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GeneralJust For Fun

3rd Jan 2018 15:26 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

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A number of years ago a friend wanted to go out collecting. He lived about an hour away and he called the day before to ask if he needed to bring anything on the collecting trip. I told him we could use a bulldozer since the digging would be so much easier.

I didn't think much about it but when he arrived the next morning he had a box he gave me and said it was what we had talked about the day before.

I opened the box lid and laughed until I nearly cried.

He had done just what I had said, he brought a bulldozer.

We have had that in our display cabinet for years now with the tumbled peridots in the shovel.

I took it out yesterday to get photos of specimens behind it and took a photo of it as well.

I thought people would get a laugh about this.

3rd Jan 2018 16:18 GMTTimothy Greenland

Love it Rolf!


Thank you


Tim

3rd Jan 2018 16:36 GMTBob Harman

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ROLF, Loved your bit of humor.


Here is my collecting partner. A keeper specimen has just been found! CHEERS.......BOB

3rd Jan 2018 21:38 GMTPeter Chin Expert

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Collecting spots in Oahu.

4th Jan 2018 00:55 GMTD Mike Reinke

Peter, sure looks like rugged terrain in a hostile environment...

4th Jan 2018 17:59 GMTTony Albini

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Funny sign in Maine.

5th Jan 2018 16:58 GMTEd Clopton Expert

The mention of radioactive rocks & minerals is probably supposed to be a deterrant, but it just piques my interest!

5th Jan 2018 21:19 GMTTony Nikischer Manager

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Here are a couple of my favorite fun items! If only they were full size! This one is only 7cm long, filled with zeolite scraps and placed on a mining diorama built one winter. Weathering and custom decals make it look like the real thing!


And if only this wulfenite sitting at the cabin door was really this tall! It is only a few millimeters, placed on the same mining diorama above.
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Wulfenite on the cabin front porch.

6th Jan 2018 02:56 GMTDoug Daniels

Tony - neat photos, but the rail car in the first photo has derailed (look at the left-most wheel)!

6th Jan 2018 12:29 GMTChris Rayburn

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Two Christmas gifts from my long-suffering, infinitely patient wife

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6th Jan 2018 13:04 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Hi all,

Nice you are having a bit of fun with the post.

Tony, my wife mentioned only problem in your diorama, no graffiti on the train! We live in a railroad town and all the trains that go by are full of graffiti, some actually quite well done.

Love the rock art.

My wife made a sea shell creature one time and it was a laugh to all who saw it. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of it.

Have had fun seeing other postings here.

Rolf

8th Jan 2018 14:21 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

08294560015651884673437.jpg



On a trip down the Baja in Mexico one time got this photo and wanted to post it here to see if anyone comments. It does go along with the thread quite well actually.

Rolf

8th Jan 2018 16:19 GMTBill Cordua Manager

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Here's some gold ore from the Princess Mine near Norseman, Australia. Note the hammer for scale. One of the geologists carried it in his wallet. Closeups taken with it were impressive to potential investors.

8th Jan 2018 19:43 GMTMatt Ciranni

05801270015651884734392.jpg



While hiking one day in the Owyhees, I decided to build a camp fire.


You would not believe the trouble I had getting this dang fire started. It just didn't work out so good, ha ha.

I didn't take any of the petrified wood home with me (even though it would have technically been legal to do so) but decided to leave it where it sits in this photo, so someone probably came across it and it messed with their mind a bit.

8th Jan 2018 20:33 GMTGary Weinstein

Rolf,

Fun-ny, but you cannot take a photo of the setting sun and a full moon in the same frame. If the moon is full then it must be 180 degrees from the sun.

9th Jan 2018 01:10 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Gary,

Thought I would have fun with it and it didn't fool you one bit. Double exposure of course. I wondered if anyone would catch on.

Did another double exposure of lightning in Bisbee of the sky and then of town, with lightning bolts going up and down the streets.

Bill, loved the tiny rock pick!! Gave my wife and I a good laugh.

Matt, yes, very hard to get the wood to light!!

Thanks for adding some nice things to all.

23rd Jan 2018 13:25 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

I have a little story that may be a bit of fun.

I have gotten to be the go to guy in SE Arizona for identifications of things people find. One fellow had seen my postings on mindat and emailed me about a metallic specimen he found hiking deep in the woods. He sent me a couple of samples of the material and when I looked at them it looked like something that had been applied to the surface of a quartz seam. I told the fellow it seemed to be something man caused, something melted or painted onto the rocks. He said it had to be some mineral outcrop since it was so far from anything. I told him it was only surface and sure looked like it was man made. I told him to take it to the University in Tucson since he lived there. He did just that and apparently they also thought it was odd and offered to test the material.

I got an email about a week later and the test had come back and it was what I had thought. Turned out to be aluminum paint. Now how and why it ended up in the middle of nowhere nobody knows but the fellow's dream of discovering an unknown silver deposit evaporated with the analysis. Even the University was a bit surprised what it turned out to be.

Sometimes people get to places one doesn't expect and why someone painted a quartz seam is something we may never know.

I have run into a few things similar to this. One near us in the desert, no dirt road nearby, I found a dumped chunk of odd metal. It was something made up of tiny metallic pellets and had been dumped out in the desert. No idea what it was or why it ended up way off somewhere but I did not get it tested, just thought it was someone's experiment with smelting and the end result was just tossed. Why way off somewhere, who knows. It may have been toxic or who knows what else but I left it alone.

It does seem people do get just about everywhere and leave things behind that are mysteries to later discovers.

5th Feb 2018 20:06 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

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A number of years ago, my brother in law was out exploring with his jeep in a wash a few miles away.

He came by and was all excited because he had found a great fossil piece. He said it was a real chore to load it into his jeep because it weighed nearly two hundred pounds. He was sure they were starfish fossils. I went out to have a look at what he had brought over. As soon as I saw the piece I knew what it was and also where it had come from because I had been in the same canyon.

These were chunks of sandstone and the shapes were desert roses that had been growing at the same time the sandstone had and retained the shapes of the gypsum clusters. The disappointment on his face was easy to see. He asked for my help to take it out and it ended up in our yard.

My brother in law passed away a number of years ago but this fun story lives on.

14th Feb 2018 20:28 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

00149720015651893923312.jpg


This is a piece that has a little story but I will post it to see if anyone has any idea what it is?

14th Feb 2018 20:30 GMTWayne Corwin

Sugar?

14th Feb 2018 20:36 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Wayne,

That was quick! Got it. I had written an article about this and called it Sweet Halite. I had been given some dyed sugar candy with grape food coloring and thought it looked so much like a mineral specimen I broke it up and put it in little boxes in my store at the time labeled "halite pseudomorph after fluorite" and had lots of fun with people trying to figure it out.

I had lost the photos I took back then and just retook one after so many years, still has its color.

Good guess Wayne.

15th Feb 2018 12:50 GMTChris Rayburn

Thank you Wayne! You saved me a couple of hours of wheel-spinning research and embarrassing guesses.

15th Feb 2018 13:11 GMTWayne Corwin

Wasn't hard for me, I've seen lots of sugar crystals in maple syrup jugs, always has that fresh licked look.

15th Feb 2018 15:21 GMTDana Morong

I don't see how it could be pseudomorph after fluorite - it doesn't have the outward forms of isometric symmetry at all (looks as if it were dyed purple with some food coloring, but color does not affect crystal symmetry). I recall seeing a large crystal of sugar in class years ago, but I had already had (once) a sugar crystal that I took a goniometer to and measured its angles, made a diagram and noted the angles, so that I'd have a reference just in case.


I used to grow some water-soluble crystals, mostly alum, and some Rochelle salt, but never got around to sugar (sucrose).

15th Feb 2018 17:57 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Dana,

That was my whole point in doing a label that was ridiculous enough that someone who knew minerals would know immediately it was all completely made up. I had wanted to allow enough chance for someone to figure it out relatively easily.

Funniest part was a friend saw the halite after fluorite label and I had him taste the piece. Here is where the power of the mind is odd. He said upon tasting it that it tasted salty. My eyebrows went up and I asked him to taste it again. Then his eyebrows went up and he asked why and I just had him do it. Apparently when he saw the label halite, his mind said it was going to taste salty and to him it did. The mind over taste buds won out there. He and I had a good laugh over it.

15th Feb 2018 19:04 GMTScott Rider

You got to love how the human mind can play tricks, especially with the power of suggestion!


Or the placebo effect... "This pill will make you lose weight in 2 weeks!!!" But average person won't read the fine print (probably says something like "must be used with good diet and exercise!!").

15th Feb 2018 21:56 GMTDana Morong

03017090015651894022577.jpg
Sign by highway just south of Amherst, Nova Scotia, actually 2 km before the Exit 4 that it notes. This one is funny because most people look for rocks at Parrsboro area at Low Tide, as the accompanying photo shows.

15th Feb 2018 23:18 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Dana,

Maybe the sign was written for those who like to skin dive!

2nd Mar 2018 21:53 GMTJamison K. Brizendine Expert

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While doing research on the Tiffin Quarries, I came across this photograph. In 1931, Natcher France, who owned the France Stone Co. Quarries in Ohio hosted a beauty pageant in his quarry in Bloomville. Thought it was worthy to add to the database.


3rd Mar 2018 14:09 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Jamison,

Very interesting, guess it was like a big outdoor auditorium.

I don't have a photo but in Bisbee they would hold events in some of the big caves they found, had a whole band set up in one of them. I remember seeing some of those photos but it was some time ago and I don't remember where I saw them.

