again. Among the white quartz stones, the bubbles and the surf...I was fortunate to see it." 
"Resting peacefully in the sand, being polished in the surf, a 'Killer Whale' tooth, from a mature 'Bull' Orca has washed out from the waves in time for me to walk by and discover it"
"Another fine discovery of a beach combing venture, not bad even after so many hours searching for something, anything that might be neat to find.  This 'Orca' tooth is a nice addition to my collection as I continue on down the beach for something next!"
"Uncovered from the sand, and the beach ridge it had been deposited for approximately 1200 years, this 'Woolly Mammoth Ivory' 'Doll' has a history most interesting as it represents a figure of an 'old woman' with the suggestion of bearing no teeth as indicated."  "This example resides in the Taro Museum, on loan, Bali"
"Continuing uncovering of this 'Human Form' has resulted in a significant artifact discovery, it appears to be drifting in the sand from where it had been originally been deposited above in the crest of a beach ridge with abundant organic 'peat moss,' I search the area more extensively to find only a few chert flakes and nothing more." It appears that the majority of this beach ridge had been eroded into the Bering Sea along with other traces of this site."
"Following many miles and days searching beaches and eroded beach ridges, I came across this figure exposed from a wind blown sand deposit.  (Can you see it in the bottom right corner of the photo?) I lightly uncovered this artifact prior to this photograph, as I was not sure what it first.  To my surprise, it was a Human figure sculpted from Woolly Mammoth Ivory by ancient Inuit groups north of Norton Sound, Alaska.  There were deposits of charcoal lying in another level adjacent to this find that proved to be an ancient camp site.  Nothing else significant found in this surface discovery."
"Woolly Mammoth Tusks, are from Pleistocene 'Ice Age' deposits and are organic fossils due to their frozen preservation for at least 10,000 years.  Searching the freshly eroded permafrost on rivers, cutbanks, gravel bars, and within the water itself will yield specimens and broken examples.  Woolly Mammoth ivory is the only remaining legal ivory in the world.  With the correct perceptions in government and the private sector, this ivory is abundant enough in Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon Canada to 'substitute' all the major ivory producing species in the world."
"Ice Age' frozen 'permafrost' illustrating an 'Ice Wedge' within the permafrost as a 'clear ice' deposit within the actual wind blown silts of the last Pleistocene.  Occasionally, mummys are discovered within these ice wedges, as they become sublimated (dehydrated) and erode out during thaw.  Sometimes rarely, larger mammals such as Steppe Bison or Mammoth may be exposed.  Some of these ice wedges are melt ponds (prior to freezing) and animals may fall into them and freeze to remain frozen during the Ice Age periods at a minimum of 10,000 years."
"Every summer the 'Ice Age' permafrost thaws and releases it's silt and wind blown deposits into the 'Chukchi Sea' as the land depletes it's mass. 'Mid-section of this photo illustrates erosion of this 'Ice Age' deposit as it collects on the beach.  In a subsequent storm, this deposit will wash away into the sea and along with it any fossil that may be present within it. On countless occasions I have discovered 'Ice Age' Woolly Mammoth ivory, assorted fossils and tusks in these deposits and even during storms, many times, the tusks will be re-deposited back on the beaches.  There is a cycle of fossils back and forth into the sea with the storms and tide currents."

Friday, August 5, 2011

"Having the camera at the 'ready' always will offer an opportunity, especially near the beaches when noise is baffled by sea breezes and soft tundra to dampen foot fall.   These Bull caribou were trying to stealth their way past my camp,  But I caught them 'slinking' along....anyway!"  "No doubt many do get by me, especially when I am mesmerized by the vast numbers of migrating sea birds and Sandhill Cranes trumpeting their way overhead." 
"Now more than any other time in history or since the Ice Age, Muskox are common in the Arctic.  Alaska has maintained an expanding herd of these wonderful remnants of the Ice Age, where Mammoths disappeared, the Muskox prevailed. Along with the increased numbers of Muskox, bears and wolves have also...increased.  I took this photo just fifteen yards from these 'jousting' bulls...very exciting."
"At close proximity, the Arctic beaches are white sand and absent of people.  They extend for thousands of miles south, north and east Alaska, and change in so many ways,with impossible landscapes, incredible bird populations, and treasures in beach combing unparalleled."  "Contact me soon to prepare for another expedition for at least a month for the summer of 2012...beginning July...first week!"
"I have spent five months, in one expedition from late May until October in the Arctic, in this region of Kotzebue, Kivalina, Point Hope and as far south as Buckland village on the Buckland river. Camping solo on beaches without any tracks of people or wheeled vehicles. It is a must for folks to get to such places and not for a short weekend trip, but a duration of a month at least. Experiencing this grand expanse of 'Nature' and more importantly to experience our 'self' as being 'part' of this country as we learn a 'hidden' side of our instincts that we 'never' will see in a city."