my father grew up near a rock quarry in ohio. back in the day (50s), you could cruise through the rock quarry on off hours and, with a careful eye, spot fossils that had been unearthed during the dig. you would also occasionally score an arrowhead, iron pirite (fool's gold) or something else of interest. the younger version of my dad made a hobby of collecting the items of interest that he found along the way.
a little over a year ago he handed the fossils off to me at my request. i wasn't immediately sure what i was going to do with them, but after a while i settled on creating a sort of diorama with cactus, air plants, and driftwood. as the year progressed and house search became house sell, job search turned into new job, i had precious little time to make good on my initial plans to create the diorama. finally, with most of my holiday break home improvement projects complete, i found the perfect display case while walking through abbott kinney with jane. below is a lengthwise shot of the case and the resulting diorama we created.
in the center is an air plant i bought for 5 bucks from home depot. sort of pain since you have to remove it and soak the roots once each week, but well worth it for the splash of color it adds as well as the ability to swap it around. from this view you can also see the layers of rocks on the bottom (for drainage), soil (for planting the cactus), and the sand (for aesthetics).
the above shot shows some of the fossils in detail including a few trilobites, a pressed fern, and if you look closely you can see an arrowhead in the back. i've since repositioned it so that it can be seen more clearly.
and the other end of the diorama. i'm going to keep an eye out for a small piece of wood to weave into the piece, which i think will add some nice texture. otherwise, i'm quite happy with how it turned out.
i think the quarries of toledo, ohio today have been mostly turned into other things. there was one that served as a really excellent swimming hole when i was a kid. the water was cold and deep but it had a couple great diving boards, the tallest of which taught me at an early age that i have a genuine fear of heights that cannot be completely overcome but can be thrust aside on occasion to enjoy a daredevil moment.
oh yeah, dad is quite happy with the little piece, thinking it a suitable display for his old treasures or at least pleased at the effort that went into showcasing his childhood hobby.