3rd Mar 2018 15:14 GMTKevin Conroy Expert

Rolf, same thing in Crystal Cave in Joplin, Missouri,

1st Apr 2018 17:11 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

This is a mineral related story only in the sense that the fellow this story is about was a big mineral collector. Like many of us, we also have many other interests. This friend had seen a very nicely built mineral display cabinet out of walnut wood and decided, since he was a good craftsman, he would find a nice dead walnut tree and he enlisted me to help him with going to get the tree he had found with his new 3/4 ton pick up truck he had just gotten. He had scouted out a good tree in the Chiricahua Mts. He lived in Tucson and had a friend who had a mill and could cut the tree into the lumber he needed to build the cabinet. We drove to the canyon and it was a great old Arizona black walnut tree. It was a good three feet across and about 8 feet tall of solid looking walnut. He took his chain saw and cut off any old branches and had only the trunk left. As he cut the one side to notch it and thought about cutting the other side he paused and said with no good tools to lift the big trunk into the bed of his pick up he decided to let down the tail gate all the way and back up and cut the tree and let it fall into the bed of the truck.

It was a great idea but the one thing he didn't take into account was just how much the trunk weighed. I stood back as he did the last of the cutting and the tree fell. It fell perfectly into the bed of the truck, missing the cab by mere inches. Unfortunately, the trunk weighed over a ton and the falling over bent the whole back of the bed into a V shape. I won't say the words that left his mouth at what it did to his new truck but I only stood and shook my head.

He did have it in the back of his truck, although his back shocks had collapsed all the way.

1st Apr 2018 17:14 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Oops, the story was not completely done when it suddenly loaded it to the page.

He did get the tree to the mill and had the thing cut into lumber. I remember seeing this giant pile in his living room with a big tarp over it as it had to sit to dry for a year before he could make that cabinet. The tree had been worth it for the amount of lumber he got out of it but the cost of getting the truck repaired made it much less worthwhile.

I lost touch so never did see the cabinet he built but I will never forget the look on his face as the big tree came crashing down into his truck.

6th Apr 2018 22:57 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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02651490015652265893673.jpg


This is a bit of a fun story.

At the Tucson show about four years ago I stopped to visit a friend selling specimens. He had a Twin Buttes wulfenite specimen that had labels from three different well known people. He sold me the specimen for half of the asking price. Since I love wulfenite and to have it on copper minerals was a big bonus.

When I got home I looked under the microscope and saw immediately it was not wulfenite but yellow baryte. The first photo is of the baryte. The piece started off as a disappointment but the more I studied the piece the nicer it became. I found nice atacamite crystals on the piece but in one small hole was an atacamite that was twinned. On checking I found that twinning in atacamite is actually rare. This one showed it very well.

So, the four people who had owned the piece before had never actually looked at the piece under a microscope to see that there was no wulfenite on it. It is possible that it may never have made it to me if it had been discovered there was no wulfenite since it was at the top of the list of species.

Just thought it was a funny story that turned out quite nice in the end.

12th Apr 2018 15:35 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

03788970015651910809641.jpg
Recently my sister made a geology inspired cake. The mud was chocolate icing, the red and white rocks around the bottom were rock candy sugar, and the agates and amethyst were made from Jolly Rancher hard candy!


12th Apr 2018 15:43 BSTScott Rider

What great "agates"!!! Looks too good to eat LOL!! Your sis made some tasty looking specimens!!!


Before I read your caption, I almost thought you just topped the cake with dyed Brazillian agates!! Good job!

12th Apr 2018 16:39 BSTWayne Corwin

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Another Rock Cake

Was made by club member for our club picnic

12th Apr 2018 16:46 BSTScott Rider

Darnit, now I'm jonzing for something sweet!!!

12th Apr 2018 17:00 BSTRonnie Van Dommelen Expert

Dana,


I always read that sign thinking it was missing an 's'. I thought they meant to write 'High Tides' (and) 'Rockhounding' with the first line advertising the world's highest tides.

12th Apr 2018 18:17 BSTMatt Courville

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Scott this one is for you....

22nd May 2018 00:05 BSTJason Evans

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Someone will get it!

22nd May 2018 05:48 BSTScott Rider

Oh yeah! That's my favorite "band" from back in the day!!! Love Stonehenge the most!

22nd May 2018 10:49 BSTChris Rayburn

Break like the wind!

22nd May 2018 14:11 BSTBob Harman

01758870015651922971100.jpg
Another loose association.




A "ROCK" star sang about "R.O.C.K. in the USA".

John Mellencamp and his then girl friend, actress Meg Ryan as seen
at a recent basketball game. We see them quite often here in Bloomington Indiana. 




CHEERS.....BOB


22nd May 2018 19:17 BSTMatt Ciranni

err....Flourite Faucet??


That sounds like a cool band name.

22nd May 2018 20:02 BSTMatt Courville

This reminds me of how I played in a rock band for several years and since we all worked together in a laboratory, thought to get a lab-style name. We settled on Zero Headspace.....and no-one else ever seemed to get the reference but us;) I always liked Nitric Dreams, but it sounded too gloomy for the rest of the guys.


And yes Jason our amps went to 11 !!!

23rd May 2018 02:24 BSTJake Harper Expert

I get it Jason! Being a musician, it's a favorite movie of mine!

24th May 2018 00:45 BSTJason Evans

Matt Ciranni Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> err....Flourite Faucet??

>

> That sounds like a cool band name.



It's spinel!

24th May 2018 03:22 BSTDoug Daniels

For those that don't get it - the band is Spinal Tap, the photo is spinel (on a) tap. More likely an American thing.

24th May 2018 19:28 BSTMatt Ciranni

Okay, that makes sense; I thought it was a fluorite octahedron (Because those are pretty ubiquitous at rock/gem shows).


I loved Spinel Tap- great movie, great parody band- but if you guys overseas like comedy parody rock, you ought to hear Tenacious D.

24th May 2018 22:09 BSTJeff Weissman Expert

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You guys like my new diamond pin?

24th May 2018 23:24 BSTBob Harman

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Cal...sites.



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CHEERS.......BOB

25th May 2018 00:21 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Bob,

Very nice, got a good laugh from your post.

Don't have a photo of the piece to go with "I'll get a round to it" with a photo of a washer, came to mind with Jeff's post.

Nice you guys think "sideways" sometimes.

1st Jun 2018 14:27 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

I may have posted this story in another thread but it belongs here for those who may not have read it before.

A relative new collector friend would stop by to have me identify things he didn't recognize. One day he went to a mine in the Dragoon Mts. of Arizona we had been to and emailed me when he got back home about this light blue, transparent material he had found in one part of the mine. He wondered what it was. I knew he had a habit of licking something to test it for various things and phoned him to tell him not to lick the piece. Too late he said, he had washed out his mouth for about ten minutes after licking the chalcanthite.

A couple weeks later he had another unknown piece he brought over. This one was an amber color and amorphous material on garnet matrix. As soon as I saw it I asked where he had found it. He said at another mine I knew quite well. The piece he had he broke from a lone big boulder of garnet by the mine dumps. I asked if he had licked that one and he said no since he learned his lesson with the chalcanthite. I told him it was good he didn't lick this one since it was dry coyote pee from their marking rock. Since it had not rained in some time the pee had dried and built up into a thick layer. Sure made me think about people and rock licking.

2nd Jun 2018 13:43 BSTChris Rayburn

That's great Rolf. Who knew coyotes have a sense of humor?

2nd Jun 2018 16:53 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Chris,

My only regret is that I didn't get a photo of the piece. Never thought of it at the time but the friend, after finding what it was, tossed the piece out.

It really did look like amber!

Other friends have brought me mineral specimens and on quite glace with the microscope the term "Biologicals" come in often. Lichen, ant parts, insect eggs and so many more things I have seen.

One I found myself had me fooled for quite some time. It was what looked like an epimorph with rainbow colored hollow spheres in a vug in a piece from a local Arizona mine. I set the piece aside with an arrow on it and later went back to it to really study it. At this mine I had found epimorphs of chrysocolla after azurite and even after gypsum crystals. Those were almost ghost like in appearance and I thought I had something like that but on further study the only conclusion I could come to was the vug had had a way to the outside and an insect had crawled in, maybe even a tiny spider, and laid eggs in the vug and they had hatched and all the insects were gone. Only thing left were the multicolored hollow spheres. It was a biological but certainly a pretty one and one that fooled even me for a while.

6th Jun 2018 14:52 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

New collector dreams are well known, in fact I was guilty of the same thing when I first got rolling with mineral collecting.

The most often situation is to "hope" the piece you can't identify right away is a rare species. I see this often on the messageboard, people hope their common mineral is something much better.

An example here is from a collector who went to a mine and found some metallic and elongated crystals. He did a bit of checking in books and internet and was certain he had found millerite. I told him and so did a few other friends, millerite was not a mineral found in the district, not the right chemistry. No shaking the hope tree though until I actually got a specimen to look at and saw it was stibnite. Similar looking and one actually in the district.

Another example was a new collector friend who went on the mine site on mindat and put down the minerals from the mine and started looking for the species on his list in things he had collected. He came by one time and had a list of maybe ten minerals from some mines he had been to and I looked at his list and his thinking he had found several of the rare species. I told him he was more likely to find diamonds than some of the rare things that only came out when the mine was actually open. A while later this got through and I always had to tell him I did the same and for me my wife was the sounding board that got me to see it was a different habit of some common mineral. Over time I learned this but it is fun to see the hope in finding something super rare.

