Sunday, August 2, 2009

Moose Lake Agate Days -- Post 4

This is the last post for the Moose Lake Agate Days show that took place a couple of weeks ago. Once the show was over, my agate friends (Gerald and Jill) and I headed southwest about an hour to visit other friends. Now I have been to a lot of homes owned by fellow rockhounds, but I must admit that their collection rivals most I have seen. I was so impressed with their collection in fact, that I won't even identify who they are to help protect it from possible theft. One wall in their living room is covered in intrically detailed lighted cases, that of course, are full of museum quality specimens. Their kitchen and in fact most of the house has beautiful rocks everywhere. And who do you know that has a BOULDER garden? Those of us with mere rock gardens cannot measure up.

A pile of petrified wood logs in the boulder garden:

Mary Ellen Jasper in the boulder garden. This jasper was formed from the fossilized remails of primative stromatolites 2.2 billion years ago. These primitive bacterial organisms were the first to photosynthesize and add oxygen to the earth's atmosphere. Thus, if they did not evolve, we probably would not have either.

Also in the boulder garden was this very impressive stalactitic goethite specimen. Notice the quarter on the wide angle shot.

The biggest prize in the boulder garden, though, is this multi-ton piece of jaspite. Jaspite is a mixture of jasper and hematite that formed after the stromotolites added oxygen to the earth's atmosphere, allowing iron to oxidize for the firt time. It is a long story about how my friend acquired this boulder, but let's just say it wasn't an easy task to move it to her house. Heavy equipment was definately involved! Also notice the quarter sitting on the top of this boulder.

One of my favorite specimens in their lighted cases is this heart-shaped rock. I believe it is called Picosso Jasper.

This botryoidal iron formation was on a shelf at the end of the lighted cabinets. It measures around 3 feet long. It also must have been a task to move.

I have never seem much binghamite, since it is a rare stone found in Minnesota. It has vibrant colors aranged in a fibrous pattern that forms when quartz began to replace the original hematite, goethite, and other iron ores.

I don't remember what my friends said about this specimen. I believe, though, that it is an usual thunder egg from Oregon.

While we were admiring the rocks in the cases, we looked out and noticed the fox, which apparently comes to feed on a nightly basis. What a treat!

The next day, we went to a farmer's field to look for agates. Our friends secured permission in advance from the owner of the property. It was in the same field that I found my semi-fister agate in May. This time I just found small ones, but my friend, Jill found an 8 ouncer! I was amused by the one corn volunteer that is growing this year between the rows of soy beans.

On our way to a restaurant to eat lunch, we all got a chuckle from this sign. Somehow I just can't imagine how you would race worms!

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