Dec. 14, 2008.  Today I went to go check out one of my favorite spots in Wake County, NC.  There is a creek here that produces some nice crystals and veins that can be dug all around the area.
There is an alluvial layer around the creek that is pacted with a near conglomerate of quartz rock, white grey clay and occasional crystal.  So, I started off by first checking on a spot where the alluvial layer was well exposed.  Lucky for me this one was sticking right out of the side of the exposure so I didn't have to do any digging at all for this one. 
Here it is after cleaning it off.
Next I decided to go find a quartz vein to dig for crystals.  After a close visual inspection of the ground I located a vein to dig into.  A great technique is to dig on both sides of the vein so that the vein is exposed.  Then pry that section of the vein out.  This way crystals that may be inside are less likely to be damage by tools.
After pulling the vein out I could see the many faces from the crystals that were lying inside.
Here's the crystals after cleaning off all the clay.  Not a bad day.
December 26, 2008

Today I made it out to one of my favorite construction sites.  The construction here lies at the heart of the crystalline zone that runs from Cary and northeast through Raleigh.  There has been a bit of rain since I was last here so there was much exposed quartz rock laying on the surface.  Here's a couple things I found.
Found a neat specimen with a crystal laying across it and attached to the matrix.
The specimen below came from a spot down the road and at another construction site.  It was exposed in a vein in one of the walls that was carved away by a backhoe.  I continued to dig but alas, no more crystals. Just broken up, ugly quartz.

Even though it was the only nice crystal I found at this spot I was very pleased with it's quality.  It's got a very dark and clear area in it that I will be able to work with my cab machine or possibly get faceted.