2004 FIELD NOTES


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December 31, 2004, Friday
        Well, like I always say .... life is just a Jimmy Buffett song .... This year gone by ain’t been a piece of cake.  .....just  another candle and a trip around the sun.

     Yesterday was a beautiful West Texas day.  Doug and I spent it in the field.  We had a good day.  Hiking in to the locality, Doug found a complete phytosaurs skull.  That was a good start.  We located two new sites on the way to the locality.  At Doug's locality, he only found a few of the interesting femurs, before finding a very interesting, larger femur and a "Cromhall" vertebra.  Just below the skull, Doug found an articulated string of vertebrae.  Then to the west near the other fragmentary skull, Doug found a Chatterjeea ungula.  At Site 4, I found one of Momchill's ornithodiran vertebra, several other strange vertebrae, and another "Cromhall" vertebra.  I collected an unusual ungual which resembles the  ungula  from digit #2 of Drepanosaurus.  It is from the same site where I have collected drepanosaurid vertebrae.  At the Headquarters locality I collected another tail spine from a Drepanosaurid.  We had a good day and we found a lot of fossils including phalanges, various limb bones, scapula-coracoids, ilia, and other assorted specimens.
     There’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living ... it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go. 
     HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE.
Tiny Triassic bones found by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.


December 24, 2004, Friday
     Well, I survived "Death Week" so I went Christmas shopping today and sent my Christmas emails.  I apologize to all of you who complained for my sending a year old photo but since my beard was shaved, it just doesn't have the same effect.  Maybe I will post a "beardless" photo for New Years.  Or maybe not. 
     A left-over white Christmas tomorrow.

Oh well, Bah...... Humbug.

Santa Bill



December 19, 2004, Sunday
     It was a beautiful weekend with only a couple of glitches.  Changes in latitude, changes in attitude.  Nothing remains the same. 
     Saturday, Doug and I went to the Patricia Quarry.  It was a moderately productive afternoon.  Doug found part of a phytosaur skull, a huge phytosaur dorsal vertebra, a humerus, and an nice aetosaur astragalus.  I found a phytosaur axis vertebra, and a huge phytosaur tooth with a  base over 4 cm in diameter (not bad for the top of the Cooper Canyon). 
     Still working on the ginglymoid material.  Finishing up my drawings on a Triassic testudine, Libognathus sheddi, and a Trilophosaurus.  To the right are Chatterjeea elegans (top, Digit I, dorsolateral view) and Trilophosaurus (bottom, lateral view) ungulae recently collected from my research area.
     Today was mi compadre, Carlos Jordan's 70th birthday. 
Chatterjeea and Trilophosaurus ungulae from the Triassic Dockum Group, collected by Bill Mueller, Lubbock.



December 12, 2004, Sunday
     Two beautiful days in a row.  I had wanted to go to the field today, but it didn't work out.  I spent most of the day working on my paleo research.  I didn't hear if they moved the drilling rig in today as planned.  I hope they are turning to the right by daybreak tomorrow.  I spent part of the day photographing sketches for the Tuesday Night Life Drawers for an upcoming exhibit.  To the right is one of Künstler's 15 minute drawings.  Busy day tomorrow.  The beginning of the annual "Death Week".  Final exams tomorrow also. 
Sketch of a model from Life Drawing by Wlhelm Kunstler.



December 7, 2004, Tuesday
     Another busy week.  It is hard to believe Hanukkah is here and Christmas is fast approaching.  I got a lot of work done this past week, but not enough.  Never enough!  Gretchen and I went to three art openings Friday evening.  It was nice to see friends.  Saturday, I spent much of the day visiting with Carlos Jordan at his studio open house (when I wasn't in the Vert Paleo lab).   Tonight was my last session working with this wonderful model.  She has been a wonderful model, and I do hope she enjoys Italy.  I heard today that  the drilling rig is moving in on our prospect next Wednesday.  It will be nice to be turning to the right.  Paleo final Monday.  I hope I can identify a femur...........
My last session with this model before she moves to Italy by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.


November 28, 2004, Sunday
     There was a beautiful waning moon out last night but it was a bit cool for photography on the caprock.  A friend came over last evening to help me work on some images for the Star Cross Angel exhibit which opens at the Lubbock Arts Alliance on Friday.  She wore a "Star of David" and "my shirt" (the same "my shirt" seen in a number of Carlos Jordan's paintings). 
Photograph for the Star Cross Angel exhibit of a model wearing a Star of David.


November 27, 2004, Saturday
    Today started out with a beautiful full moon setting.  I needed to go to the field and check my research area with the recent rains.  It was still muddy from the last rains a week ago.  There was a lot of material uncovered.  We started out collecting ungual phalanxes, tiny sacral verts, and assorted other specimens.  While I was collecting some material at Site XIV, Frances was searching some flats by Site VI.  When she called for me, I went over to see the posterior third of a metoposaur skull exposed.  It appears to have the shape of a Buettneria bakeri; however, it is some 20% larger than the largest B. bakeri skull known.  I would be just as happy with a good B. perfecta skull from the Cooper Canyon Formation.  After I outlined the shape of the skull for Frances, she proceeded to excavate the skull.  The skull is incomplete, lying with the ventral side up.  We covered it with plastic for later retrieval when we have plaster, etc. to properly jacket the specimen.  While Frances was digging, I went to Site IV and recovered part of a Trilophosaurus jacobsi skull with teeth.   At Site VIIL, she found newly uncovered phytosaur skull fragments.  I have to get Herr Doktor to confirm they are Pseudopalatine as they appear.  We made it back after a very productive day.
Francis excavating a Koskinonodon (Buettneria) bakeri skull.


