Those of you who frequent the Geologyin.com webpage, or who are members of the Facebook Group “Amazing Geology” may have seen these stories in mid-October. It is a lesson in always keeping your eye on the rocks around you. Or perhaps to watch the sky for falling rocks!
Have you ever heard of flint knapping? Do you know there is an active group of flint knappers in western New York and they hold their annual Stone Tool Craftsman Show every August? In 2018, the event is August 24-26 in Letchworth State Park, itself a geological wonder worth visiting. For three days members of the Genesee Valley Flint Knappers Association display their wares and share advice on knapping at the Highbanks Recreation Area in the park.
Visitors to the Stone Tool Craftsman Show can see flint knapping demonstrations and learn about a variety of other skills that helped prehistoric cultures survive. In addition to learning about the making of arrowheads, spears, and stone knives, the group holds several athletic competitions involving stone throwing weapons.
Rock hounds are always looking for new places to dig. Sometimes it is hard to find them. But we could tinker with that theme a bit and start “looking for new things in old places”. There is a museum in Chichibu, Japan, two hours from Tokyo that houses over 1700 rocks, all of which resemble human faces. They call the museum Chinsekikan (which means museum of curious rocks). Apparently, the owners have been accumulating the odd collection for over 50 years with the lone requirement that Mother Nature was the only artist (Strategy, 2016).
This summer was active and fun, but I found two events particularly encouraging this summer, in that they involved youngsters. In one case, an extremely motivated group of young fossil collectors, and in the second case, a surprisingly large number of youngsters on a night hunt for fluorescent material.
This past week I had the pleasure of attending the Rochester Mineralogical Symposium at the Rochester Radisson Motel and Conference Center. It was the 41st annual such event, but it was my first! What a fine way to welcome spring weather and add encouragement and motivation for an active collecting season. Imagine well over 200 mineral enthusiasts converging for three days to share mineral stories, discuss technical learnings, sell/buy minerals, and otherwise just enjoy the company of others in the hobby.