Toxicity

The world is swimming in poison. Is it any wonder I have such conflicted states? The environment is a variable. That contribution is destructive.

I can’t blame the air. I don’t blame. There is only here, now. I have a chance to set on in a better direction. I’m learning, adapting. Change is constructive.

Many days under the shroud.

The Other Side

Hey there Blog.

I went on a bit of a scouting mission today, to explore the far side of W El Camino Ave. this would be avoided on weekdays due to a substantive increase in traffic. The journey was very enlightening, and the longes single walk to date.

Just across the street, the path follows the Muck Trench and the water becomes vile and stagnant.

The end of the Muck Trench is some form of treatment plant, or regulatory station for adding/subtracting water. There were still plenty of fish/animals blooping around in the murk.

The trail heads East, paralleling construction sites and businesses for a distance. In one area, there was a very peculiar smell. Musty, but in a twingy way.

Much to my surprise, the paved path came to an end, and interpretation suddenly entered the mix. Now there were choices, divergences and uncertainty. The trail I took looped back to the beginning, and I made no forward progress past Natomas Oaks Park.

Once I was deep in the woods, I found this little bench. It seemed like a nice thing to put here. In such a pleasant place, why not stop to relish?

All in all, an eventful and colorful trip. I felt great by the end, very refreshed and vital. I’ll need to push past the park to complete my eastern voyages, which I will continue to investigate as hazard permits. More visuals to come.

Things I Did

Score: +2.5

Great day of exercise today, as I was motivated to post a decent score during the weekend step challenge (that I started). Among the three walks/fishing trips I took today, this one was the big one:

Walks, especially maintained throughout the day, really do help keep up my vital energy and help me feel good. This is great looking at the map. I hammered that out in 43 minutes.

Along the way, Moo and I went fishing, and I saw some wildlife.

There is so much life here, crawling around and making life noises. Ducks, Herons, Squirrels and Turkeys. I am feeling at home here, and recognizing the rarity of the place I find myself. Many positive aspects despite the afore mentioned negatives.

This place has a nourishing quality to it, even if it is a locale where I feel hunted at times. Predators are here, but I am prepared. No one will defile this place while I have a chance to prevent it. I’ve never lived in a place like this, and I doubt I will again when I move out.

I’ve been ruminating on my feelings about my exes. Ultimately, I think I just need to stop with them altogether. None of them, to this point, have done anything with prolonged positivity or true benefit. It’s not mutual, it never has been, and I’m done. My energy will now go someplace where it will be reciprocated, and stored for a future individual worthy of investment.

Tonight I feel pretty solid despite so many unknowns still in play. Resolutions should not be final, but absorbed, and moved past towards the next resolvable goal.

Things in the mood and confidence department will continue to improve as time goes forward. DUCKIES!!!

The Calculating Predator

I can’t stay cooped up in here all the time blog, even if the environment is less than desirable. I broke with my medically induced resting period and got back out on the water, a little earlier than most other times I’ve been out there. I needed to go, and be outside, smell the morning air, and see the sun come up.

 

It was dark, like 4:45 or something am. I had a hunch the fish would be particularly chompy today and I was right. For once, the fish were actually biting my lure, however, because they are fucking stupid ass trench fish, they can’t even hit the part of the lure where the hook resides. They are hitting the shiny, twirly, silver blades of the spinnerbait, not the tasseled decoy-fish head with the hooks attached to it. I was distinctly nipped 3-4 times on my 50 – 75 retrieves. I specicically targeted the same ridge on 5 or so consecutive casts, and that’s when I noticed the bites. They do not like being pestered, and they will strike if pestered. Now I just need a bait they will hit and get stuck to.

I was thinking of cannibalizing a rooster tail topwater bait and making it into a sort of double bladed spinner-trout setup with two trebles and 4 spinning blade components, two per arm. I want to try it with the rooster on first, then ax it if they pay that no mind. Today, though fishless, was progress. These pestilent, contaminated trench dwellers have revealed the chink in their armor, the proverbial missing scale on the stalwart otherwise impregnable exterior of the dragon. Now I know how I’m going to defeat you, little fishy fishbrains. Your days of peace are dwindling fast.