November 24, 2004, Wednesday
     It has been a wild and crazy couple of weeks.  A short bout of being ill. Last weekend I survived my annual project photographing bears.  No broken shoulder, no dislocated arm.  No surgery required.  A little different than two years ago.  (Contractual obligations prevent publication of any of the bear images here.)
     My lecture on the identification of 19th century photographs seemed to be well received.  To the right is a photograph, from my personal collection, of Robert Todd Lincoln by Mathew Brady.
     Spent much of the week working on various manuscripts due to the cold, wet weather.  I received some very interesting correspondence on the unusual ungulae and phalanx I am researching and also on the polychaete worms I am researching. 
Albumen photo of Robert Todd Lincoln by Mathew Brady in the collection of photographer Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.


November 14, 2004, Sunday
     Another busy week and another weekend of art.  Last evening was very enjoyable as I went to Dr. Isabelle Howe's for a reception for the visiting artists for the Colorprint USA symposium and exhibit.  I got to see a lot of friends and meet some new acquaintances.  I was very flattered and surprised at the interest in my photography in Isabelle's collection. 
     It was nice when I woke up this morning and was wandering around the townhouse working on some manuscripts before getting dressed and noticed the temperature was 56 degrees.  It is nice to have the temperature comfortable!  Today is another cold, rainy, snowy day so it is a good day to work on manuscripts, etc.  Künstler loaded his Triassic Tooth Guide onto his web page.  He plans on updating it with images, but at least it is up now.
Triassic vertebrate teeth collected by Bill Mueller from the Dockum Group of Texas.


November 7, 2004, Sunday
     Another busy week even though it was quiet in the dungeon with everyone having gone to SVP.  This weekend was the Local Color Studio Tour.  It was nice to see all my friends (artists, patrons, and enthusiasts) while I was making the tour.  Many that I haven't seen for a while.  There was lots of art, food, drink, and conversation.  They couldn't have asked for a more beautiful weekend .... as the weather was wonderful.  It was a surprising weekend as I also got to enjoy visiting with a number of friends who called:  Diane, Glenn, Heather, Joanne, Leslie, Mary Ann, Shannon, Stacey, Stephanie, and  Trisha.  It was like they knew to call! 
     The inspiration from all of the art this weekend made spending this evening drawing and photographing the lovely young model even more enjoyable.  I have to get to work and finish my portfolio for the upcoming shows.  If it snows and rains this weekend, I won't miss going to the field as badly.
     Maybe sometimes life is like the lyrics of a Willie Nelson song ... like ... "You were always on my mind" with a little of Jimmy Buffett's Love you so madly followed up with Changes in Latitudes  thrown in. 
Nude torso from Tuesday night session by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.


October 24, 2004, Sunday
     The last few days have been spent trying to finish some manuscripts and finish prepping some fossils before they are taken to SVP.  I spent part of Saturday and Sunday also working on art projects intermittently for a break from writing.  My research area received a bit of rain Friday but I didn't make it to the field this weekend.
     I am afraid it is going to be a very short week there is so much to do.  Still, this evening I took a break to spend the evening with Meaghan.  She even cooked a side dish to go with what I grilled.  It was a nice evening.
Wilhelm Kunstler plaster mold of the nude torso of Bill Mueller's Liebchen for a ceramic sculpture.


October 17, 2004, Sunday
     The last few days in West Texas have been beautiful, a bit breezy but beautiful.  The week has passed quickly.  Too much to do, too little time.  Another new manuscript to work on that I hadn't anticipated.  At least it will be very short.  Another photo exhibit to prepare for.  I am helping with a couple of posters for SVP (which I am going to be unable to attend).   One poster on Postosuchus and one one "Buettneria" bakeri. 
     It was a beautiful sunrise this morning with awesome colors as you can see to the right.  It has been six weeks since we were able to go to the field and it was still muddy enough we had to park at an alternate site.  The amount of erosion since our last visit was unbelievable.  Gretchen immediately found some metoposaur bones.  At Doug's juvenile phytosaur site she found part of the maxilla.  She later found a huge phytosaur dorsal scute nearby.  At Site XVII, I found some dicynodont fragments and a Procolophonid jaw (the teeth are exposed).  At Site XVIII, Gretchen found a Rauisuchid tooth and then at Site XXIV she found a lot of   newly uncovered Metoposaur material:  a partial skull, clavicles, jaws, etc. that were already pretty well disintegrated.  At Site IV, the erosion pretty well wiped everything out.  At Site X, there was almost nothing there.  At Site V, I collected an assortment of material including one of Momchil's procoelous vertebrae and a tiny ilium (15 mm).  At Site I, I found a Chatterjeea astragalus and Gretchen found a Malerisaurus scapula.
     Well, it is a beautiful evening in West Texas.  I am grilling steaks and mushrooms to go with a baked sweet potatoes.  It is almost ready, so I am done.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.
Colorful sunrise in Garza County, Texas, by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

Gretchen Gurtler excavating part of a metoposaur clavicle from the Triassic Dockum Group, Garza County, Texas, by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.




October 5, 2004, Tuesday
     I am glad my friends had a wonderful trip collecting invertebrates last weekend.  Hopefully I can make the next trip.  Continued preparation of my specimens has revealed no additional surprises.   Things are beginning to gear up for making SVP posters, etc.  Spent most of today putting images together for a Postosuchus poster.
     It was nice to take a break from paleo this evening and go to our Tuesday Night Life Drawing group.  We had a wonderful model and made some very nice drawings.  We missed the debate; however, personally I think my time was better spent.  Now I have to finish some drawing of several paleo specimens.  Not nearly as interesting. 
     Before long I need to start shooting some more photos for two exhibits coming up in December and January.  I have about three quarters of my images finished.  I just need to finish out my portfolio.
Photo of wonderful model by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

5 minute sketch by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.


