Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Town

All the fun and excitement of the holidays is over and February looms cold, gloomy and cheerless. February on the northern prairie is as bitter cold and snowy as January. In the south, you are turning the corner toward spring but here it will be March before we see even a little improvement in the weather.

One really pleasant note to start the month. I actually won something. That never happens. Jamie and Randy at Creating Our Eden (Use the following url if the linky doesn't work http://jandrgardenblog.blogspot.com/) had a drawing for a really nice bird feeder. I can't believe that I could be so lucky. An absolutely perfect prize for a wild bird watcher such as myself.

If you don't already know Jamie and Randy, stop and visit their blog. Be sure to check out the archives and see what an amazing job they have done constructing their gardens.




This is primarily a garden blog but this time of year garden topics are hard to find. Maybe today I'll just mention one of the more interesting things about my town.

Rockford has a tiny natural history museum that used to be located in an old house on the banks of the Rock River. Burpee Museum has grown quite a bit in the last few years and one of the reasons for its growth is Jane.

Jane is an adolesant tyranosaurous rex discovered, excavated and cleaned by staff and volunteers from Burpee. It is extremely rare to find a young example of a T. Rex and Jane is in wonderful condition. A very interesting story surrounds the finding of Jane. In the summer of 2001, a team from the Burpee museum had been scouting in Hell Creek, Montana for unusual specimens to bring back to the museum. On the last day of the expedition, the toe and leg of a large dinosaur were found protruding from the banks of a creek. Time had run out so the team 'hid' their find with rocks and dirt and returned to Rockford hoping no one else would discover the amazing find before they could reorganize and apply for permits to excavate the site.

While Jane was alive, the Hell Creek area was a flood plain

The team returned in the summer of 2002 and began to excavate Jane. Enduring weeks of blazing heat, torrential rains that turned the area to a sea of mud, swarms of biting insects and poisonous snakes, the team carefully uncovered Jane's skeleton from the surrounding rocks.

Finding the jaw bone gave the team a pretty good idea of what kind of dinosaur they had discovered.

Jane is a favorite with children. Kids love dinosaurs but Jane is extra special. She was a youngster herself and the kids must identify with her. Buses unload daily at Burpees doors bringing school children to view her.

All photos courtesy of Jane's web site.

You can read more about the discovery of Jane at this site: Jane, the diary of a dinosaur





29 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

How interesting. I think I have read about this in the past. I love the series of butterfly photos on your sidebar. Great photos. Have they been there long? Maybe I am just noticing because I am doing a series of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) of butterflies and these caught my eye. You are right about our weather. It seems that spring is beginning to stretch her wings a bit here. Nothing you can place your finger on but it must be in the air. Birds are trying out their song from time to time. It is still cold though. We have to get through February.

sweet bay said...

What an incredible find. Those teeth are amazing.

walk2write said...

Congrats on the prize, Marnie! So this is the T. rex you were referring to when I did that post about Dinosaur Land. I'll bet it is just what the kids love to see. The little ones do appeal to the tykes. Remember the movie Land Before Time? Cheer up. Spring isn't far away.

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....congrats on winning, it is always fun to win something.

Loved the story about Jane, fascinating reading....
Spring will soon be here Marnie and we will be thinking annuals....

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Dinosaurs certainly do draw a crowd. I'm glad the little museum is getting a boost from Jane. Congratulations on winning the feeder, your birds will be very happy.

ShySongbird said...

Well done on winning the competition!

I enjoyed reading about Jane, I think she looks rather sweet :)

Keep holding on Marnie, Spring can't be too far away!

Dawn said...

Congrats on the win Marnie! I feels SOOO fun to win.
I remember the news documenting Jane, how exciting and fun, what a great prize for the kids to see actual history.

Rose said...

How cool to have your very own dinosaur in Rockford! Kids do love dinosaurs, so I'm not surprised it's a popular attraction at the museum.

I agree with you completely about February. It's hard to read some of the southern bloggers or even those in the UK who are seeing shoots of spring bulbs or buds on some shrubs. I don't excited about looking in the garden until March. And even then we could have a blizzard or an ice storm. That's why I read a lot in February:)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Interesting post, Marnie.... I'm sure that "Jane" is a big draw at that museum. I looked Rockford up on the map--so now I know where you are.

Thanks for sharing your 'town' for us.