Unfortunately dreams are always there and I see this so often on mindat, people hope they have found something rare.

I am sure many long time collectors see this often also.

15th Nov 2018 17:20 GMTKevin Hean

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Probably get into trouble for this, but here goes :-)

15th Nov 2018 18:45 GMTScott Rider

Kevin, thanks for a good laugh!!! I particularly like the blue apatite "prevents horse attacks" and galena "absorbs children." Did you come up with that?? It is too damn good!!!


Here's one more:


Diamond:

* keeps your bank account empty

* makes some women act crazy

* Can be used with giraffes and some flightless birds

* great for late night snacks, but only when there is a new moon, AND the tides are low.

15th Nov 2018 18:52 GMTScott Rider

Okay, one more just cause I'm bored:


Pyrite

* Fools the fool

* Prevents communism

* Best use is to hold it in hand and wish it was gold

* Only view it at a 87.5* angle in order to prevent rusting.

15th Nov 2018 18:57 GMTKevin Hean

Thanks Scott, but no I can't take the credit for it.

Some of yours are pretty good :-))

15th Nov 2018 18:59 GMTScott Rider

Thanks. I am hoping others would jump in and get some funnier people to respond!!!

15th Nov 2018 19:44 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Thanks for adding to this thread, great fun stuff.

I have one from a couple years ago at the Tucson mineral show. We pick up a few of the show guides to give to folks who stop in our shop and since we also get the crystal healing folks I picked up a couple of the guides as well.

Looked at one to see what all was in it and on the back page was the latest mineral which had been added as a healing stone. The mineral, according to my looking at mindat was just described that year. On the page for this new healing stone there was a list of all the "ancient healing powers" which the stone had given users.

Now, I couldn't help but wonder how a mineral which was just new to science had "ancient healing powers"??

15th Nov 2018 20:03 GMTScott Rider

Maybe they have an incredibly loose definition of the word ancient (expressed in days vs. generations)....


More likely the healy feely person didn't do any research on what they were lying about (what a shocker)...

29th Nov 2018 13:40 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

This story is not exactly fun but the stupidity of it does fit here.

I set aside micro specimens for a friend in Germany and send them over when I have enough to make a package. First, to send the package to him is between $20 and $30 at the US PO. For him to send the same size package cost $4. Funny in a sick kind of way!

This time I had collected about 10 small specimens for him at absolutely no expense and 4 of them just samples of quartz stained by hematite just because they were from a location he had not seen material from.

When the box got to Germany they went to customs and the stuff was unpacked twice and each piece examined. Even with the designation of "no commercial value" on the box, the customs people said they had a value and some kind of chart of size of rocks came to their minds. He said to them they had all been found and not purchased and had no selling value, this didn't sit well. No amount of discussion made any progress.

They finally gave him choices, either they send it back to me, throw it out and nobody got anything or he had to pay. They assessed it at $80, purely on size and he had to pay 7% of this. They were handling each piece to find anything that they recognized but he was afraid to say anything about some being delicate since he knew they would figure it meant they had more value.

In the end they put $5 on the tiny pieces and $10 on the slightly larger ones. The larger ones were the ones that had absolutely no value at all.

Well, he paid and took his stuff home.

This has happened to him nearly every time we sent things and I wanted to pass this along since it is an interesting situation and in the end, laughable since what else can one do.

29th Nov 2018 15:27 GMTKevin Conroy Expert

On the customs form do you write "minerals for study"?

29th Nov 2018 15:46 GMTReiner Mielke Expert

Hello Rolf,


You need to send it to a different post office. The problem is unique to the employees of that office. Maybe a friend in a different town?

29th Nov 2018 16:19 GMTJeff Weissman Expert

Or, simply claim some low value - like $20.00 for the lot, then the hit will not be too much.

29th Nov 2018 16:59 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Jeff,

That is exactly what the friend suggested for the next package I would send. I just don't think of that kind of stuff going on. Kevin, your suggestion is another one but the valuation seems to be the best for future.

Still crazy to have people who don't know a rock from a hard place in charge of this kind of thing.

I am still shaking my head at the "establishment" in that case.

29th Nov 2018 18:26 GMTUwe Kolitsch Manager

In case of small samples (micromounts), it's always good to write "Mineral/Rock samples for study - no commercial value".

30th Nov 2018 13:25 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Here is a bit more of a fun situation. One year, maybe 8 or 10 years ago, at the time of the Tucson Mineral Show a man came into our store about 50 miles to the SE with a station wagon. He asked if we buy specimens and we said it depends, what did he have. He said he had a very big piece, weighing hundreds of pounds of quartz from Washington Camp-Duquesne. Knowing the quartz from there we were eager to have a look. He was telling us he just wanted to sell it cheap and had been at the Tucson show but nobody would buy it. He didn't want to take it home again.

As he opened the back of his station wagon we were surprised at the size and it nearly filled the back of the station wagon. We didn't have to look long before we realized why nobody was interested in buying it and we told the fellow the same thing.

Much of the quartz from this location is not sharp but has a coating over the quartz of druzy quartz and the fellow had been working with tools to try and remove the druzy quartz from the crystals on the specimen. It was completely ruined.

We told him that his attempt to make the piece nicer had made it worthless. He offered the piece to us so cheap it was actually tempting but it was now worthless to even have it as a yard rock so we said no thank you. Had he left the piece alone it would have been worth a pretty penny.

3rd Dec 2018 19:14 GMTKevin Conroy Expert

02124170015651973405422.jpg
There's a specimen that needs identification.


Streak – I tried to test this but it disturbed the neighbors and they called the police. When the police caught me and saw that I was just running down the street naked with a rock, they told me to never do that again.


Specific Gravity – the Earth’s, definitely.


Magnetic – it must be, I was drawn to it.


Reaction to acid – I don’t do drugs (although I have been questioned about this by the police, see “Streak”), and I don’t want to subject a mineral specimen to this lifestyle.


Luster – dull, but when I put it in water it looks wet.


Fluorescent – not originally, but “yes” after applying luminescent paint.


Hardness – not sure because now I hate doing tests (again, see “Streak”), but estimated between 1 and 10.


Crystal shape – yes.


Location – found on the ground.


Other properties - I didn’t see it fall so I doubt that it’s a meteorite. I keep it outside, and at nighttime it looks darker.


This may be an oolitic cryptocrystalline ultramafic pegmatitic amygdaloidal brecciated conglomeratic gneiss-based nickelboussingaultite. Thoughts?


4th Dec 2018 00:03 GMTScott Rider

It could be kevinconroyite, extrablurryite or maybe whatisthisrockite...? Not quite sure though... Does it give you any extra powers, insight to the universe, improve your love life? Or if you hold it at a 90 degree angle, does it help your digestion?

4th Dec 2018 03:12 GMTKeith Compton Manager

Kevin


You could always turn it into a weather vane!


Tie a piece of string around it and hang it on the clothes line.


If it starts swinging - you'll know its windy;


If it's wet you'll know its raining;


If it's dry you'll know it's not raining;


If it goes missing, you'll know that either a tornado has been through or someone nicked it 'cos it really was valuable and you should have taken greater care of it.

4th Dec 2018 03:48 GMTGregg Little

Kevin;


I think its leaverite. Lots of it around so leave it right there.

4th Dec 2018 11:50 GMTBranko Rieck Expert

The weather vane is even more informative:


if it is white you'll know it is snowing,


if it jumps up and down you'll know there is an earthquake.

4th Dec 2018 12:44 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Fun stuff guys, gave us a very nice laugh.

My wife often has an idea for me when I find some unknown in micro material I am studying under the microscope. She says "I can throw it over the fence and then you don't have to worry about it anymore". So far I have thanked her for her insight but I have a lot of those, great little pockets under the high power but no idea what they are and in some cases she may be right. I do have a lot of those and many are really cool but just not enough to get any analyzed. Still fun to look at.

Thanks for the fun additions.

4th Dec 2018 20:14 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

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Back when I first started breaking minerals I got in the habit of saving the tiny broken crystals and saved them in little micro boxes.

One time I had nothing going and was working under the microscope. I used to make large collections for selling but one day decided to make one from the great little broken crystals from my trimming.

This morning I made this little collection in a 2.5cm square micro box lid.

They are a lot of fun and anyone I have shown them to under a microscope is amazed at how neat they are.

This is the 8th one I have made just for fun. They actually serve no real purpose but to find something fun to do on a yucky weather day.

4th Dec 2018 20:38 GMTDoug Daniels

Rolf- If your wife threatens to throw your small pieces over the fence, remind her that some may contain what are now considered toxic metals - and she would be contaminating someones else's property.... Just joshin' (but don't tell the EPA....)

4th Dec 2018 22:40 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Doug,

Only problem is, we live on 5 acres and no neighbors. On top of that, we have a yard with maybe 10 tons of rock in piles according to mine, lots from lead-zinc, copper, vanadium and other mines. Luckily we live in desert and not too much rain to wash all into the ground.

4th Dec 2018 22:53 GMTEric He

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I made an amethyst scepter cursor!

5th Dec 2018 00:48 GMTYuchen Li

Haha, I found you on mindat.

5th Dec 2018 12:57 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Doug,

My wife just reminded me of something I had not even thought of. Where we live is a big dry wash that runs behind our property. Walking in that wash we always find copper minerals in the wash. This is because of a copper mine on the other side of the valley. The mine decided to sell the overburden for all kinds of highway projects and maybe two or three big truck loads were used years ago to divert a wash up stream from us. Over time the flash floods carry the rock down and all over the area behind us. Great for finding specimens from the Johnson Mine in Cochise Co. Arizona but it is copper overburden and does have the copper leaching out over time.