October 3, 2004, Sunday
     After a pretty sleepless night, we drug ourselves into the field.  It wasn't fair, Gretchen got to sleep on the way.  We hadn't gone far this morning when the night sky started a lightning display.  Just about five miles before we reached the locality, it began to rain.  We stayed and watched the storms roll in as the dawn broke. As of right now, radar indicates the area is getting pummeled by the third thunderstorm of the day.  
     Since our day excavating was a bust, I am posting an image of an ammonite in the pile in the corner of my living room.  Hopefully my friends, Karen, Lori, Holly, David, & Stephen, who are on an invertebrate paleo collecting trip this weekend are having better weather. 
Placenticeras ammonite with hollow chambers collected by Bill Mueller from the Big Bend Region of West Texas.


September 28, 2004, Tuesday
     As usual the past two weeks have been very busy.  Last Sunday while prepping on my "procolophonid" jaws, the prep work revealed that six of the nine jaws are not procolophonid but are a very unusual archosaur.  Pretty interesting.  My prep work on the drepanosaurid posterior cervicals is slowly progressing, as is the prep work on the "Cromhall" verts.  I had to spend much of the past week rewriting manuscripts after a computer crash.  The rains have been pummeling my research area during the past week, so Gretchen and I are looking forward to next Sunday.


September 19, 2004, Sunday
     The  past wrecked the present, leaving only the future.  I will take the present and make the future bright.
     I am so glad it has been a very busy week; lots of photography, working on manuscripts, and prepping fossils).  Today Gretchen and I spent part of the day prepping fossils.  Gretchen was prepping a Buettneria bakeri clavicle while I was prepping the "Cromhall" heterocoelous vertebrae and a half dozen procolophonid (not Libognathus) jaws from my locality.   
Gretchen Gurtler preparing a Koskinonodon (Buettneria) bakeri clavicle from the Triassic Dockum Group of Texas by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

September 14, 2004, Tuesday
     I stopped by Prichard's Sports Grill on the way to drawing to visit with Lesley Sawyer and watch her and Andy Wilkinson perform.  Not to slight  the other performers but Lesley and Andy are friends.  It was a very enjoyable performance with Lesley, Andy Wilkinson,  Amanda Shires, and Kenny Maines.  All were excellent.  It was good to see Lesley and it had been too long since I had heard her sing.  I know a friend in Arizona who is going to be jealous when I tell her how good Lesley's voice sounded when she sang Passionate Kisses.  It had been too long since I had heard Andy also.  I don't know why but it brought back memories of when I did the television  commercial  / info-mercial photographing the original Dixie Chicks (pre - Natalie Maines, and yes, they are related).
     So .......... I was late to drawing.  Drawing went well for the short time I was there.  There just isn't enough time in a week to do everything I want to do. 
     I found another tiny "Cromhall" heterocoelous vertebra this week.  It is  only 3.7 mm in length!!!  Tiny.  To begin with I thought it was a fragment on a larger "Cromhall" heterocoelous vertebra that it was attached to and "broke" off of.  As I began to prep it under the microscope I realized it was a complete vertebra itself.  Nice surprise! 
A photograph by Bill Mueller of singers Andy Wilkinson and Lesley Sawyer performing at Prichard's Sports Grill, Lubbock, Texas.


September 9, 2004, Thursday
     Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, nothing remains the same.   A lot changed since my birthday a year ago.  A lot changed since my birthday Tuesday and I am sure a lot more will change during the next year.
     I want to thank all of you for visiting the web site and for the emails, comments, and numerous compliments for the web site and Field Notes.  During this past August I had over 3,500 visitors to my site and the Field Notes have now become the most popular page of my web site.   I would also like to express a special thanks to those of you from Australia, New Zealand, and Germany who, for whatever reason, seem to enjoy visiting my web site.  It is also interesting that so many visitors go back and read the 2003 Field Notes!
     If you would like to add the favicon to the right to your favorites menu, you will probably need to remove the Texas Fine Arts page you have bookmarked and re-bookmark the page.  If your program supports favicons, then the symbol to the right will appear along with the page name [thanks to my friend Joe Miller (without his help this web site probably wouldn't exist)].
     Well, I am going to go grill some mushrooms and a steak, bake a potato, have a cocktail and hopefully enjoy a beautiful West Texas evening.  Thanks again. 
     Ich dien.
Texas Fine Arts favicon.


September 7, 2004, Tuesday
     I took off  for a weekend last (this) month just to try and recall the whole year.  All of the faces and all of the places, wondering where they all disappeared.  It started out as a beautiful September day.   I had taken today off and made a long holiday/birthday weekend out of it.  I didn't really do much but enjoy relaxing and doing what I wanted.  To the right is a Texas horned lizard from Gretchen's and my trip to my research area on Sunday.  We had a nice dinner this evening and then I went to drawing.  After drawing the evening did not end well. 
     Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, nothing remains the same.  

Texas horned lizard, Phrynosoma cornutum, in a harvester ant bed in my research area, Garza County, Texas.


