19 April 2009

Spake the Raven: When in doubt, go rockhounding

Spring fever has driven me to distraction (not a good thing as I try to get a good start on three new courses) and so, possessed of a stunning spring day and a restless dog, I decided to hoof it a few miles up the mountain to the old mining town of Kelly. This mineral-rich area is one of Magdalena's (few) tourist attractions, and both the remains of the town and the man-made hills and valleys of weird rocks dredged from deep in the mountain are actually quite interesting in the rugged, silent, do-with-it-as-you-will way that so characterizes this area. Arguably the world's finest Smithsonite came from here, and although I'm sure the area has long been picked clean by hikers you never know what a hard rain might uncover. And so we keep coming back up the mountain.

 I found some very pretty rocks, large and small; I use most of them to add some interest to my gardens, which are also rugged and spare not by design but by necessity. A few are tinged with what appears to be chrysocolla (which has more intense coloration than turquoise and is relatively common in this area); many more are a mix of quartz and other minerals, like this strangely compelling specimen. Next trip up, I need to put a backpack on Lucy the dog so I can bring more pretty rocks home. (Don't worry about her; at 94 pounds she can handle it, I'm sure.)

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