I know it is not yet April as I write this and that I need to be patient. There will be plenty of collecting opportunities in the coming months. Spring is here and with it the snow is just about gone and the collecting season is about to begin in earnest. WCGMC will visit Ace of Diamonds on March 30th and I’ve been out hunting fossils once already.
But I was impatient earlier this week and decided to venture to western Connecticut to follow up on a couple of leads I had uncovered over the winter by searching geologic literature and old maps. I hoped I could find places the club could return to later in the year. I was after kyanite and staurolite or whatever other neat metamorphic minerals I might happen upon, maybe a four-pound garnet? Anyway, one day last week I packed up the chisels, the hammers and the gloves, loaded the backseat with snacks and chocolate and pointed my aging Honda Accord towards the east.
Yes, we are going all the way to Kentucky for a fossil location, specifically to a long, but fairly non-descript roadcut on State Route 11 in Flemingsburg. The site is on my radar because at least four members of WCGMC plan to collect at the site in late April. We will be doing so on a 4-day, 7-site trip led by Jerry Bastedo and the Buffalo Geological Society. But it is also a site WCGMC visited last Labor Day on its week long trip to Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland. Continue reading
Rob Webster arrived at the WCGMC February workshop with 11 pounds of colorful rock he had recently acquired and slabbed. He had purchased it online, where it had been identified as “kaleidoscope jasper” (or agate) from Utah. It did not, however, appear to be jasper and Rob said it had cut really easily. So, I took a picture and went home to investigate.
Perhaps you have heard of the latest collecting craze in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? Beach collectors who have generally restricted their collecting to agates, amygdaloidal basalt, and perhaps an occasional greenstone are now returning to the beach after dark with a long wave UV light source. They are finding beach rocks that are bright yellow when subjected to a 365 nanometer long wave light source. Apparently there are some beaches where these stones are relatively common.
All who attended the January workshop of the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club acquired a nice unpolished slab of morrisonite jasper from the club collection. Most present at the event struggled to identify the “best” piece remaining when their raffle number was drawn. It was all so colorful and each piece was unique. I went home with my piece and decided to learn a bit more about my newest acquisition.