September 5, 2004, Sunday
     Dinner Saturday evening was very late and we slept in so it was mid-morning when we arrived at my research locality to survey the effects of the rains this week.  To begin with things looked normal for a bit of rain.  We went to Site V first.  There Gretchen checked on the phytosaur pelvis she had found earlier and covered.  It was intact.  I found another interesting procoelous vertebra.  
    At Site IV, Gretchen found a Malerisaurus femur and ileum, part of a tibia, fifth metatarsal, and a couple of phalanxes.  Just below where she found those, I found two ungulae.  Just east of there, I found another basiocciputal/ basisphenoid complex, a Malerisaurus femur, and assorted other bones. 
     From there we checked out other sites. At Site XV I found another Trilophosaurus maxilla. The most surprising was the dicynodont squamosal locality, Site XXXVI.  It was gone.  The small mound where it was found was completely washed away.  It appeared in some areas that as much as six inches of soil was eroded away.  It was amazing how much erosion had taken place in that small area. 
Bill Mueller photograph of Gretchen Gurtler excavating a prolacertid, Malerisaurus, femur from the Triassic Dockum Group, Garza County, Texas.



 
August 30, 2004, Monday
     It was a beautiful sunrise here in West Texas. To the northeast towards Caprock Canyon was a large thunderstorm with lots of lightning.  There was a low bank of clouds to the east that were yellow, orange, and dark blue with the rising sun.  Then to the west was a thin cover of clouds with the full moon setting on the horizon.  ...... and here I
was on my way to work instead of on the caprock with my camera and a beautiful model to go with the sunrise. 
     And today is the first day of classes at Texas Tech. I am going to have to get used to going to class again as I start working on my PhD.  At least I am starting out with Vertebrate Paleontology. 
     Gretchen returned from Virginia Saturday evening and slept in so we didn't go to the field Sunday.  So I worked on manuscripts, drawings, and prepped fossils.  To the right is one of the drawings of the anterior half of a fossil reptile skull I finished for one of my manuscripts.  I prepped an interesting procoelous vertebrae from my research area, along with some phalanxes, humeri, Malerisaurus vertebrae, and other bones.
     As the rains this evening are pummeling my research locality, I am still trying to come up with images for a Caprock Photographers' exhibit we hang on tomorrow.
Wilhelm Kunstler drawing of the fossil skull of Libognathus sheddi for a manuscript on the Triassic procolophonid from Texas by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
August 15, 2004, Tuesday
     The past few weeks have been very busy.  Earlier in the week I sorted out two more "Cromhall" heterocoelous vertebrae and a Triassic mammal femur (proximal end) from the material I collected last week at Doug's locality. Today was a quick trip to north-central Texas to see family.  It had been way too long since I had seen them.  On the way back, Meaghan and I stopped at my research area to check on what the recent rains had washed out.  I quickly collected a dozen or so vertebrae, a few phalanxes, and a jaw.  The jaw appears to be either another Sphenosuchian or dinosaur.  I will have to prep the specimen out of the clay matrix to determine for sure what it is. 
Small 2 cm Triassic reptile vertebra by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
August 3, 2004, Tuesday
     The past week has been very busy (and interesting) photographing Pre-Columbian artifacts.  It has been exciting with our numerous paleo finds.  So, it was nice to be able to go to the life drawing group tonight and relax.  Although you don't have much time to relax when drawing one minute poses.  After the short poses, the five minute poses seemed very long.  The remainder of the evening was spent prepping fossils, working on a manuscript, and thinking of what I am going to do for a self-portrait for our December exhibit. 
Quick sketch of life drawing model by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
August 1, 2004, Sunday
     We slept later than intended but we still got to see the moon setting while we were in route.  According to the weather radar, etc., the locality was supposed to have received about 10 inches of rain last week. From the erosion and the standing water, it did.  For as much erosion as we observed, there was very little fossil material exposed.  I went to Site IV while Gretchen went to Site XXV.  I picked of a couple of specimens and then went to get Gretchen to help me (and to show her the extraordinary axis vertebra I found).  The axis vertebra is a very unique, heterocoelous specimen with an anterior and posterior hypapophysis.  We collected numerous phalanxes, ungulae, limb bones, ankle bones, and vertebrae.  Just before we left that site I found a very interesting right mandible.  At the next few sites we collected "Procoelosaurus" vertebrae, a Trilophosaurus jacobsi jaw section, Trilophosaurus humeri, Malerisaurus humeri, numerous assorted vertebrae, phalanxes, ungulae, and other bones.
One of the many unguals collected from the Triassic Dockum Group by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
July 30, 2004, Friday
     It was beautiful as the sun rose over the horizon as we dropped off of the caprock.  It was shaping up to be a beautiful day but the remnants of the torrential rains earlier in the week were still evident.  After arriving at the locality, we immediately began finding and collecting the small float material.  It wasn't long until Doug found a nice procoelous vertebra, shortly after I found another of the "Cromhall" heterocoelous vertebra.  I ended up with FIVE.  One appears to be in excellent condition with the neural spine and the hypapophysis still intact.  I also found what appeared to be a tiny Trilophosaurus cervical vertebra.  We also found quite a bit of larger material (see right).
     We collected until about 2:00 when it began to get hot.  We collected about four times more material than we did last Sunday. 
Fossil radius from a phytosaur, Pseudopalatine, from the Triassic Dockum Group of west Texas by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
July 25, 2004, Sunday
     It was still dark as we headed south.  The light rain refused to let up.  Despite the bleak, almost autumn-like conditions, we were determined.  Doug Cunningham had found a new "micro" site on Saturday and had brought some specimens by to show me.  Part of the specimens appeared to be from a dinosaur.  We were on our way back to examine the locality and the specimens Doug had left in place, which included the partial skull of a juvenile phytosaur.
     It was a wild morning.  As dawn broke we encountered a flock of three or four turkey hens with lots of poults.  I was surprised at how small the young turkeys were for this time of year.  Then further south we encountered three young bull ELK on the highway.  It was still twilight but I managed to get a couple of poor photos that weren't totally blurred!
     We hiked in to the locality in the misting rain.  Immediately it appeared to me to be even better than Doug had described.  He showed me a phytosaur femur and scapulacoracoid.  Then there was a radius.  Then I found some tiny limb bone ends and vertebrae.  Doug then showed me where the partial phytosaur skull and possibly another skull with associated vertebrae were.  It was too wet to attempt to remove these.  We began to gather up some of the micro fossils in float.  Tiny stuff.  I then found another "Cromhall" heterocoelous vertebrae like I found on July 18, making this only the third locality in the world to produce them!  We spent several hours collecting the float and scouting around.
Red deer seen south of Post, Texas.
Red deer seen south of Post, Texas, by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
July 18, 2004, Sunday
     ... Changes in latitude, changes in attitude, nothing remains the same. 
    It was a stormy start to a Sunday morning in many ways.  It was the first time we had been to this locality in the Tecovas Formation this year and even so we found only a small amount of material.  I did find five procoelous vertebrae, a couple of theropod teeth, and a very distinctive heterocoelous vertebra.  The heterocoelous vertebra is the second I have found at this locality and the only matching verts I have found in the literature are six specimens from some fissure fill in Cromhall, England.
Horned lizard sunning itself after a light rain by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
July 11, 2004, Sunday
     It was a beautiful weekend.  Saturday, I tagged along on a paleo field trip just for fun (and to see about adding some material to our research project).  Christa, Jonathan, and I each found a couple of dinosaur teeth which we needed for our study. I ran across some interesting petrified wood (see right).  Saturday evening and Sunday were spent sorting fossils, cataloguing fossils, and working on manuscripts.
An interesting piece of petrified wood by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
July 6, 2004, Tuesday
     It was a stormy evening in West Texas.  I spent my Tuesday as usual, photographing a model, as you see to the right. 
     I spent much of the 4th of July weekend working on Triassic dinosaur teeth, working on manuscripts, drawings, and prepping some aetosaur scutes.  I did spend long enough in the pool to get a bit sunburned.  The rains during the past three days in my research area may make for a promising expedition this weekend. 
... Changes in latitude, changes in attitude, nothing remains the same.  Some things change, even after 26 years, 3 months, and 2 days.  Although I will not post a photo, to answer the multitude of inquiries I received as to what the change was ............... believe it or not ...... Gretchen shaved my beard!!!
     I know this is a shock ......... since even my daughter has never seen my face shaved.
Nude female torso by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
July 2, 2004, Friday
     Yesterday there was another beautiful evening in West Texas. The full moon rose just south of a large thunderhead that was putting on a beautiful display of lightning in the twilight.   Earlier in the evening we had photographed a Texas horned lizard in the light of the setting sun.  We didn't photograph the tarantula (I still don't like spiders). 