The wind was with me today, so I got to practice a revised casting motion that allows my left hand to generate the “flick” to send the lure flying, rather than snapping the setup forward with my wrist, and leaving the left hand out of it. I had much better control after a few dozen casts, and was pinpointing boils when they happened (shit bit of good it did me). Muscle memory will take time, but the motion is fluid, effective and natural.

I’m looking forward to getting back to my 10,000+ steps a day. BOY can I tell when I’m not keeping up with my routine. I get lethargic, slow, achy, grumbly… it’s bad. But active, I feel loose, aware/alert, ready and can easily access a great deal of energy. Exercise, sun, breathing big deep breaths… there’s a lot meds can do for you, but they can’t do that. I’ll be back later today I imagine as things unfold.

 

Discovered Land

By that I mean personally; there are no new lands being charted. However, I do tend to start naming things in my environment once I become established. Below you will find a map of my new home and the various places I have marked and named. Explanations provided. The area, in general will be known as the Muck Trench and the surrounding foliage Muck Trench Woods.

 

Welcome to: Muck Trench Proper

 

1. The Sky Bridge: goes over the 80 and is the only way to get to the best fishing spot. Puts the fear of impending death on you every time you cross

2. Best Fishing Spot: where I stand around waving my stick in the air and catching nothing while fish laugh in my face

3. Alternate Fishing Spot: there is good mojo here, but no fish… which leads you to wonder what the fuck said mojo is really doing?

4. Long Road: this is the area where a Grass Bear would be most likely to strike, beware (distant, more aggressive relative of Sand Bear)

5. Far Outpost: possibly radioactive, possibly lost alien hardware, possibly the doom of humankind… 100% mystery

6. Sleepy Spot: never looked very comfortable, and now it’s kinda dead, and scattered about like a lion kill

7. Near Outpost: not too far from the road and the spider union has its lodgings here (SUMT local 888 [we let the Black Widows decide the numbers])

8. Popular Fishing Spot: just as mucky as the rest of the Trench but here you can park a car and take in the smells up close

 

My starting point is always to cut through Barandas Park to get at the paved walking trail. You must “bushwack” a few feet to get from paved road by the sky bridge to Muck Trench service road where the rest of the trail goes. This is the one I need to take *** on and see what she if she thinks it’s as exciting as I do. Lots of fuzzy animals running around, pesticide loaded scuz pit to our left… noice. Some nature better than broken solo cup and homeless guy sleeping for scenery on my walks in El Cajon.

I’m geared up for another fantastic week in my newfound home, starting with my warmline and trip to the NAMI office today. I need to tell David that I am now very actively seeking employment due to my recent acceleration of life-timetables. I want him to have first crack. I know I need to make at least as much as I was at my last job If I want to afford a 1BR around here. I’m doing a budget spreadsheet this morning in preparation for my eventual transition. Without calculation, planning and care, well-intended steps towards progress can sometimes be misplaced. So for now, we are in the stages of the process where everything gets figured out before we execute (by “we” I am referring to myself, my PM and my Architect). A lot like building something with blueprints. Look at them for a good long time and make sure that with the way it’s drawn, that it will all fit together again when they have to go out and build the thing.

I’m tired of not being the Lord of my own castle, with an Iron Throne to perch myself on and hand out edicts to my vassals (which at this point would consist of any insect or rodent that would have wandered onto the premises). I need a pit full of slaves looking sad, and another pit with slaves fighting hundreds of very angry tortoises. Ah yes, my reign will be long and prosperous. “Bring your Lord some more Saltines!”

