WHAT a treat to be taken fossil hunting by a friend's dad. The children had the best time digging around in the earth with old screwdrivers, and were delighted when they found impressions of plants and animals. Millions of years ago, this area in North Georgia was covered in swamp. Dead animals and plants fell into the water and were covered by many layers of mud, which eventually hardened into shale. In between these layers, hidden treasures wait to be discovered. We found brachiopods and crinoid stems. Crinoids are sea animals which resemble today's sea lilies. Brachiopods appear similar to today's bivalves such as clams, but researchers believe they are a distinctly separate group. Not quite as exciting as dinosaur bones, but almost.