Second is a uranium deposit in the mountains nearby and those have sent down particulates over eons and the fluorescent opal found all over in our area is about 3 times the background level of radiation as the soil, probably already higher than normal because of the upstream U. deposits. No basements here because of radon build up. So, the area already has a number of things brought in from other places that don't normally belong here. The overburden from those copper mines I have seen all over the valley to cut down on erosion. Bet the EPA never thought of that being a toxic contaminant. Hey, we all got to die from something.

5th Dec 2018 16:37 GMTSteve Stuart Expert

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Posted this to the British Mineral Society micro-group on Facebook a few years ago.


Unknown green crystalline mineral on chocolate matrix from Wheal Charbonnel et Walker, London, UK. Our Thanksgiving Day dessert here in Detroit. Delete if you must!


7th Dec 2018 20:52 GMTEric He

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I saw this a while ago...

10th Dec 2018 02:11 GMTSteven Renaud

Rolf, you should try growing some corn nearby to see if it gives you special mineral collecting super powers.

13th Dec 2018 18:35 GMTHolger Hartmaier

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Recently I presented a talk at our rock club, based around the title of one of Mindat's threads- "Fakes, Frauds and Marketing Ploys" in the mineral collecting world. For fun and illustration of how quickly a fake mineral can be created I found a piece of feldspar porphyry where a crystal conveniently had popped loose. I glued in the blue Jolly Rancher candy and created this amzing "blue beryl" fake in less than 1 minute.

16th Dec 2018 13:47 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

I was just reminded of this story when I came across a piece with emerald from North Carolina. The trip I found the emerald I had gotten a late start to find the mine and it got dark while I was still in the suburbs before getting into the mountains. The story is a bit of a fun story in retrospect since it ended well. I was driving my old VW bus and when in the dark I found a small and really steep dirt road I took it to camp over night. The road was short and ended at an open area. Since it was dark I was not really able to see where I was but it was flat and in the woods.

Next morning, early, my dog started barking. I slept with my side doors open and when I looked at what the dog was barking at I saw a big man with a bicycle walking along an old railroad track I hadn't seen in the dark. No trains or the roar would have scared me to death luckily but the man looked quite tough and parked his bicycle. He looked around a bit and found a three foot long fat stick and started coming toward my dog with the stick raised above his head. I yelled for him to leave but he never paid me any attention and just kept walking toward the dog and my car. I yelled a second time and the dog had backed away to near the car. I saw I was in danger and reached under my pillow and took out my pistol. When I chambered a round into the gun and lay my hand with the gun in my lap the man stopped. He stared at me for what seemed like forever before dropping the stick, taking his bicycle and leaving. In retrospect I know just what he was doing, he was judging whether I would use that gun and after the stare I gave him he must have realized I was not afraid to use it and thought gun beats stick and left.

I was very glad I never had to use it but was also glad I had it along. It was the closest I have ever come to a dangerous situation but the nice thing was it ended peacefully and I was able to put it behind me. Needless to say, I got out of that place as quick as possible and found the mine later and was able to get back to the collecting I had come for. I have told this story often to show how one can protect oneself with a good outcome. The emerald, though small, I found was a reminder of this experience.

17th Dec 2018 07:18 GMTGregg Little

Wow Rolf. I've run into wolf, grizzle, black bear and wolverine, and I thought they were dangerous.

17th Dec 2018 12:16 GMTChris Rayburn

"Just for fun?" Glad it ended well, Rolf.

17th Dec 2018 17:17 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Chris, in retrospect it is a story I have often told and usually give a bit more detail, including that the guy looked like a football tackle-hobo and he could certainly have done me in but it did end quite well for me.

Gregg, I live in SE Arizona and am an "ex" herpetologist so often run into rattlesnakes, in and out of mines, gila monsters, scorpions, 10 inch centipedes and none bother me.

My wife had always said from her dads little sayings, "the most dangerous animals out there walk on two legs". You just have to be prepared things that can come along. Only experience in my life with someone meaning definite harm but ending quite well.

Thanks for the comments.

30th Mar 2019 17:55 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

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I see this thread has gone a bit cold for a while so thought I add something.

This morning we were opening up and there was this little Chihuahua, doing something on one of the specimens we have by the front of the shop. Instead of chasing it off, got the camera out and thought it may bring a laugh or two.

3rd Apr 2019 23:38 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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This story has a bit too it. Back in 2012 I had hiked in the St. David area of Arizona and was taking a lot of photos of the areas where we had collected gypsum. On the trip I also found other things to take photos of. I have the photos in folders for the dates I went on and loaned a batch of the folders of gypsum collecting to a friend who was setting up a talk for a group. I told the person to use any of my photos for the show.

It was a few months later they stopped by and showed me the talk they had given. I was looking at the slides they had chosen for the talk and had to really laugh when a slide came up and the explanation of the object was that it was a sand rose in place in the ground. The funny thing was that nobody had seen it was not actually a sand rose that was being shown but a soil fungus instead. I had it written on the slide but they had not noticed what it had said and only assumed it was a sand rose.

I guess nobody is the wiser about it.

Here are the photos that show what happened.

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Only someone who knows the St. David area very well would have known that the actual mineral sand roses are found only in one place on the East side of the San Pedro River and all the gypsum roses are found only on the West side of the San Pedro. It was quite funny for me since I knew the mistake that had been made.

22nd Sep 2019 15:53 BSTTama Higuchi

They all look like lil brain bits!

3rd Apr 2019 23:40 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Forgot to mention above that the upper photo is of the soil fungus and the lower photo of the sand roses.

4th Apr 2019 00:01 BSTAlfredo Petrov Manager

That's pretty funny, Rolf ;))


I'll make a minor contribution to this thread: Having finally bought a really great $450 shortwave UV lamp, I decided to head out at night into a canyon near San Bernardino, California, to look for scheelite. Found just one piece with a bright blue-white fluorescing patch on it before I stumbled over a rock in the dark and smashed my nice new UV light. (Lesson learned: Only go UV hunting during full moon, with at least that bit of extra light outdoors.) Sadly drove home, at least feeling lucky that I'd found one scheelite specimen.

In the morning, after the sun came up, the "scheelite" turned out to be a bird's kaka on the rock.

4th Apr 2019 01:50 BSTJohn Dagenais Expert

Alfreda,


Some collectors will collect anything.


J. Dagenais

4th Apr 2019 14:18 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Alfredo,

I remember that story you had told me once with the UV lamp and then turned out to be bird poop. I don't know if you remember this one but a friend who was new to minerals and would bring things over to have me help identify things. He had found the chalcantite and before I could tell him not to he had tasted it and washed out his mouth for quite a while. The best one was a piece he had brought over to ask if it could be amber and it turned out to be dried coyote pee. Fortunately he had learned about licking and had not licked this one.

Mary has always gone out with UV lights starting a long time ago with her dad and always gets me to test everything with the UV. So far have not tripped and broken my nice lights, that would be a bummer.

Yesterday a friend brought over specimens to have me help with. Same fellow who licked the chalcanthite. He had some things in an egg carton and that must have sat out somewhere because the specimens when viewed under the microscope had a number of "biologicals", in this case tiny mites that crawled all over his specimens.

Thank you all for adding to this post, love the stories.

8th Apr 2019 20:50 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

This one came to mind in a conversation today. Back in the 1970's I was exploring over in the Chiricahua Mountains near Portal Arizona. There was a small mine dump about 500 yards from the dirt road and I wanted to see if it had any minerals on the dumps. The mine dumps were barren of anything but calcite and so I took a look at the mine tunnel. At the entrance was a lot of wet soil and being winter and cold outside, the air coming out of the tunnel was much warmer and moist. I think there must have been a hot spring they hit back in the tunnel somewhere. In the mud at the entrance were many small hoof tracks I immediately recognized as Javalina, Arizona's wild pig. The last tracks on top of all the others went into the mine so I knew the Javalinas used the mine to hang out during the day in a warm place.

I went to visit friends at a biological research station and was talking to the director about that old mine when his wife overheard my conversation and had a story to tell. She and a bat researcher were going to old mines in the area to check on hibernating bats and they had gone into that one. As they got way into the mine their headlamps picked up a bunch of tiny red lights toward the back of the mine. The had no idea what those were until the lights started bounding up and down and they suddenly knew what it was. No way to outrun a herd of Javalinas so they backed to the wall as close as they could. My friends wife put her arms to the sides to steady herself and felt something cold and squishy and she jerked her hand away instantly. They stood stock still as the Javalinas rushed by to get out of the mine. The Javalinas were not intending to hurt anyone, only escape. Nothing happened to the gals but as soon as the pigs were gone Barbara whipped around to see what the squishy thing was, a hibernating rattlesnake coiled on the ledge there. It had been sleeping and was still in a torpor.

I asked Barbara if they had not noticed the number of fresh tracks at the mines entrance and for some reason, even though they were biologists, they had not put two and two together and just gone into the mine.

They were fortunate to not have anything happen to them except get a huge adrenalin rush but they learned to stay out of mines. I have this story in one of my articles but thought it may fit well here also.

18th Apr 2019 19:54 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

This is the most "cringeworthy" mineral video that I've ever seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYnaNvXZhoY


Sorry about the ads. I tried finding a version without them, but no luck.

18th Apr 2019 23:57 BSTRuss Rizzo Expert

Kevin,


You won't find a version with no ads. The whole purpose of videos like that one is advertising. In other words that video exists only to serve the viewer ads and hopefully to get the viewer to click on one of those ads.