So blog, I’m going to the office today so I get to fancycate myself and smell less like moldy elephant splatters and more like “fresh” human. Hooray! I’m starting up at 8, then heading over to the office at 10. I have a great deal of optimism for myself about the direction I have decided to go. I am still sad to see my parents self-destructing just beyond my ability to do anything about. I feel less flabbergasted today, but still resolved to seek alternative living arrangements as soon as possible. I just don’t need roommates, not even my parents, though I love them both. I need to be in my own space, by myself, in charge of what happens in the environment and secure in a self-defined kingdom of my own control. I feel this is a healthy step towards better individuation, albeit, sounding a bit like a maniacal overlord planning a takeover rather than a mentally ill person making a healthy life transition. There are more possible future outcomes that lead to happiness for me now if I move out on my own than if I were to stay in this box.

It’s already off to a good start, this week, and I eagerly await the next few days as my foot presses harder onto the gas pedal; racing forward towards the promise of better days. I’ll be checking in here through the day… so bai for now!

 

The Trail

On Monday when ********* and I went for a walk on the paved trail, we went farther than I had gone before. Today, I resolved to find out where it goes. Turns out to be pretty fucking cool:

 

 

And it deposited me back on El Camino just east of Cathedral Oaks.

 

Good trip, and I feel invigorated after. Now I’m going to eat some yummy foods and relax for a little while. I have been playing the last few days over in my head, looking at myself, at ****, trying to understand what I can do to stabilize the boat. We will communicate soon and I know she will help me understand what I did and how I can avoid doing that in the future, or whatever the circumstance may be. I’d like to take her on this walk someday, and finish the loop and continue the conversation we started almost a week ago.

Harder

Score: +1.5

I know it’s been a while. Frankly I have not wanted to rehash my current situation on the blog because I am still reeling from the fact that I am stuck in it. My world has taken a turn towards difficult in the past two weeks… allow me to elaborate:

I no longer live with Amanda. Instead, I live on a couch in my parent’s 1 bedroom apartment. Sleep, no, rest has been impossible. I wake up drained and lethargic. My parents are good people, but this is not where I want to be. I’m a grown man, and I need my own space. I need my bed. I need independence. I’m intruding on their life, and that bothers me. My mental health has suffered as a result and I am far less enthusiastic about being alive. 

The reason I have moved out is that Amanda is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy due to her not going to work and having bills to pay. She is currently embroiled in the lengthy process of filing for permanent disability, but that can take a year or more to then provide income. She asked me to “save myself” as the life we used to know combusts into ashes. She will run out of money in no more than a couple of months. We are still determined to keep our relationship alive, but it’s much harder than it was before. We’ve had a few fights, and resolutions, but the tension is still there. 

So, I have been apartment hunting, rather unsuccessfully. I have been declined due to poor credit, and had a place but turned it down as it was barely livable, located above a garage and infested with feral cats. I need to land somewhere I will thrive, and right now, it seems very far away. My budget is small, and my choices few. However, I will nevertheless apply myself until I indeed have a stable place to call my own. 

Right now, I’ve just concluded a 15 hour day which started by taking Amanda to ECT, then to work for a full shift, then back with Amanda to take her to psychiatry and psychology appointments which concluded at 7 pm. My day started at 4:15 am this morning. This day encapsulates my current situation; slowly sucking my essence away until I am an empty carapace. I feel like I am losing my hold on reality. 

On the other hand, my parents do live with this fluffball. She squeaks, not meows, and it is truly the most pathetic noise I have heard a cat make. She has been my friend so far, and is usually very skitterish around people who are not my mom. It’s a comfort to have a cat in the house. I am a cat person, after all. 

Blog, I’m doing the best I can, and barely holding on. I’m not giving up on my life, not now not ever. I’m just aware that it is going through a tough stretch. A very tough stretch. But I will endure and I will persevere. I will still be with and love Amanda and support her however I can. I am still her partner, even if we don’t live together anymore. This transition has been hard on me. 

Goodnight. 