... Changes in latitude, changes in attitude, nothing remains the same.  Some things change, even after 26 years, 3 months, and 2 days.

Nude torso with horned lizard and thunderstorm at sunset by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
June 29, 2004, Tuesday
     It was another beautiful evening in West Texas and, as usual, I was photographing a familiar subject.
     Things have slowed a bit the past couple of days but the full moon is coming on Friday.  I will be on the caprock photographing Thursday evening/night.  But, as you know, life is just like a Jimmy Buffett song ... Changes in latitude, changes in attitude, nothing remains the same.
Fine art nude torso by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
June 26, 2004, Saturday
     Well, it finally happened.  A Changing World  or "the Dino Hall" at the Museum of Texas Tech finally opened.  Although I had little to do with it (other than taking photos) it was a relief to see it open.  There was a nice crowd at the reception (which also was the opening of the excellent art exhibit, Through American Eyes.  It was nice to see a number of friends whom I haven't seen in a while.  To the right is my girlfriend Gretchen and me at the opening beside the case which holds four specimens donated from my collection (rudistids and ammonites). 
Gretchen Gurtler and Bill Mueller beside case containing fossil ammonites and rudistids from west Texas that he donated.

 
June 22, 2004, Tuesday
     It was an absolutely beautiful day in West Texas with occasional showers and cool weather (high was 74 degrees).  It has been a busy week already.  I took time out and went to our Life Drawing group tonight.  It has been quite a while since I have drawn but was relatively pleased with the results.  It reminded me why I am a photographer and leave the drawing, sculpting, etc. to Künstler.  It also makes you realize how short five minutes really is.
Quick sketch of model from the Life Drawing class by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
June 20, 2004, Sunday
     Low flowing clouds came across the landscape like banks of fog.  Although it was Father's Day, we rose early and went out for a short morning dig to recover the Metoposaur skull Gretchen found on June 10.  It turns out there was more to the skull than originally thought.  It was still incomplete but besides the pterygoid and parasphenoid, the squamosal and tabular were present.  Gretchen also found part of an interclavicle over in an area where we hadn't ever found anything previously.  I collected a number of tarsals and vertebrae from Site IV.
A Bill Mueller photograph of Gretchen Gurtler excavating a metoposaur skull she found in the Triassic Dockum Group, Garza County, west Texas.

 
June 10, 2004, Thursday
     It was another hot day in West Texas.  With the gracious permission of the landowner, we spent the morning searching for a classic locality.  We found what may have been the scar from the excavation and this appears to be confirmed from the landowner remembering when she was a child it was a place that appeared like someone one had dug into the hillside long before.
     We stopped by my research area on the way home.  I wanted to check on the Site IV and the theropod site.  Matthew checked on various areas while Gretchen went to check on the dicynodont site.  On her way to the site, Gretchen found several nice sub-adult phytosaur vertebrae together and the palatal portion of a metoposaur skull exposed.  Although it doesn't appear that the dorsal portion of the skull was present, due to the time and heat we did not excavate the skull.  We covered it for later recovery.
A Bill Mueller photograph of Gretchen Gurtler excavating a metoposaur skull she found in the Triassic Dockum Group, Garza County, west Texas.