Hugs,
Betsy

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Marnie~~ Jane is awesome. What an exhilarating and exhausting excavation it must have been. Also, I love the snow sculptures.

tina said...

After a week goes by and we don't have a new post from you I have to scroll down my blogroll to find out what you've been up to. That is how I found this post-I almost missed it. First of all that bird feeder went to the right person. It is lovely and what a joy for you to win it. Second of all how exciting is that Jane was discovered in your neck of the woods? How interesting the story behind her too.

Rosey Pollen said...

Marnie,
Yes...we all tend to stray from the topic of gardening in the winter... it happens. And I kind of like the variety that people find to write about when the garden is sleeping.
Very cool, indeed!
Rosey

Kathleen said...

Congratulations on your win Marnie. I think it's the perfect prize for you ~ the birds around your place are going to love it too.

Interesting story about "Jane." I lived in Wyoming for a while and there were excavations there too. They are always fascinating. My niece thinks she wants to be a paleontologist because of visiting a dig. You never know how a child is going to be inspired. Great resource to have in your town.

Nezzy said...

Well here's a big old Ozarks CONGRATULATIONS on your great win.

I always thought I would be super cool to go on a dig, but for now diggin' in the Ponderosa's flower gardens will have to do.

Ya'll have a fantastically blessed day!!!

Gayle @ Mountain Moma said...

I always enjoy reading about what is going on weather wise,and what it is like where other people live. Thanks for the story.

Diane said...

I was done with high school (Auburn) before Jane was found, but I really ought to make my own field trip and visit her. Love the story about her discovery!

A Joyful Chaos said...

congratulations on winning a giveaway!

Kathleen said...

I'm feeling bad for your birds this morning Marnie (after reading your comment on my blog). Darn it. I guess the birds will enjoy your new feeder if the hawk ever moves on, right?! Hopefully that will be soon. He has to eat too so he can't wait them out forever.

Kahshe Cottager said...

How interesting to see the dinosaurs like that! I have only seen them in a museum!

Please email with a return address so I can tell you about the filters. I seem to be freezing on the comment page.

Susie said...

Hey Marnie, What a neat discovery and story. It amazes me that these great animals roamed our earth.

Msrobin said...

Jane sounds like quite an interesting resident in your town! I'm sorry that winter is so tough on you Marnie, but I certainly do feel your pain. Winter gets tougher for me each passing year. Retirement, when it comes, will be spent in a warm, tropical climate. On that, hubby and I both agree!

garden girl said...

Congratulations on winning the bird feeder Marnie! I'm sure it's a prize both you and your feathered friends will appreciate and enjoy for a long time.

I didn't know about Jane - looks like another neat place to visit in Rockford! Your town's the perfect 1/2-way rest stop area on the way to my mom's place. The museum will definitely be on my list of places to visit, likely when my grandson comes to great-grandma's with me. He loves all things dinosaur.

Sherri said...

Congrats on your prize! What an interesting story-I love anything with history in it! Thanks for sharing!

troutbirder said...

Amazing story. What is this about dinosauers? I love them. My sons and now my grandkids. We're all dinophiles.

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Hi Marnie, thanks for stopping by today;-) Yes, I'm a little worried about my azalea bushes with the weight of the heavy snow...I've also noticed a holly tree has snapped in half, and most of my leyland cypress' are lying on the ground (they'll probably be ok, though). What a great story you shared about the dinosaur. It does get old, sharing 'snow' stories, in the winter--particularly when you always have snow! For me, it's more of a novelty because VA doesn't usually get these kinds of storms, so I'll probably do another post after this next storm hits today/tomorrow! I'm glad to visit you again...it had been too long since I'd been over:-) Jan

Blissitydoodah said...

I know those school kids love to hear about Jane! That is so cool.
I wonder though...
DID you put the m&ms in the popcorn???
;)

Sweet Repose said...

Totally fascinating!!!

How ya holding out up there, we only got 7 inches...however, that's 7 inches too much when you're shoveling all by yourself...but it could've been worse...far worse!

Stay warm!

sharon

Kerri said...

This was such an interesting post, Marnie. Thanks for sharing. I'm smiling about the name "Jane" for a dinosaur :)
I enjoyed seeing the ice sculptures too. Clever people!

Randy and Jamie said...

Gosh, I am running so far behind! Marnie I'm glad you like the feeder and thank you so much for the links!-- Randy