Some Assorted Samples

 

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These were some of the colorful jaspers we found (yellow, green and red) with brown chalcedony and jadeite of varying colors, notably blue and green. They represent an amalgamation of various rockhounding trips we have been on over the years around California. Some remarkable specimens, very unique, you would be hard-pressed to see another one like it, ever.  They are unique snapshots into geologic history, and represent the sometimes mixed state of minerals coalescing at formation points deep in a pegmatite or similar place. We take them in a raw state and reduce them in size over the course of a month of rolling them around in a rock tumbler, with changing grits to perfect the rounding and polishing components of the procedure. We have more waiting in the wings, and some of the quartz and red aventurine from this most recent batch did not polish all the way, and will need at least 5 days more in the tumblers with some ceramic pellets to help them shine up nice. I will be photographing those once they are done, and once the next two barrels next week. For now, some great pieces, more soon to come.

The McCain Valley Rockhounding Trip

We woke up and got this thing rolling. We were on the I-8 East by 7:00 am and the morning marine layer had just started to lift up and away as we rapidly gained elevation outside of El Cajon. Then we were cruising through the mountains, with the yellow sun beating us head on over the ridge-tops. Then the oddest thing happened… the temperature plummeted to 43 degrees and this insane mountain fog showed up, thick, wet and freezing. I had to document:

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So we drove through that, and got out to McCain Valle Road, which is miles of dirt road all pretty well maintained, to my surprise. And there were lots of open use campgrounds with no rangers but pay boxes for your $6 per night fee. Pretty cool. We saw some people camping in the freezing cold and I remembered my recent trip to the so-called Lake Morena. Ah, memories.

 

We went out to the spot I picked, and did our best collecting at that first site. I knew the back of the valley would have the highest chance of yielding collectable samples, and I was mostly right. The terrain was far more bushy than I had thought it would be, and my uncovered legs got pretty scratched up as we hiked through narrow granite riverbeds and low brush. Eventually we had walked out into another campsite, and just took the road back. Actually, we collected some nice samples right out of the gravel road, which had been seeded with local till as well as gravel. I picked a very nice rose Quartz while we went on our way back. On the way out of the valley, we stopped at a lookout and I used my pitiful iPhone camera to capture the Carizzo overlook, and the desert floor below.

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With Moo up to her usual antics

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After that, we drove down into the Jucumba flats area, and hit two more collecting sites, a dirt turnout near old highway 80, and a long river-wash near some hilly outcroppings. The last site yielded some fine Feldspar samples, mostly white, but with remarkable features.

Once home, we washed the samples and laid them out for a picture, which didn’t come out very well. But hey, I’m not expecting much from my phone after all.

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So, a successful, and fun trip. I should not have forgotten my sunglasses, as the white granite and sand was utterly blinding me. But you can see the rose Quartz I picked up, as well as a nice Amatrine my mom found, and the Feldspar is the white stuff.

 

Great adventure, fun day, phew, I’m tired. Good show. See you later.

Trimber (Art By Moo)

Buried thickets.

Obscuring wind.

Fragrance of flowers,

Dust on the pillow.

Whispered words.

Soliloquy of summer.

Turbid heat-risers,

Succulent tender-tastes.

Cactus prickles,

Hot breath run ragged,

Crumbling mountains climb.

West sun fading.

Deserted dusk-wraps,

Sealed with a dry kiss.

Peace.

Night is upon us.

 

Trimber

Table Mountain (Art By Moo)

Blasted sand-scrapes,

Whistle the chapped leaves,

Screaming bright sunlight–

Part the quaking clouds.

A wind of shushed whispers–

Moan through the ancients,

Riddled, splashed with colorful heat,

Time-scarred canyons–

Chalked to rubble like powdered bones.

Whisked down with rain–

A sandy mudpack crisping–

Choking on the last breath,

Cool, clean water, gone.

An imposing night,

Ceaseless, holding,

Red cheeks pitted–

Flushed.

Ever-dry against the gale.