 
June 8, 2004, Tuesday
     It was a beautiful evening in West Texas after a very busy few weeks.  The next few weeks appear like they may even be busier. 
     It was nice to be back on my normal Tuesday night schedule.  It was the second time (March 30) I had photographed the model I was working with tonight.  As she did last time, she hit some very nice poses and I made some very nice images. 
Photograph of a reclining nude by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
May 16, 2004, Sunday
     It was truly a fantastic day in the field.  Doug worked at Site IV on Malerisaurus bones (May 8) while Gretchen excavated at Site V. By lunch Doug had uncovered the femur/sacral complex, a series of articulated vertebrae, a scapulacoracoid and humerus, more vertebrae, and a partial skull. Gretchen uncovered quite a bit of Trilophosaurus material, a juvenile phytosaur astragalus, and snakes.  She even found her first rattlesnake.  I found three more sphenodontid jaws, including one that appears to be new.  Just before we left, Doug and I went to take a GPS reading on a phytosaur jaw section he had found earlier in the day.  We scouted around a bit for some more and I lucked into a dicynodont squamosal.  The squamosal was about twice as large as the one on the partial skull I had found previously at this locality.  Doug soon found the proximal end of a dicynodont radius nearby.  We were quite happy after a really fantastic day in the field.
Doug Cunningham excavating Malerisaurus fossils from the Triassic Dockum Group, Garza County, Texas.
A Bill Mueller photograph of Gretchen Gurtler excavating a group of associated dermal scutes from the Triassic Dockum Group, west Texas.

 
May 9, 2004, Sunday
     It has been a long, long, enjoyable week as I am house sitting while Carlos and Liz are gone. A bit reminiscent of another Jimmy Buffett song, Gypsies in the Palace:  A full moon on the caprock on Tuesday, enjoying the pool and good company the rest of the week, paleo field trip on Saturday, enjoying the pool and good company on Sunday and Monday, ... "the order of the sleepless knights". 
Gretchen Gurtler and Bill Mueller inspired by Jimmy Buffett's Gypsies in the Palace. while house-sitting.

 
May 8, 2004, Saturday
    It was a perfect day for working in the field.  Doug and I left early, arriving on location while it was still overcast and cool.  We started out by checking various sites in my research area.  Doug found the first significant specimen, a caudal paramedian plate from what appears to be the genus Stagonolepis.  This was the first diagnostic aetosaur specimen from my locality.  We continued to scout the area and collect various items of float:  vertebrae, ungulae, phalanxes, limb bones, etc.  Doug had mentioned that it was unusual to actually see rattlesnakes in the field, so today we saw three!  Doug spent most of his time at Site IV.  When we arrived there and began looking it over, I found another small jaw fragment of a Sphenodontid? with four teeth.  He excavated a complex of limb bones and then moved over to where I had found some Malerisaurus bones.  He quickly uncovered a Malerisaurus femur, a series of articulated sacral vertebrae, what may be part of the pelvis and other limb bones.  The articulated series of vertebrae continued on into the bank.  We were not prepared to take them out so we carefully covered and protected the specimens to be collected on the next trip. 
Cervical paramedian plate from an aetosaur, Paratypothorax, from the Triassic Dockum Group, west Texas.

A Bill Mueller photograph of a prickly pear cactus in bloom, Garza County, Texas.


 
May 4, 2004, Tuesday
     It was another absolutely beautiful day in West Texas.  The wild flowers were outstanding (although I didn't have time to photograph them, we did notice and enjoy them).  Instead of my normal Tuesday schedule, tonight was a full moon so a beautiful woman and I went down on the caprock.  First we shot some photos down in the canyons where the young lady found a piece of a metoposaur clavicle.  We had found phytosaur material there before but never any metoposaur material.  Then we went back up on top the caprock and prepared for the moonrise.  There weren't any clouds or good colors in the sky for a sunset, so I concentrated on the moonrise which occurred about the same time as the sunset.  The moon came up a beautiful orange  (I made some color photos and pinhole photos too).
     We enjoyed a beautiful evening on the caprock shooting photographs, although the mosquitos were a bit pesky.  Our last photos were at almost 10:00 pm as the moon continued to climb in the clear sky.  The latter ones were for reference photos for some Wilhelm Künstler artwork. 
Black & White photo, Nude Torso in the Badlands, by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas, off the Caprock escarpment of the Llano Estacado in Garza County.
 

Nude female torso at moonrise by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.


 
April 25, 2004, Sunday
     It was another beautiful day in West Texas, for a while, then we had almost hurricane force winds and dust blowing (ah.... to live in West Texas!).  I spent most of the weekend working on my paleo research and helping Wilhelm Künstler with some of his sculpture and jewelry projects. 
     My scheduled photo shoot on the caprock today was post-poned, so I went back to plan A.  I made a wonderful image for the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day with the help of a beautiful young lady.
Black and white pinhole photograph of a nude torso by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
April 20, 2004, Tuesday
     It was another beautiful evening in West Texas.  The clouds and the sunset were typical West Texas ... beautiful.  The model I photographed tonight was very pretty also.  It was the second time I had photographed her (see March 23).  She did an excellent job modeling and I am looking forward to working with her again.  I believe that I got a number of very nice images to work with.