20th Apr 2019 22:26 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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THIS BUD'S FOR YOU! Happy Easter.

20th Apr 2019 23:27 BSTŁukasz Kruszewski Expert

... I'd love to make a manganokhomyakovite sceptor cursor (-;

22nd Apr 2019 19:24 BSTMatt Ciranni

Considering Rolf's "This Bud's For You" picture was posted on 4-20, I'm curious if he intended to catch the double meaning of "bud."

22nd Apr 2019 20:01 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Matt,

Yes, that was why I posted it! Since I had started this thread as a fun thread, glad you caught it.

22nd Apr 2019 20:58 BSTRoger Curry

:)

11th May 2019 23:32 BSTMatt Ciranni

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So I've been wondering about this stone I found. I strongly suspect it may be a diamond. I found it lying next to an abandoned parking lot. It is a silvery grey colored stone, really hard but opaque, so maybe it's a lower quality or something. But according to the ancient Lemurians, who colonized Atlantis among many other ancient civilizations, diamonds like these were used to inspire dreams and direct future generations to find them through their auras. This stone gives off a distinctive aura so thats why I think it may be a diamond.


Oh yeah, and both the Louvre AND the Smithsonian are interested. My neighbor who laughed at me and said it was just construction concrete wont be laughing once he finds out how rich I will become once I sell it!

12th May 2019 00:01 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Wow Matt,

We have those around our area too. They must have been washed in from somewhere since we are all alluvial here and the nearest diamond pipe is thousands of miles away, funny how far those things can travel.

12th May 2019 09:05 BSTKevin Hean

Does it stick to a magnet, because it looks like decomposed sedimentary Gold to me.

What ever you do, don't put it in vinegar because vinegar contains glacial acetic acid and you know what a Glacier did to Atlantis.

12th May 2019 14:44 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Here is a fun one that just came up because of an unknown mineral I had posted.

I used to buy cheap specimens to add to our reference collection back about 30 years ago. Tons of interesting things one could buy for a few bucks. Turns out many of those ended up being bogus or hopeful things someone had in their collections that turned out not to be easy to say if it was actually right.

I have a ton of those for a dollar or five I got over the years. They make for interesting study but if I post any with a question as to whether anyone had ever seen this or that and the main answer is to get it analyzed. To pay more for an analysis than one paid for a nondescript piece is generally not in the cards.

I often have my wife come in to look under the microscope for her opinion and she almost always says that she has no idea and can easily just toss it over the fence and I won't have to worry about it anymore. I have never taken her up on that since I know she would throw it over the fence. I just told her I was thinking about her statement and she said she would certainly toss one if I said OK. She reminded me of a situation a number of years ago when I was working a local wood. The pieces I collected and cut into foot long lengths to store for later use I had to wax the ends. The wax needed to be melted and I had an old pot I always put it in to melt. Took about 10 minutes to melt so I went out to the workshop to cut a few more pieces. Got distracted doing this and about 25 minutes later Mary came out and asked me what I was cooking in the kitchen. I stopped what I was doing and went to the kitchen to see the wooden cabinet above the store on fire. I turned off the stove and then put out the fire. I asked Mary why she hadn't put out the fire and her comment was "wasn't my fire". She was making me learn my lesson about not just assuming something I had started was under her watch. The house is rammed earth and cement walls so not much danger of the house going up in flames and it was a good lesson not to do stupid things. I did learn that if Mary said she would do something, I can count on her doing it so have never taken her up on tossing an unknown over the fence because I know she would.

12th May 2019 15:14 BSTLarry Maltby Expert

I am sure that some of you guys are great at haggling and you have done a marvelous job of getting the price of a mineral as low as possible. I am terrible at it! At work I was scheduled to go to Japan to complete a project that we had been working on. I found out from some of my buddies that an airline ticket to Hong Kong with a stopover at Tokyo was cheaper than a ticket to Tokyo alone and our company would gladly accept the savings. I was able to schedule a week vacation at the end of the business trip and with only one ticket to buy, Virginia went with me.


The guys also told me never ever pay full price for anything at Hong Kong. You must haggle over the price. Then they told me amazing stories of their skills in getting the lowest possible price. I knew that when I got back, I had to have a good “haggling” story.


Virginia and I rode the ferry over to the island and started walking through the shopping district. Poor Virginia, she would have fits of sneezing every time that we passed an apothecary shop filled with herbs and remedies for every ailment. We eventually came upon a shop that had a large selection of electronics. I spotted a small voice activated tape recorder. This was my chance to “haggle”. I started the process with the shop owner. We went back and forth to the point that I started to walk out the door. He called me back and offered the recorder for half price. Wow, 50% off, wait till the guys hear about this! When I got home I went to are local camera shop and there was the exact same recorder. When I checked the price it was two dollars less than what I paid in Hong Kong. When I finally told the story to the guys at work they were absolutely giddy over the fact that Maltby got beat out of two dollars in Hong Kong. I heard about this for weeks after. At least I made them happy.

13th May 2019 05:21 BSTMatt Ciranni

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Well, the Smithsonian told me my last diamond was only concrete. I didn't believe them, in fact I called them a bunch of nasty names and stormed out of there.


But that's okay, because this one I'm SURE is a diamond, for real. I found this huge diamond in the Owyhee Mountains in the craggy hills above the reservoir. I can only imagine one of such size has to be worth at least seven figures.

And yes, I'm convinced it's a diamond. Here is the evidence: First of all, it's diamond shaped. Duh. Secondly, diamonds are really, really hard. I was not able to scratch it with my fingernails. I didn't try scratching it with a steel wire though, because I don't want to put any more scratches in it. Also, diamonds are really brilliant, and lets face it, this is pretty shiny and transparent.


But there was one definitive test. I took a chemistry class once, and I remember that diamonds are pure carbon. So to test that, I put a drop of acid on it. And lo and behold, it started to fizz and it gave off carbon dioxide!!! So there's your proof- it is made of carbon...and therefore, it HAS to be a real diamond!!


So it's sitting in a safe deposit box right now, and as soon as I find a buyer, I'm going to quit my job and move into a huge dream house in Honolulu. (And you guys are all invited to sit on the beach and sip pina coladas. ha ha ha.)

13th May 2019 14:44 BSTKyle Bayliff

I'm glad that last one is in this thread. I'm more used to seeing that kind of story on facebook, and the authors there lack any sense of humor when it comes to their precious 'diamond' finds. My favorites, though, are the diamond find videos where they come out of the ground already cut!

13th May 2019 15:47 BSTTimothy Greenland

That's the way they came out of the mine in Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" as I remember - so that must be OK, No???


Cheers


Tim

13th May 2019 23:26 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Guys,

Thanks for the great laughs, that was the idea of this thread to begin with.

Just read the last few "diamond" stories to a friend who just stopped by and we all had a great laugh.

28th May 2019 13:50 BSTLarry Maltby Expert

In the late 1950’s our favorite family camping site was at Fort Wilkins State Park near Copper Harbor. We often combined a little fishing with a lot of rock hounding so we would stop for a few days at a primitive campsite on a chain of lakes south of Munising, Michigan. One time two local boys about 11 or 12 years old were dropped off by their parents for a little wilderness adventure.


They set up two pup tents, one for supplies and the other for sleeping. The next morning they came over to ask for help with a problem. I walked with them over to their camp and they slowly opened the flap on the supply tent. There was a skunk sacked out on a pile of clothing sound asleep. There was also a package of hot dogs torn open with several missing. As a result of his gluttony the skunk was sleeping one off.


I had some experience with the stench of a skunk. When I was a kid, sometimes one of my dad’s birddogs would come home reeking from an encounter with a skunk. No amount of soap and water would remove that smell. You just had to put the dog in the kennel for about a month and gradually the smell would go away. I told the boys that if they mess with that skunk he would spray the interior of their tent and everything would be ruined. Skunks are nocturnal and he may come out of the tent at night and give them a chance to run him off.


That night I had just got into my sleeping bag and I heard a commotion outside. I looked out and saw two flashlights bobbing through the darkness and heard pots and pans and hunting knives careening through the woods. The next morning the skunk was gone and the boy’s food was bagged up and hanging from a tree limb. No damage was done but there was a faint smell of a skunk in the air. Fortunately it was downwind from our camp.

28th May 2019 14:30 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Larry,

Skunks are just about all over the US and here is one following your little story.

In SE Arizona, a friend lived in Bisbee but had a house way out in the valley in Sunizona. He would spend the week in Bisbee and the weekend at his other place. He had a nice fruit orchard he kept up. One time he asked to borrow my big live trap since every time he went to his Sunizona place it smelled so bad he couldn't sleep since a skunk had moved in under his house. Blocking the hole did no good since it just dug under another spot.

He set the trap and tried to go to sleep and just before he dozed off he heard the trap close. If you put an old blanked over the trap the skunk normally doesn't let loose. He put the trap in the back of his pick up and took the striped skunk about 8 miles off to the local landfill and let it go.

Ah, skunk now gone but just in case, he set the trap again. As he was again on the edge of falling asleep the trap went off again. He went out and another skunk in the trap, this time a hog-nosed skunk was in the trap, the first one had been a hooded skunk. No wonder they made so much stink, two different species under the house they often would fight and let loose.

He took the second skunk to the land fill also and let it loose.

Back home he set the trap again, just in case. Same time he was about to go to sleep the trap went off again and another hooded skunk in the trap. No wonder it was such a stinky place, three living under his house was always one or the other letting loose.