Remembering the summits–

A shadow of itself…

Great in the memory of pouring mayhem,

Shattering the sky with billowing hate,

Slow-moving basaltic-hell unfurled,

Cascading down the slopes,

Petrifying the unsuspecting.

Ruptured earth-melting–

Bellowing an ashy-death,

Ruling all.

Lost.

Dead within.

Told in the story of stones–

And old rivers of electric blood–

Hardened, frozen.

Corked somewhere underfoot–

Bleached from its roots–

Distant from the source…

Standing with old peaks,

Going the way of history.

 

TableMountain

Updates

Rocks came out the tumbler today. They look pretty sweet. Lots of color.

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I also reinstalled Total Annihilation with the Unit Compilation Pack. I’ll let you know once I actually play a game. Rumor has it: TA is really hard and I’m not mad skills enough to make much progress against the AI. It seems to use the new units well. More betters then me does.

@ Lake Jennings

I went on a hike with my new friend Jacqueline. I KNOW. But she’s super funny and a great person to hang with. Nice hike to get to this spot. We saw bugs. Even a daring road-crossing black widow who met her doom at the hands of my shoe. HA. Hands of my shoe is the name of my new band.

Here’s a panorama type shot I tried to take. and Splice together again afterward. Clearly.

 

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5 of 5

The very best of the take, photographed by Birdy.

Trust me, this just a sampling of some of the truly amazing specimens we were able to recover: Red and Yellow Jasper, Jadeite, Black Agate, Quartz (Amethyst, Amatrine, Citrine, Rose and Smokey), Feldspar and Chalcedony of varying colors.

The bulk of what you see here was recovered at the secret spot in northern Jacumba, CA. The crystal-clear smokey is from the Red Rock Canyon region of the Mojave Desert. We’re just touching the tip of the iceberg here. Just what would photograph well. There are dozens more pieces of Agate and Chalcedony ready to be used as stunning jewelry. The best one ever, right here.

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Concorde

Snapped By my Daddo at an Arizona Airshow in 1988, one of only 20 ever built. Even with an otherwise flawless record in 27 years of service, 1 crash is to many. More then one hundred dead. Decommissioned in 2003, three years later.  A symbol of our cultural decadence, and ultimately, just as flawed.

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I’ve been thinking some about disasters of late. I really really feel itchy inside sometimes, like I’m somewhat expecting something to happen. Soon. I mean, sooner rather than later. I can’t explain it any more then it constitutes radical anxiety. Because that’s all it really is. An itchy, disturbing, prickly feeling that makes me ever-alert for the first disturbances from the ground. I know what should do in case of emergency. That’s not the point.

I feel like it’s looming. That’s all. And scientifically, I am 100% correct. It’s at minimum 180 years past a normal release of tension from the San Andreas. It’s easily been 300 years since anything larger than a 6 hit that area. Pressure has been building for a good long time now. Pressure. Pressure. If it moves just as fast as my fingernails grow, rock is compressing against rock for some nearly unfathomable distance imho, CONSIDERING WE’RE POUNDING TWO SOLID ROCKS TOGETHER. JESUS. Last time I checked, that’s hard to do, and creates pressure. Pressure. I would have like, YARDS of fingernail growth after 300 years, like turning a roll of toilet paper loose across the floor and watching it vanish into the horizon… whhifflewafflecracklsskunchkt… cunk.

Seriously though, we’re fine. Palm Springs, you need to gtfo right now because damn, why did we EVER build a metropolitan area right there? I mean seriously? On alluvial deposits as well? That’s not going to have been a good move for someone, at some point in time in the future. Will I be around to see it? Who knows. Ever see a giant sand wave destroy a city? Ever see a wal-mart disappear to a dirt-nami and be under 70 feet of sand in a few seconds? Yeah, I brought that! DIRT-NAMI, you can quote me.

Needless to say…

I’m still itchy.

2 of 5

With the bulk of the shaping work done, I wanted to snap some pictures of the stones as they are nearing the middle of the cycle. They have a little more than 2 weeks to go, and are really starting to take on their beautiful final shapes.