     The Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. is coming up this coming Sunday.

Nude torso of a pretty young model by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
April 18, 2004, Sunday
     "Yesterday's over my shoulder, I can't look backwards too long."  As I've said, life is like a Jimmy Buffett song ... and it was a beautiful day in West Texas even though it was cloudy, cool, and the wind was blowing.  I made good progress on a number of research projects this weekend and remembered a very important fifth anniversary.
     In the field today, we had mixed blessings. We excavated on the two phytosaur skulls.  The juvenile's skull is fragmentary at best.  The skull on top of the juvenile skull is large with the premaxilla appearing to be close to 12 cm wide.  While on a break, we went to locality BDM 451 to recover a paramedian scute that appeared  to belong to a new species of aetosaur that was recovered nearby.  After collecting it, my field partner, Gretchen, wanted to look around some more, leading to the discovery of three more paramedian plates and a small lateral scute.  At this time, it appears they may belong to a different, possibly new, taxon.  It is really too early to tell until the scutes are properly prepared.
Bill Mueller photograph of Gretchen Gurtler excavating aetosaur scutes from a new species in the Triassic Dockum Group, west Texas.

 
April 10, 2004, Saturday
     It was a cold, winter day in West Texas (I know, grammatically, west should not be capitalized in west Texas; however, this is ... West Texas).  Plans were to go to an art opening tonight; however, I ended up working on my own art and some reference work for Wilhelm Künstler.  I did the reference work for several of Künstler's sculptures (the first of which will hopefully be unveiled at an art event by Carlos Jordan this coming July).  Künstler will have to get busy to finish these and his new jewelry by then.  I have been working on my pinhole camera series getting in practice for the upcoming Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day
Wilhelm Kunstler, Lubbock, Texas, creating a figure mold with plaster for a ceramic sculpture.

 
April 6, 2004, Tuesday
     It was another rainy day in West Texas. It had been overcast and raining since past Friday. It rained all weekend.  I can't tell you how disappointed I am in missing photographing the full moon on Sunday.  Oh well, next month.  The model I photographed tonight was new for me.  She was a wonderful young lady who was a lot of fun to work with.  I believe we made some nice images and look forward to working with her again.
     I am starting to plan for April 25 and the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day
An image of a nude female torso by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
March 30, 2004, Tuesday
     It was another beautiful spring day in West Texas.  I had another new model to work with this week.  She did an excellent job modeling. 
     I am looking forward to the full moon on the caprock on this coming Sunday. 
Torso of a female nude by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
March 24, 2004, Wednesday
     It was another beautiful spring day in West Texas.  I spent part of the evening photographing a beautiful young woman. 
Torso of a nude by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
March 23, 2004, Tuesday
     It was a beautiful spring day in West Texas.  There was a nice breeze but nothing hurricane force.  Things are getting busy.  I had a wonderful new model save me after the model I had scheduled for tonight had to cancel at almost midnight last night.  The very pretty young lady provided some very nice poses and I believe we got some very nice images.  I hope she will model again.
View of the torso of a nude by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
March 22, 2004, Monday
     It has been a very hectic month so getting into the field to do some paleontology and photography was a very nice change of pace. It was good to see Herr Doktor again.  Sunday we went on a field trip to my research area and found very little, even after all the rains.  Today we went to another locality in Crosby County where we found a more diverse fauna.  Possibly the most interesting find was the basiocciputal from a huge phytosaur that I uncovered. 
     After looking for fossils, I had to go do a photography shoot on the caprock.  I was doing a bridal portrait for a pretty young lady who had come in from central Texas for me to make her portrait on the caprock.  It was very nice to see her and soon-to-be husband again.  The winds (this is spring in West Texas) were a bit brisk at times.  We, in my opinion, got some nice photos.  We worked until almost sunset.
The basiocciputal discovered by Bill Mueller of a very, very large phytosaur, Leptosuchus, from the Tecovas Formation, Dockum Group, Crosby County, Texas.

A Bill Mueller photograph of a bride-to-be on the caprock near Post, Texas.


 
March 9, 2004, Tuesday
     Some people claim there's a woman to blame, but I know, it's my own damn fault.  Yep, life is just a Jimmy Buffett song. The way things are going, maybe I should write Mr. Buffett a song or two!  I missed the full moon Saturday.  I saw it rise just after an evening storm and rainbow as I was moving a load of fossils.  I HAVE to get rid of more of my rocks and fossils!  I have donated a couple of tons of them and have another ton to go. Tonight I only shot digital images of the young lady.  Anyway, back to the fossils.  At the right you can see some of the stuff at my house including several ammonites (Permian, Jurassic, Cretaceous) including one with hollow chambers; a hadrosaur jaw, phytosaur maxilla, Cretaceous turtle, Prorichthofenia teguliferoides, Permian silicified ferns.  The Museum of Texas Tech has received some of my collection already, including a new genus and species of aetosaur, a juvenile Typothorax, ammonites (including topotypes) and a rudistid colony for their "Dino Hall", and assorted other specimens.  My invert stuff is primarily going elsewhere.  At one time I had over 4,000 species cataloged in my collection.  It is dwindling fast. 
View of some fossils on display at Bill Mueller's home.