This time, after taking that one off, he reset the trap but it was still open next morning. He blocked off the way under his house very well and when he was back next weekend no more holes going under his house. From then on he was able to sleep undisturbed.

Must have been a wild time under that house with two species of skunks living there, not very peacefully.

28th May 2019 19:32 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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There is a little weed called Cryptantha all over SE Arizona this season since the winter rains were good. That plant is nothing to think about until it is dry and the seeds ready to disperse. The plant is quite small, only 8 inches high in bigger plants. They are no trouble when one walks with shoes but with it warming up I prefer sandals and then it is another story. The dry Cryptantha breaks off easily and then falls down and if you step on or near one and brush it the tiny spiky seed pods fall between ones toes and it feels like one has needles poking one in the toes. They don't have any toxins like some thorns of our area but the little pricks of the tiny thorns is a bit of a bother.

Took one in this morning and put it under the microscope and thought others would enjoy seeing those little spiky buggars.

Not fun in the traditional sense but Mary is always telling me if I don't want the things in between my toes then I need to wear shoes. That is the funny part, I am often a bit lazy to switch to shoes and have to deal with the prickly things.

28th May 2019 20:13 BSTJon Aurich

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You just cannot “Top” Mother Nature !!

28th May 2019 22:08 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Jon,

Great moth photo!!!

I used to collect butterflies and moths as a youth and remember some that had images that scared birds, this one certainly would.

28th May 2019 22:12 BSTWayne Corwin

Verrrrrry cool, Mini-Owl, I wonder what it's supposed to scare off?

28th May 2019 22:32 BSTJon Aurich

Thank You Rolf & Wayne !!! I’m not sure what it was meant to scare off, as long as another Owl didn’t try mating with it, I’m sure that the moth did fine !!

28th May 2019 23:34 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Hi Jon and Wayne,

The eyes on butterflies and moths are meant to scare off birds intending on making a meal of them. Often the flash the eyes toward anything trying to eat it but mostly it is for birds.

28th May 2019 23:44 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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Earlier on the thread I had posted the photo of the sun and moon in one photo as a double exposure and had mentioned a shot in Bisbee of the summer storm with lightning and the photo here is taken of the Mule Mts. upper part with the storms raging and lightning. Then I returned the lense cap and tilted the camera to the town and took more time on the single shot. Made it look like the lightning was traveling up and down the streets. Fun with film.

29th May 2019 00:43 BSTMark Heintzelman Expert

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Sort of a combination of two above post:


As a little kid, my first real focus was entomology. One of the more difficult groups of butterfly species to capture were the woodland Nymphalidae. Notably quick and agile flyers, they dodge erratically though the forest. With them there was always that critical balance to be struck, between keeping an eye on the butterfly and on where you were headed at the requisite breakneck speed. I once pursued a pearl eye which turned hard and headed into a open glen. Thinking "what a lucky break", I dashed for it with all my might . . . right into a field of stinging nettles. There I was in my cut off shorts, dead in the middle of them before the realization, and the pain, actually kicked in . . . good days!


29th May 2019 15:13 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Hi Mark,

As I had said earlier, I had started with a butterfly and moth collection but later ended switching to beetles. Still have some of the butterflies and moths I used to collect today. The Nymphalids you mentioned brought back an island in the Yucatan and trying to get some of the huge Morpho butterflies there. They were bright blue on the tops of their wings and dark and mottled underneath and they would dart off and then land and fold their wings and disappear. Never was able to catch one since they had incredible eyesight and always saw me coming.

In college I took field biology courses and one trip to the mountains behind the LA basin, into the oak zone, we were doing work on mammals and had to set a series of live traps to see what rodents were there. We got to the place we camped just at dark and had to set the traps out after dark. Flashlights were visible everywhere in the woods as each party set their traps.

Next morning we were getting up when one of the guys got up out of his sleeping bag and everyone up got a shock. It looked like he was totally covered in blood. The story became clear when he told us what had caused this. Apparently we were in an area totally covered by poison oak. Getting there after dark he had not been able to see the plants as he set the traps. He had a super bad reaction to the poison oak and when he got it on him he did something in his sleep that he couldn't control, he scratched the spots while sleeping. It seems he scratched to the point of breaking open each spot the blisters had formed and since the light of the day showed that all the undergrowth was poison oak, he had gotten it all over. He stayed in camp while we got his traps checked. Few days later he was feeling much better but had hundreds of bandaids all over his body to keep from reopening the blisters.

Never have seen anyone that sensative to poison oak but had heard of it. I had also gone through the same undergrowth but had not gotten one blister from it, what luck. None of the other kids had anything like what the one fellow had.

29th May 2019 15:44 BSTJon Aurich

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Life is good !!

29th May 2019 17:00 BSTMartin Rich Expert

Really great photos Jon!

I would both propose for POTD if this homepage is not minerally. :)

29th May 2019 17:07 BSTJon Aurich

Thank you Martin !!

29th May 2019 17:48 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Jon,

This is exactly why I had started this thread, for good laughs like the one you posted and it makes "life good"! Thanks all.

30th May 2019 15:38 BSTTorben Kjeldgård

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30th May 2019 23:59 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Torben,

Great photo and wonderful thing to do with some of the spheres as geodes. What a fun display. Thanks so much for posting.

31st May 2019 00:04 BSTJon Aurich

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Fat Kitties !!!!!!!

31st May 2019 01:39 BSTPaul Brandes Manager

They look scared, almost petrified.....

31st May 2019 02:21 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

Paul, I think they're just stoned...

31st May 2019 02:52 BSTRobert Nowakowski

No doubt hopped up on catnip

31st May 2019 03:05 BSTBob Harman

No doubt kept in one of those old Goldfield Nevada cat houses. CHEERS.......BOB

31st May 2019 03:27 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Hey Jon,

I remember that "pet rock" craze a number of years ago, bet these would go like hot cats if you put those out for sale!!!

31st May 2019 03:36 BSTGregg Little

Hey Jon;

Do any of those rocks show chatoyance? ;>)

31st May 2019 05:39 BSTJon Aurich

Hey Greg, each one carries a little Felis Catus.....

31st May 2019 05:42 BSTJon Aurich

Rolf , maybe we can make a few dollars on this !! Women and kids would probably be very interested in this type of Feline... at least they are declawed and fixed !!

31st May 2019 05:55 BSTJon Aurich

Hey Bob !! The famous Cottontail Ranch has been closed for years !! But just down the HWY is the Shady Lady !! On their big sign, it says “massages and Bed & Breakfast. I guess that’s what it says on the patrons monthly bank statement if a credit card is used !! But the name of the place would always be questionable on the Bill !! There is good advice out there, (Use Cash )....!!

31st May 2019 14:08 BSTPeter Slootweg

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Mining the sweet stuff..


31st May 2019 16:42 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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Peter,

A stollen Mine, how great, invite me there sometime!!

Torben,

Your idea made me get a couple of mine out and have a go at it.


The pyrite has a mouth full of teeth!
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Malachite liked this photo, smiling!
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Didn't like my taking this shot though, or the sun was in its eyes!!

1st Jun 2019 20:11 BSTGregg Little

Jon;

Are your felis catus that easy to herd or is that a catastrophic depositional event?


Rolf;

Careful, that stollen mine might just be claim jumping!!

1st Jun 2019 20:42 BSTJon Aurich

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Greg, I didn’t want Everyone to know the truth about these aliens, in fear of a world wide panic !! But these are duplicate Felis Cati pods that have taken over the original Felis Catus bodies !! “ Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” The pods below have not developed yet !!

8th Jun 2019 23:46 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

This little story came to mind today. At the Tucson mineral show one year, a friend was visiting from out of town. One meeting at the show I asked him out to a fancy place to eat in Tucson. I pretty much dress casual, shirt but no tie or suit. The friend always wore a suit and we went to the place to eat. We were seated and immediately I noticed the waiter for our table thought he knew who was going to pay the bill. He waited on our friend hand and foot and practically ignored me. He would fill the friends glass every few minutes, ask him if he needed anything and bent over backwards. I thought the waiter had been very rude to me and when he came with the bill, he walked over to my friend had he pointed to me and said I was paying. The waiters face nearly fell to the floor and my tip kind of showed him what I had thought of his behavior. I hope he learned a lesson on that day, "can't always tell a book by its cover". I can still see the fellows face when he realized he had completely ignored the fellow who was paying the bill.

11th Jun 2019 12:33 BSTLarry Maltby Expert

In 1968 Virginia and I and the boys camped in Arches National Park, Utah. We arrived in the morning and set up camp on a low plateau about 30 feet above a small grassy valley with a red sandstone cliff on the other side that rose to about 200 feet. We positioned the tent to overlook the valley and moved a picnic table under the canopy for shade. With a lot of daylight left we set out to drive the park roads to see and photograph the arches.


We returned in the evening to find that at least 40 mountain tents had been set up in the little valley below our tent. Due to the good acoustics we could hear everything that was said by the campers below. We soon realized that this was a geology field trip from a university. As the sun dipped below the sandstone cliff in the west I wondered if this group would get rowdy and keep us from getting a good night sleep. Evidently they had been on the road for a few days, they were tired and we didn’t hear a peep out of them.


In the morning, just as if we were going to work, Virginia and I were up at 5:am. She brewed a pot of coffee on the Coleman stove and while sipping coffee we noticed that things were stirring in the camp below. The guy in the tent closest to us crawled out of his tent dragging his hiking boots. He pulled a sock out of one of the boots and carefully sniffed it. Using the data that he received from the smell test he came to the conclusion that he could squeeze out one more day out of this pair of socks and put them on. Then, in a strong clear voice, we heard someone singing!


