day started off very cold, below freezing in fact. I decided
go check on a construction site down the road. My friend Joe
I have checked this spot a few times already and never found anything
intrest except saprolitic granite. But there's been quite a
of rain and more digging there so I thought I'd take one last
look. Alas, nothing still. I did have an unexpected
surprise as nature left me a gift that only a camera could
capture. Since I had my camera I was able to keep these
After I pried a huge
piece of bedrock away
near a seam of small siderite crystals Bob reached down and pulled out
this specimen from that spot. He handed it to me and said it
mine since I exposed it. It's limonite after
siderite since it streaks red-brown and not white.
Later I met up
with Bob who took me to a spot that produces siderite.
I could see that the bedrock was exposed in this creek. We
down to an area where the weeds and kudzu that had overtaken the bank
had dried up and withered for the winter. Bob made
to a spot where he raked the dead weeds back
and pointed at
small crystals of siderite that were sticking out of the the
Well today I met up with friend and rock hound Dave and we headed back
out to the creek with the quartz and schorl tourmaline.
We dug around in the spot Bob showed me the other day but
find anything worth keeping. So I decided to dig in
spot where some crystals and tourmaline did begin to roll
out. Happy in that spot we cut into the bank another 3 to 4ft
before it began to get too dark to dig.
There were some very
tiny needles of golden rutile
running through this crystal. You can barely make them out in
center of this crystal. This is why I try and keep
everything I find that has any face on it, even if it's just one
face. Because whatever conditions there were for
to form were also conducive for other minerals to form such as rutile
or schorl. Had I thrown this piece back on the ground because
only had one or two crystal faces, I wouldn't have discovered the
rutile. The moral of the story is not that I now have a
spectacular piece of rutile included quartz, because it's not
spectacular in any sense, but that now I know rutile is in this area,
and this gives me motivation to go back and search for
Our next stop was
another creek down the
street from the siderite. The ancient granite at
had completely rotted into what I could only describe as the essence of
saprolite. The dirt here fell away with so much ease that it
difficult to tell if it had not already been moved by some machinery in
the past. I knew, however, that it was original and in situ
saprolitic earth because the veins of mica and quartz were still there
and intact. The above specimen came from a thin black vein of
oxide that had small crystals of quartz and tourmaline
in it. Bob handed me this piece to wash off in the creek.
I found what appeared
to be a small pocket
with lots of quartz. About half the quartz I pulled out had
faces here and there, but nothing that was an entire crystal.
was still hopeful that something good could come out because the signs
were there. After a bit more scratching around the above
tourmaline crystal rolled out. It was very shiny and lustrous.
Well, much more hopeful
now I continued digging and found this tourmaline included quartz.
Dave took a break to go
check out the creek
alluvium in hopes of finding some crystals. He had found a
nice 2-3 inch long tesin habit crystal in this same creek in the
past. Well, while he was doing that the above specimen rolled
of my little pocket. A small clear tessin habit
point with tourmaline
included throughout the base.