Even though they may not look it, these stones are perfectly smooth. Any detail you see is a visual effect made possible by clear portions of the stone contrasted against a more solid inclusion or separate mineral area. The take shown here was collected from various sites all over California.

Fire Agate

Fire Agate, collected in the Coyote Mountains, due north of Ocotillo, CA.

Smokey Quartz

A stunningly clear Smokey Quartz, collected at Lone Pine, CA.

Yellow Jasper

Yellow Jasper, collected at Red Rock Canyon, off state route 14 in eastern California’s Mojave Desert.

Red Jasper

Red Jasper, collected in the foothills north of Jacumba, CA, in the Table Mountain volcanic area.

Moss Agate

Moss Agate, collected at the Coyote Mountains,  in San Diego County’s eastern desert.

Jadeite

Jadeite, collected in an alluvial iron-rich soil deposit north of Jacumba, CA,  in the shadow of Table Mountain.

Included Chalcedony Yellow

Heavily, but beautifully included Chalcedony, collected north of Jacumba, CA.

Brown Chalcedony

Brown Chalcedony collected at Lone Pine, CA, in the Alabama Hills area.

Colorful Chalcedony

Chalcedony, collected in the alluvial zone east of Table Mountain volcano, just north of Jacumba CA.

Colorful Included QuartzIncluded Amatrine

A 2 colorful and included Quartz specimens collected at the crest of a granite deposit near Jacumba CA.

Included Chalcedony Red

A truly outstanding included Chalcedony, found in the “secret spot” somewhere in the western alluvial zone near Table Mountain volcanic area, in the high desert of eastern San Diego County.

 

Keep digging, rockhounds.

To There And Back Again

We went on a fucking adventure. I made them climb vertical rock-faces, scale steep hills and plow through thick, brambly brush. We were cut-up, beat-down and torn-to-pieces. I made my way, and eventually we, to the top of a iron-rich soil-topped hill, where chunks of gleaming, multicolored quartz was popping out of the ground everywhere you looked.  Some of the best pieces I have EVER recovered here in San Diego. EVER. I’ve been out to the Painted Gorge in the Coyote Mountains, and up to In-Ko-Pah Park, and never found anything this nice. Seriously. Splendid Ametrines, Rose Quartz, Citrine, Blue Chalcedony, Red Jasper, Black Agate and Pale white Feldspar.  We have them loaded for tumbling. Just waiting on the grits to come in.

So, here is a diagram of where we trecked, starting in the south, up the carrizo gorge train tracks, then off into the riverbed from there. Then up a hair-raising sheer rock face, and over a giant granite pluton, to the top of the iron-rich soil exposed at the top of the hill. We worked our way back down to the east/south and crossed the riverbed where it was broader. I tripped in the wash on the way back to the truck and fall down go boom.

Our Hike to Gemstone Wonderland

 

The RED geologic unit on the map was supposed to be pre-Cenozoic granitic and metamorphic rocks, surrounded by the PINK area: Mesozoic granitic rocks. Nearby volcanic activity in the Round and Table Mountain volcanic areas lead me to believe that mineral Pegmatites might be found mixed in with the granite in the RED area. So, although we did not locate a pocket, we still found a seam of quartz coming out of the top of the hill. There may be a much richer deposit somewhere underground, but my geologic knowledge only goes so far.

All in all, it’s the BEST SCORE we’ve ever had here in San Diego. Comparable to our Mojave Desert trip we did a few months back.

Looks like this in Google Maps:

Terrain Path of Our Hike

All in all, it was neat to be standing in a place where few of no people have ever gone gem collecting. It was fantastic pickings, and all on BLM land. With the exception of a wierd little gated motor-home community, this place is about as remote as you can get.

1.51 miles round trip. Well worth the pain.