 
March 2, 2004, Tuesday
     CHANGES IN LATITUDES, CHANGES IN ATTITUDES, NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME.  Life is just a Jimmy Buffett song and this line from one of my favorites is, at this time, very appropriate as I am undergoing a major change in my life. Even Tuesday nights have been erratic lately but tonight was back on schedule.  There is a full moon coming up on Saturday.  I don't know if I will be completely moved in time to take advantage of it.  I may have to schedule for April.  With the rains we have had, I really need to check on my research area this weekend. 
Black and white photo of a nude's bac by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
February 24, 2004, Wednesday. 
     Texas weather is like they say, if you don't like it wait a bit and it will change.  Sunshine and blowing dust last week, yesterday was sleet, snow, and ice.  Unfortunately the weather caused a postponement with my model for yesterday evening so I went out before dawn to do some photography.  This afternoon was a beautiful, sunny day.  We received 4" - 6" of snow and by this afternoon it was almost completely gone and tomorrow will be almost hot.  Welcome to TEXAS!
View of Texas Longhorn sculptures in snow before dawn by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
February 11, 2004, Wednesday.
     Just returned from a very productive trip to Arizona.  Spent a day in the Petrified Forest National Park checking out a couple of Trilophosaurid localities with PFN Park paleontologist Bill Parker.  I then went to the Museum of Northern Arizona where Collections Manager Janet Gillette courteously allowed me to examine the holotype of Trilophosaurus jacobsi.  A very interesting, very informative trip.  Too much to do in too short a time.
A Bill Mueller photograph of the Petrified Forest National Park on a visit doing research on Trilophosaurus dornorum.

 
February 1, 2004, Sunday. 
     It was a cold morning that was supposed to get windy.  Gretchen and I went to my research area first to collect a Buettneria bakeri clavicle.  We collected the clavicle and then scouted the other sites.  We exposed a nice phytosaur femur where we had been collecting some skull material.  After lunch we went went to excavate the phytosaur skull I found on January 24.  1 shows the lower jaw.  2 shows the maxilla in occlusion with the jaw.  While we were excavating the skull, Gretchen uncovered what appears to be the posterior portion of a juvenile phytosaur skull (3) underneath the large skull I had found.
View of adult phytosaur skull discovered by Bill Mueller and juvenile phytosaur occiputal condile discovered by Gretchen Gurtler in the Triassic Dockum Group, west Texas.

 
January 24, 2004, Saturday.
     Dawn came as a slow lightening of a gloomy, overcast morning.  Hopefully, the rain would hold off until we finished our field work.  Again, I was going to see if I could relocate the juvenile aetosaur at locality BDM 452.  After five years, hopefully other specimens will have eroded out at the locality.  First we stopped at BDM 451 and took a GPS reading from the locality where I excavated an aetosaur in the late 1980's and today I found another paramedian scute nearby that appears to be from the same taxon. 
     Unfortunately, I was unable to relocate the juvenile aetosaur, so far.  I did find a lateral scute appearing to belong to the same taxon as above.  I also found a phytosaur skull and jaws.  I found the skull just before we were to leave.  I exposed both the left and right mandible (it is ventral side up) and what appears to be the premaxilla with teeth.  We will have excavate more to determine later how much of the skull is there.  The sky cleared slightly to create a beautiful sunset for the trip home.
View of phytosaur teeth, maxilla, and mandible in the Triassic Dockum Group, west Texas, found by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas..

 
January 17, 2004, Saturday. 
     Before dawn, there was wind and light rain.  Rain hitting the windows has become an unfamiliar sound over the past six months.  Then, not long after the drab gray sky lightened, huge wet snowflakes began to fall.  It was planned to spent the day in the field recovering part of a juvenile aetosaur I had covered up about five years ago but with the rain and first snowfall of 2003-2004,  it wasn't very feasible.  So I spent the weekend prepping fossils in the lab, working on drawings, and writing.  It was a very enjoyable weekend in many ways.
Thistle in snow by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
January 6, 2004, Tuesday.
      Dawn found it cold here, 8 degrees Fahrenheit. It was nice to be back on a regular schedule after the holidays.  The week has been and will be busy, but it feels good after the long layoff for Christmas and New Years.  The entire year is already looking to be a very, very busy year.  That can be both good and bad, I will just have to wait and see. 
     I did help Wilhelm Künstler finish his first two pieces of "Paleo-Art" on Sunday.  I am interested to see how they look after they are cast.  With the final product being silver, I expect them to look quite different from the way they looked in wax.
High contrast image of a nude in profile by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

 
January 3, 2004, Saturday.
      Dawn found me up and working this morning again.  It was a good thing I started early because it doesn't seem like I have accomplished much work of my own.  This morning I was going to help my artist friend Carlos Jordan buy a camera.  Then I went to Charles Adams' Gallery to pick up a large canvas Jean had stretched that wouldn't fit in her car.  Then Jean asked me to go shoot a couple of reference photos in a greenhouse for her to paint from.  Then I went to help Künstler work on his sculpture.  Finally I got to work on prepping out some Trilophosaurid material while Künstler finished a couple of drawings for my Procolophonid paper.  To the right is an image Künstler created using one of the photographs I made when I went to shoot reference photos for Jean.
Manipulated photograph of plants by Wilhelm Kunstler, Lubbock, Texas.

 
January 1, 2004, Thursday.
      Dawn found me up and working this morning. I had made my New Year's resolution to procrastinate less and focus on completing the projects I have going.  You will find I have scheduled fewer exhibits this year as I do not know how much time my research is going to take. 
     After my morning shower I saw something that I thought symbolized the end of the year.  It was an interesting image of a dead peace lily and I thought it would be appropriate to make it my first photograph for 2004. 
     Now I have to go help Künstler work on a sculpture he is wanting to cast next week.  May you all have a happy and prosperous new year.
Image of dead peace lily by Bill Mueller, Lubbock, Texas.

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ALL TEXT AND IMAGES © 2004 BILL MUELLER