This was the time that the Nestles Cholate Company played an advertising “jingle” over and over on television. Set to music, it started by spelling out Nestles like this:


N…E…S…T…L…E…S, Nestles makes the very best, Chooooooo…late.


The geology student was singing the Nestles jingle except he changed the words like this:


E…N…T…R…A…D…A, Entrada makes the very best, Arrrrrrrr…ches.


This memory trick probably caused every student in the valley to get at least one answer correct on the final exam. It worked for me, 50 years later I still remember that the geological formation in which the arches formed was the Entrada Sandstone.

12th Jun 2019 23:44 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Bit of a fun story that came to mind today. A good friend has been bringing us a number of stored flats he had in his shed since his mineral interests have waned a lot.

One year a passed away dealers collection of stock in flats was being sold at the Tucson show. The friend went in and picked up a number of flats. We had also visited the same place and picked up a few also.

The week after his purchase he called me and asked about the Thalium Prospect and if there was a way to tell minerals from there apart. I told him it was not easy and many of the metallics can look alike so it would be hard.

After he got tired of working to identify things in the flat he had gotten he brought it over for us. He handed me the flat and said have fun. I opened the flat and had to laugh. He wondered why I was laughing and I told him it was no wonder he was having trouble with the thalium minerals since the flat was from the Christmas Mine in Arizona and the metallic in there was bornite.

We had seen the same thing that the numerous people pouring over the flats had either accidentally or intentionally switched lids on some of the material. Some flats we opened were definitely not from what it said on the lids. Big problem in a sale like that were the room was essentially open to anyone to pour through hundreds of flats. There were people at a table by the door but little supervision to see the flats were again properly put away.

The friend had spent days trying to figure out the minerals and the box was not even from the right place the lid said.

I wonder if anyone else has had this happen?

13th Jun 2019 00:15 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

Rolf, I've see this A LOT on ebay. Someone inherits a mineral collection but knows nothing about it. Often the labels got jumbled, and the person just thinks that the label next to the specimen goes with it.

13th Jun 2019 02:48 BSTPaul Brandes Manager

Larry Maltby Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> E…N…T…R…A…D…A, Entrada makes the very

> best, Arrrrrrrr…ches.

>


LOL, that's a good one, Larry!!!

13th Jun 2019 14:57 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Kevin,

To go on with the above post about wrong lid on box, I was at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum sale of the material they didn't need and always go to the small mineral table to have a look at micro specimens. There was a small box of specimens and loose labels. One of the people who work the show was there and I asked about those. She said the labels had come loose and they didn't know which specimens the labels went with. I had a look and was able to link all of the labels to the specimens. In fact, several were very fine examples of species and they went into my purchase box. I am sure if someone else had seen those, they would have taken them also. I was fortunate the gal happened to be there at the time I was looking.

Same sale had boxes of micro specimens for a dollar each. A friend collects gold and there was a whole box of gold specimens for a dollar each. I had my box with about 20 of the gold specimens in it and a gal asked what I wanted with the gold and I said for a friend. She said they had looked at the pieces under a microscope and hadn't seen any gold. I raised my eyebrows at that news but since they were so cheap, I took them all anyway. At home I looked at them under the microscope and they were all full of gold, many were covered in gold. I don't know if the gal who said they had not seen any gold in them had no idea what gold looked like or if she didn't want me to buy all of those but I just shook my head. Best location specimen batch for the friend for all of $20. I still tell that story about some people not being able to tell gold when they see it.

13th Jun 2019 21:27 BSTEd Clopton Expert

Maybe this should go in the "mislabeled" thread, but it also fits here. Several years ago someone on eBay was selling a deceased relative's collection in exactly the situation described by Kevin. It was a humble but interesting and well-documented collection of someone whose interests overlapped substantially with mine. I purchased a number of specimens and ended up answering some questions and helping the seller sort out several things via e-mail from across the country. (Too bad I didn't live close enough to offer to help sort out the collection in person!)


One listing uncharacteristically misidentified a fine Whim Creek, Australia pseudomorph after azurite--in this case the specimen clearly marked with a catalog number and the catalog entry with the same number didn't match at all. The auction already had some bids, but I called the mix-up to the seller's attention, expecting her to close the auction and relist it with a corrected description. Instead she closed the auction and mailed the specimen to me!

14th Jun 2019 01:08 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Ed,

Nice story and one that shows appreciation is sometimes rewarded.

In a similar vein, we had a couple that often came into our store and would sometimes bring a sister along who didn't know much about minerals. One day a car pulled in and it was the sister with an older gal who had been over at an auction place just down the road from us. It seems the sister was helping her friend dispose of a lot of old pieces the woman's husband had from his days at a university. They had been late getting to the auction to see how the pieces they had brought over the day before were selling. As they sat down the realized all the pieces that had been brought to the auction had been selling for pennies on the dollar. The last two pieces were still there when they got there and the one, a foot long fish fossil in superb shape, sold for $10, it was probably worth hundreds. The gal decided to pull the last piece and not sell it. She ended up giving it to the sister we knew for her help in driving her back and forth. Since the sister knew us and knew we could tell her a value on what the older gal had given here opened the trunk and asked as they unwrapped a piece if it was worth anything. I nearly fell over as I saw the great Bisbee azurite. It was a large piece and one must remember, this was about 30 years ago and prices have changed since, quite a bit actually.

I told the sister it was a very nice piece and I could sell it easily for two thousand dollars. She was very happy and the woman who had given her the piece said it was a shame they had not just brought the pieces over to us. Too late.

They left and I told the the sister of the friends if she wanted to sell the piece to just bring it over. A week later she did come over and I took a photo of the piece and sent it to a collector friend and told him the price was two thousand. He drove down the next day and took the piece right away and gave me three hundred for calling him. I knew the piece was worth a bit more, maybe quite a bit but I knew for a quick sale it would be a great sale for the gal. She came over the next day to pick up her two thousand dollars. I gave her the money and she handed back four hundred dollars for helping her so much. As I had said above, I had only been helping friends and they both rewarded me with a nice gift.

This was before we had any money to put down on larger specimens of we would certainly have kept that big azurite. Oh well, some things are not meant to be.

26th Jul 2019 15:27 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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Years ago the PO produced a series of mineral stamps. Since I was making a lot of things out of local wood, I purchased a number of sheets of the stamps. I would make frames from a wood called Allthorn-Koberlinia spinosa, a bush that grows in SE Arizona. The wood had very nice patterns and made for a nice small frame. I made a bunch of these and fortunately kept a couple for my mineral room.

Thought people may enjoy looking at them.

28th Jul 2019 14:01 BSTLarry Maltby Expert

Rolf,


I am fascinated with the information that you have provided to us about rattlesnakes. I have learned a lot from you and I am amazed that you are so comfortable living among them. In the late 1940’s my dad road tripped us to Weatherford, Texas to see our family on my mother’s side. All during the trip I was thinking about rattlesnakes. I didn’t want to get bit! Every time that I saw road cuts with overhangs I thought that there would likely be a rattlesnake in there.


There were no interstate highways and no air conditioned cars in those days. It was two lane black top and hundreds stop lights all of the way from Detroit to Weatherford.


The family farm was in a remote area south of town and I started prowling around the Buckley Woods behind the house. Walking through the fields I spotted the gray coils just like the photo that you recently posted in the nature thread. One more step and I would have stepped on it! I jumped back terrified and from about 20 feet away I collected my thoughts. The snake did not rattle. I thought they were supposed to rattle? My curiosity kicked in and I slowly went back for another look. It was still there, it hadn’t moved an inch and it still wasn’t rattling. I inched closer and peered into the grass. There it was, a “cow patty”. I am sure that you know what that is.

11th Aug 2019 16:36 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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This one is mineral related in a way.  One time at the Tucson mineral show, we sat down to have lunch at a table with several others sitting already.  My wife started chatting with the fellow next to her and they were talking about favorites and my wife mentioned she loved conglomerates.   The fellow got a big smile and said so did he.  We spent a bit of time discussing the cool conglomerates we had found.
That made me think of the piece we found near us in Benson Arizona.   We were out exploring and we came across this piece she called her pudding stone.   It is a nice and very solid conglomerate from the area.   The piece is 34 by 21 centimeters in size and is in our cactus garden.

11th Aug 2019 16:41 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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Following the previous post of conglomerate, we were in the Bisbee area, off a dirt road called High Lonesone, a road that skirts the east side of the Mule Mountains.  We were hiking in a deep cut wash on a sunny December day.  In the wash were many holes in the sides of the wash and in a sunny spot by the wall sat a Gila Monster, trying to catch a bit of sun to warm up.   I was surprised to see it in December but if the sun is shining near its hibernating spot, they will venture out to warm up a bit.
As we hiked back out the wash I came across the piece of limestone that had cemented together as a conglomerate.  It was a pretty piece and one of our favorite "rocks" in out cactus garden.  The piece is 27x22 centimeters in size.  

11th Aug 2019 16:45 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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This last piece of conglomerate is what started the conversation at the Tucson show with the fellow at lunch.   Mary had just brought this one home from a trip to an old gold mine in the Dos Cabezas Mountains of SE Arizona.  I was looking for specimens and when I had asked her if she had seen anything she liked, this was the piece she said she wanted.
It is 23 by 14 centimeters in size and sits in our cactus garden.
I have a few of those non mineral pieces lying in our cactus garden as well that are fun to see when out on our property.
One is a hematite variety turgite that keeps getting more and more colorful as it sits out in the weather.  The turgite seems to get brighter with moisture.  Another favorite is a volcanic bomb found in the Chiricahua Mountains.
Hope people have fun with the photos.

