You are out for a walk in an area that had volcanic or tectonic activity millions of years ago. Now, it’s really pretty. the soil’s rocky so the trees are small, except for skinny pines, and tiny wildflowers are still blooming over the rolling hills, although it’s almost June.
It snowed in these foothills so there’s still some groundwater-fed creeks running nearby, with water splashing.
Hawks screech overhead. The underbrush could have snakes but you don’t see any. Field mice and lizards scurry nearby. You do hear galloping and see dozens of deer jumping fences in the distance. Mountain lion nearby? It could be.
You come to the creek, but the water’s sort of orange. This area is highly mineralized, so it’s probably just iron.
Everywhere, blocks of rock poke up high above the ground. That’s called uplift. Earthquakes, volcanoes, and tectonic-plate collisions all produce their own types of uplift. Where you are, has experienced all types. There’s spires and cliffs and outcroppings and table mountains on the horizon.
You are outdoors a lot and that rock catches your eye for some reason, besides being on an uplift. It seems grainy, with flecks.
You wedge the rock off of the outcropping. You are very lucky. You’ve found a piece of nephrite Jade. Millions of years of weathering had degraded the first side you saw, concealing its glossy green surface.
For the rest of your life you must decide how many hours you will polish away on that piece of jade. Maybe none, and it will simply be a lovely paperweight.
But for some, their mind will not be their own, around the green stone. There’s diamond tipped saws, and wet sanding wheels, and polishing grits, and thousands of years of techniques to study.
I left it alone after making some transparent plates.
But after I saw Marsanges’ post about serpentine outcroppings in Humboldt County, the rocks are calling to me again. The pictured rock jumped into my hand when I cleaned out the shed.
The rock tumbler was cheap, but what happens next?
If you’d like to read more about the actual discovery of this jade deposit, please see: www.dailykos.com/…
Now it’s your turn.
You’ve been reading The Daily Bucket,
a nature refuge.
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Thanks for reading;
What have you noted in your area or travels? Any pretty rocks in your yard? Please post your observations and general location in your comments. I’ll check back by lunchtime.