We do a lot of different things at WCGMC meetings and on workshop Saturdays. I don’t often document these activities to my blog as I don’t think they would generally interest folks outside the club. But at the June meeting this year we did something a little different and I decided my newsletter note for the July newsletter served to be placed here. You see we made garnets …. well, sort of.
The Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club offered two awards at this year’s annual GemFest in Canandaigua on June 1-2. We held a contest for “guessing” the number of stones in a large glass jar and we also asked all attendees to vote for their favorite exhibit. It was just two more ways visitors to GemFest could get directly involved in the festivities.
For the past several years, I have had the pleasure of attending the Cornell Extension of Seneca County Outdoor Field day in mid-May. I enjoy explaining the science of geology, the role of geologists, and a bit about the three major rock groups and the rock cycle to 6th graders from schools throughout the county.
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.
Linda Schmidtgall is the new President of the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club. A little bit ago she wrote a story about her experiences with falling which was published in the September WCGMC newsletter. With permission I republish here.
Rockhounds have to learn how to fall. It is actually very important to do it with grace. BUT you do want to make sure someone is watching or you will waste a good fall. It seems I take at least one great trip down a hill or something every year. A few I recall are:
There are many reasons to plan and participate in joint club trips like the recent Labor Day trip to Kentucky where folks from several clubs joined together (see acknowledgments at the end of this note). The obvious is new places and new friends and we sure encountered both during our three days in Kentucky.
It is with much pleasure that I share Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club’s September announcement.
WCGMC does not have a Rockhound of the Year Award for 2018. The person we wish to acknowledge this year has done too much for too long for that simple title. Instead, we proudly proclaim Bill Chapman as WCGMC Rockhound of the Decade.
The new theme for June seemed to be painted rocks. First, Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club member Donna Smith brought her artistic talents to GemFest and we added a new craft to the event. Using rocks we had collected from various sites throughout the previous year, Donna set up between Linda Schmidtgall’s highly popular soapstone carving booth and Dave Millis’s gem tree/wire wrapping booth, creating a virtual trifecta of craft activities for youths and adults right in front of the club exhibits. Continue reading
On the first weekend of June,. the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club holds a two day mineral show in Canandaigua, New York. This year we welcomed a new partner to its annual gem, mineral, and fossil show. The Seneca Trailways Council of the Boy Scouts of America added GEMFEST to their calendar of events on both their Facebook page and their weekly e-mail which is sent to Scouts and their leaders across the council. WCGMC believes this is a perfect match. The involvement of Scouts aligns with both of WCGMC’s primary objectives, providing family fun and working to spread knowledge while stimulating interest in the earth sciences. Continue reading
For the fourth year is a row, the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club held its annual show at the Greater Canandaigua Civic Center on the first full weekend of June. Attendance was up over 15%, as over 1400 folks crossed into the arena to visit the venue over the course of two days. We exceeded our expectations with our club activities, nearly running out of soapstone as 180 1.5” squares were carved, filed and polished by visitors. The sluice was busy as usual. Over 300 bags of sand with minerals, gems, shark teeth and more were run across the sluice table. Continue reading
The first weekend of May split the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club into two parties. Many stayed in western New York and visited Penfield Quarry on the annual Dolomite Products open house. If you check out our club Facebook page you will find several had a successful day among nearly 200 collectors from across the northeast who visited that day. But others of us had planned our annual pilgrimage to central Pennsylvania for that weekend, travelling south with visions of wavellite and large lepidodendron tree stumps dancing in our heads.
The meeting room was crowded for our February meeting as 49 members showed up to build their own egg crate mineral collections from the club’s inventory of small stones, mineral specimens and fossils. There were over 50 options to chose from when the first selections were made.
Last month I wrote about the Arkansas portion of Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club’s November field trip south (quartz, quartz and more quartz). But we did not stop there. After three days of collecting SiO2 in and around Mt. Ida, Arkansas, ten of us pointed our large black van east and headed to Tennessee and North Carolina. There was still a bit of space to fill in the van and in the trailer and we simply could not head north without filling all possible nooks and crannies. Here is how we did it! Continue reading
In November of 2017, Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club undertook a 9 day collecting trip to Arkansas-Tennessee-North Carolina. This is mostly a photo essay from the first half of the trip in the Arkansas quartz district of Mt. Ida and Jessieville. Published in WCGMC December 2017 newsletter. Part II on the rest of the trip will follow.
3300 miles and 3300 pounds of Arkansas quartz: the miles are accurate, but the weight may be a bit of an understatement. Once someone started putting large clusters and quartz-covered pieces into the trailer (I think it was Glenn!) it seemed contagious. Everyone simply needed more! Buckets were filled at three sites, half bushel baskets with crystals encased in red Arkansas mud were purchased, we traded for yet more, and eventually even the spaces under the seats in the van were dedicated to Arkansas quartz. And we hadn’t even headed to North Carolina yet!
The days were shorter in October, but the weather during those days was spectacular and my favorite group of rockhounds was as busy as ever taking full advantage. The month could easily be renamed Octoborocks by the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club.. While we weren’t planning for our 10 day November trip to Arkansas and other warmer southern spots, we were doing just about everything imaginable. Continue reading
At the November meeting of the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club there was general bemoaning that the field season seemed over. That was until two members suggested that we visit the Lake Ontario shoreline on Sunday for one last outing. And so we did. In fact ten of us spent several hours walking the rocky coastline at a couple of our favorite haunts. It was our 22nd club field trip of the year, and probably our last.
Where should I start? The 10 day August trip to Thunder Bay and back again was a blast. We all returned with enough minerals and memories to last through the winter (or at least until our trip to the Adirondacks in September!).
But first and foremost: Just as the 1959 stamp Issue in the header was a joint issue of the USA and Canada, this trip was a two country trip with WCGMC and the Niagara Peninsula Geological Society (NPGS) of St. Catharine’s, Ontario. Those of us from WCGMC thank NPGS for allowing us to join them, and in particular to their field trip leader Ashley Pollock, who planned the itinerary and set up the many visits requiring permission and outside leadership.
July was a busy month for Bill Lesniak and his travelling rock and mineral kit stand. If you have not seen his operation, Bill sets up at whatever event will allow him and, on the behalf of Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club, offers free rock and mineral kits to youngsters. They do have to earn them though. They must cut out labels, display dexterity with glue sticks to apply them to the egg cartons he provides and then, with help, locate the 12 specimens (this summer: 6 rocks, 4 minerals and 2 fossils). In the end they go home with something that looks like this:
The end of April was an active and exciting period for Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club diggers with two trips, each of three days duration. While we wait for warmer weather to our north, the club ventured to the neighboring states to our south, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.