14th Aug 2019 21:01 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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The piece in the photo came up in conversation today and I thought I post it here.  Not a good other place to post it. 
Back about ten years ago I was with my brother in law, looking for opal about a mile or so away from what is now the Apache Nitrogen Plant, formerly Apache Powder.  They used to make dynamite for all the local mines and other projects starting in about 1920.   One time in the 1950's, a tank of liquid nitro accidentally blew up.  It was something felt all over the valley, killed a few people and left a huge crater where the tank used to be.  I don't know just how much was in that tank but on the collecting trip I found a piece of shrapnel and my brother in law knew just what it was, he said he had found a few of the same kinds of pieces.   It was a piece of that nitro tank that had blown up and the piece ended up more than a mile away from the plant.
Kind of an interesting piece of history of the mining industry of SE Arizona.

21st Sep 2019 18:05 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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In our museum we have a glass display cabinet with four sliding back doors and it is the cabinet I use to display a lot of my natural history objects, skulls, rattlesnake rattles, bones,
 and so much more.  Yesterday I saw that a good number of the folded labels I use for giving the animal name for the various things had been knocked over and down onto lower shelves.   At first I thought it must have been wind that somehow got into the 1/4 inch space between the sliding doors.   We do get wind here but it was odd so many labels had been blown down.
I had to remove the glass on top of the case to allow easy access.   As I was straightening out the labels I saw a slight movement at the top corner in the case.  I immediately had a light go on in my mind and had to laugh.
The culprit was not wind at all but the giant crab spider that had somehow squeezed inbetween the sliding back doors and gotten into the case and this one is a male.  The leg spread is over 7cm, so quite a large spider but they are quite harmless and in the attempt to get out it had been running around inside the case and its size had been responsible for knocking down many labels.   I picked it up and took it outside and released it.
Well, mystery solved, now I know it was not wind but a big spider that had tried to rearrange my display cabinet.   They don't spin webs as much and I had no problem removing him.
Never thought a spider could cause this kind of problem.

21st Sep 2019 18:47 BSTBob Harman

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An iconic photo of the Empire State Building in Manhattan, NYC.

The limestone for it's facade came from the Empire Quarry about 10 miles from my home in Bloomington Indiana. The Bloomington-Bedford area of Indiana is the center of the US dimension limestone (building stone) industry.     

The Indiana limestone in this area is many feet thick and very even grained, devoid of cracks, crevices and imperfections.    It is interesting to watch it quarried and then cut into giant blocks for shipping. Unfortunately, the local quarries have nothing of interest for mineral or fossil collectors.              CHEERS.....BOB

29th Sep 2019 18:16 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

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I recently attended a meeting of the Houston Gem and Mineral Society.  The guest speaker mentioned Smither Park in southeastern Houston, which features numerous mosaics made from various pieces of "junk".  I found it to be pretty amazing!

29th Sep 2019 18:17 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

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More.

29th Sep 2019 18:18 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

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More 

29th Sep 2019 18:20 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

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More. 

29th Sep 2019 22:19 BSTHarold (Hal) Prior Expert

Kevin,
I lived in (far) SE Houston for 30 years and was longtime member of the HGMS (Mineral section), never heard of this park.  Where was it located - will tell my son about it.  Did you go to a mineral section meeting? 

29th Sep 2019 22:50 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

Hi Hal!  The park is not too far east of the University of Houston on Munger Street.  I went to the general meeting, timing wasn't right for the mineral section.

30th Sep 2019 00:07 BSTHarold (Hal) Prior Expert

Thanks Kevin! Been to U of H many times - lived about 10 miles south of there.  I moved to Iowa 20 years ago - now suspect Shimer was not an attraction at that time.  My one son graduated from U of H..  Anything new happening in  the Missouri mineral world?

30th Sep 2019 02:46 BSTKevin Conroy Expert

The only new, unusual Missouri thing are a find of elongated, flattened galena crystals from the Viburnum Trend.  Otherwise pretty much the same stuff, with slight variations of course.  Hope all's well up north!

30th Sep 2019 18:07 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Kevin,
Thanks for posting those, great things one can make from "junk".
There was a man in the town of Cochise, south of Willcox Arizona who was known for things he had put into his walls around his property.
He invited my wife and I down to see his agates about 20 or more years ago.  Sure enough, the place was really cool.  He put slabs of agate, jasper and many other minerals into the cement of his walls.  He also made bit cement paving stones, about 5 of more feet across.  Those were also decorated with slabs on the top side.  Think he made various sizes of those paving stones. 
The interesting thing was that many of the slabs were not ordinary stone but a number were very good cutting material.  
Never did go back and have no idea what happened to his place. He was already quite old when we met him and I am sure he is no longer there.   

4th Oct 2019 18:57 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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I know a lot of people have a "rock" and that is just what this is, a rock from a favorite place.
One November night on a full moon night in Bisbee, a friend stopped by and wanted to go for a long walk.  It was a cloudless night and after 11pm and we walked past the upper Sacremento Pit in Bisbee.  The friend asked if I had ever been down in the pit and I said no.  This was in the 1970's nobody out and about in Bisbee that late.  I knew of a spot in the rain ditch that flowed along the side of the pit that was open and we climbed into the ditch and then under the highway and we were in the pit.  We found a slope that allowed us to climb into the bottom of the smaller pit.   We walked all along the bottom of the pit until we got to the Lavender pit.  The air outside of the pit was cool since it was November but the temperature inside the pit was about 20 degrees warmer and the smell was very chemically.  The mix of mine water, pyrite  sulphur and other things made it smell otherworldly.  No sounds, no living plants and nothing we recognized as we wound our way down to the bottom of the Lavender Pit, where the dark water one saw from the lookout above was.
We stood by the water and I reached down and picked up the stone in the photo.  
The walk back out was uneventful and we went back home.
It has remained one of the most interesting hikes I have ever taken and I will never forget the otherworldly feeling I had in the pit.

5th Oct 2019 14:34 BSTEd Clopton Expert

In the 1980s and 90s I worked for nine summers as a ranger for the National Park Service at Jewel Cave National Monument in the Black Hills, South Dakota (current explored length: 202.32 miles and counting, https://www.nps.gov/jeca/learn/nature/caveexploration.htm).

[Don't know what happened to the other 80% of the post I just wrote--I'll try to recreate it and post it again.]

5th Oct 2019 14:53 BSTEd Clopton Expert

Along much of the tour route there was a lot of breakdown on the floor, rock that had collapsed off the walls and ceiling as water levels fluctuated during the cave's formation.  Some visitors would be concerned and ask:

"Where did all these rocks come from?"

From the ceiling.

"How did they get down here?"

They fell.

"Why did they fall?"

Gravity has a lot to do with it.

"But how often do they fall?"

Ordinarily just once.

Sometimes someone would marvel at the map of the complex cave system under glass on the info desk and ask "You mean all this is underground?"  Yes, that's what makes it a cave . . . .

And "How much of it isn't explored yet?"  Well, if we knew that . . . although there are studies of airflow into & out of the cave in response to changes in barometric pressure that indicate that they are just getting a good start at accounting for the volume of air that must be down there somewhere (

5th Oct 2019 14:55 BSTEd Clopton Expert

And here's the link that got dropped off the end: https://www.nps.gov/jeca/learn/scienceresearch.htm

5th Oct 2019 17:16 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Ed,
Great story and it reminded me of a friend who worked at a cavern in Arkansas years ago.
One of those questions he often got asked was "how many undiscovered caves are there in this area?"
I think most can come up with a number of smart answers to that one.

6th Oct 2019 13:30 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Slightly unrelated but following Ed's post.  A friend worked in Denali park in Alaska and in the visitors center was a big picture window with an outline of the mountain drawn onto the glass since the majority of the time the mountain was enveloped in clouds.   One day he walked in and a woman was taking photos through the glass of a completely invisible mountain, hidden in clouds.  He asked her what she was doing and she said taking photos of the mountain.  He explained that she would get nothing on her film but she said she had the newest filters and they took all that away and when she got the film back it would show the mountain beautifully.  He didn't say another word and just walked away.  Wow, would love to see the filter she used!! If only.

8th Oct 2019 23:42 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

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When I saw this shirt, just had to have it.   Great fun.

9th Oct 2019 22:39 BSTBob Harman

It seems that for every important event, and even some non-events, there are considerable conspiracy theories. The JFK assassination, the moon landing, UFOs and area 51 etc etc etc. A fun one from the 1960s suggested that, recently introduced diet soda pop, might lower the blood sugar of US citizens allowing the country to be invaded!
          Lots of silly ideas arose from each event. It goes on and on. 
Some conspiracy theories even have to do with mineralogy. We all see the postings regarding supposed dangers of collecting and handling certain minerals when there really is little to no danger.

In the 1950s, it was noted that folks living in communities near Bloomington Indiana had a statistically significant lower number of tooth cavities. Research by Indiana University chemists and the mineralogists in the geology department showed that water in these communities was naturally fluoridated.    As a result, fluoridated water and toothpaste was developed.  Immediately conspiracy theorists got on the band wagon about the dangers of this scientific advance.   

      All sorts of very bad things could happen.....geology and mineralogy in action!!  CHEERS.....BOB
 
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