FJD UTAH 38. Escalante, Utah. Jurassic Morrison formation. Some of the best wood ever found in Utah was discovered near the town of Escalante, home to Escalante Petrified Forest Sate Park, which contains incredible huge colorful logs, and is definitely worth a visit. Much of the Escalante wood escaped the fracturing forces that cracked Morrison wood in other locations. When I first hunted wood in Utah (1980s), the Escalante area had already been heavily collected. I hunted all over with little success. Interesting story: Any rockhound who visited the Henry Mountain area in the 70s and 80s knew Ernie Shirley and his rock shop in Hanksville. Ernie was a great guy and his shop once was the source for the best rocks Utah had to offer. I got to know Ernie pretty well and spent many hours with him over the years. One hot day I was there and asked if he had any great wood tucked away. He was in a good mood and let me look through a room that had been off limits. Boxes everywhere. I spent a few hours searching, breathing old dust, and under much other stuff I found a single dust-covered cardboard box containing small, individually wrapped limb sections of some of the most amazing wood I’d ever seen. It was not cut or polished but its quality was obvious. I was ecstatic. Ernie had family over in Escalante and at some point scored this wood. I was a little nervous about asking for a price. When I brought the wood into Ernie in his shop, he said: “You weren’t supposed to find those,” with his broad smile. He turned to Blue, his old mostly blind blue healer, and said “What do you think Blue?” Blue was obese as Ernie left a bowl of dog biscuits out for him 24 hours a day. So that’s how I obtained the Escalante hoard, including this beauty. My first book, Petrified Wood, has pictures of four pieces from the Escalante hoard. This one is a screamer – they all were. Full round, cut on both ends and polished on the top. Exterior is stunning (take a look – really amazing) and the interior is striking (How did that happen?). Fined grained silica. No glue or filler. 48 by 58 cm mirror-polished face; 58 mm thick; nine ounces. $200
FJD UTAH 29. Henry Mountains champagne bubbles wood.
Jurassic; Morrison formation. Wood from a discrete area in the Henry Mountain drainage. A unique set of colors and mineralization including tiny ochre dots that have the appearance of champagne bubbles. Here’s a large specimen round of the type in excellent condition – cut and polished on one end, otherwise as found. One can estimate the size of the original round from the curve. Nice colors. A nice example of the type. No glue or filler. 10 by 4.5 cm mirror-polished face; up to 6.5 cm thick; one pound and five ounces. $115
[For other champagne bubble images see, Petrified Wood at page 100, 2 images on right, and Ancient Forests, page 281, bottom 3 images and a micro-image on age 7, top left.]
FJD UTAH 25. Yellow Cat red wood. Excellent full round with strong exterior impression, deep transparency, red banded agate, and beautiful patterns within. The exterior is particularly impressive.
Provenance is Ivan Kladder Collection followed by my collection. Found at the original Yellow Cat site. 4 by 5cm; 4 cm thick; five ounces. $275
FJD UTAH 27. Yellow Cat red wood. Super interesting specimen round with rare tubes, nice exterior wood impression, and a crown of crystal quartz. Nice color and balance. No glue or filler. Provenance is Ivan Kladder Collection followed by my collection. All natural all around but for the cut and polished face. No glue or filler. Found at the original Yellow Cat site. 3.5 by 4.5 cm; 3 cm thick; 3.7 ounces. $250
FJD UTAH 30. Big Thompson Canyon Henry Mountain wood. Jurassic; Morrison formation. Utah fossil wood hunters would call this a full round, although it is in reality just a portion of a larger tree. It’s a nice example with an interesting exterior with much red agate. The face includes tiny red agate inclusions. Specimen round, cut and polished on one end, otherwise as found. No glue or filler. 5 by 3.5 cm mirror-polished face; 12 cm long; one pound and three ounces. $115`