The Take

 

The Opal Trip

So, we’re officially headed out to the desert May 19-20. We’re staying a night in Barstow (exciting, I know…), but rockhounding 2 distinct sites, looking for rare minerals. The first stop, I’ve both researched and confirmed in the Califirina guide. The official geologic map for the state points to a paleolithic sedimentary deposit turned metamorphic when the area was intruded upon by subductive volcanism. Igneous intrusions abound, and the desert wind and air has taken it’s toll on the site, as you can see in the low-profile of the mountains. Area in question is to the north west of Barstow, in the light blue cluster bordering the tertiary volcanic activity.

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Transposing the two images reveals the terrain change is the area in question, and the run-off and erosion points on the hills are areas to target. Places in the “bake-zone” where, at one time, molten rock came into contact with sedimentary rock. At site 1, we are looking for opals primarily, with a chance at agates or jasper. There is a good chance of picking up crystal here too, in the garnet family.

At site 2, we have to go a tad down the 40 freeway. But not too far. The site will be rich in geodes, and banded agates of various forms. There is a greater percent chance of finding crystal gemstones here as well. The site is visible as steep hills, eroded by desert wind. Area in question is the mixing point of both tertiary and quadentary volcanic areas, where they entered more pre-exsisting sedimentary rock deposits; to the south of Newberry Springs.

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Really mixed bag at site 2, so I’m not sure what to expect. The geologic zone indicates more “bake-zone” mineralogy, but the nature of the original geologic unit makes a difference in what minerals appear at the site. For now, I’m cautiously optimistic about what the site holds, but only hitting the ground will give us the solid indicator.

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A closer look at target areas for site one makes it clear that I intend to hit the ridges, looking for PRISTINE samples uncovered by rain. Hopefully, there’s a revelation or two to be had out there. I have a feeling the site isn’t done coughing up treasures just yet…

Site two is DEFINITELY MORE CHALLENGING as far as climbing goes. We may NEED to stick to valleys and less ridges. However, we’re looking for minerals in formations more prone to being round, so they may have a chance to have rolled down the hill a ways during the years.

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I’m, again, going to attack this site from the perspective of a novice, and assume our better condensations will be in run-off points, rather than trying for a pristine sample at the top of a hill, JUST uncovered.

As you can see, I’ve given our strategy some thought. I want to maximize our efficiency, as collecting precious stones is a big part of our success. I will, of course, have a post on this, but for now, it’s a future engagement, liable to produce some AMAZING finds. Like nothing we could collect locally.

Finally, I’ll have pictures up soon of the most recent batch, the one that finished polishing today. 2 tumbling barrels full of beautiful quartz and feldspar. Great finds a-plenty, from more ancient volcanism. Anyway, go rockhounding sometime.

You might be surprised what you find:

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Ridiculous Frozen Water Behaviors

So, it snowed in the local mountains, and since Birdy has never actually been in the snow, we pretty much had to go.

But who is the bigger idiot in the snow?

What That Taste Like

Think I have the market cornered on stupid.

GACK

Yes, I just did that.

Ad it only gets better…

Boy Meets Snow

A good example of someone who is not going totally insane because the water on the ground is frozen. But still pretty fucking excited:

First Snow Face

And then there’s me…

About to Regret

Just a couple of dorks enjoying the snow. Hope you enjoyed the freak-show…

Cold Dorks

That Was Close…

Far too close to have NOT BEEN NOTICED WHATSOEVER. We have thousands of eyes looking for these NEOs (Near Earth Objects) and yet, we let this MONSTER get by totally unnoticed. I thought my parents were kidding when they said that this happened. I don’t know… but maybe we should be looking a TAD closer at these potential CIVILIZATION ENDING objects more carefully.

I live 18 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It’s the largest ocean on the planet. It has, by far, the most open surface area of water ANYWHERE. If one of these fuckers hits in the middle of the ocean, the tsunami generated would kill me, and every other person living on the west coast of the US. There would be no escaping the wave. I might survive if I started driving IMMEDIATELY after impact, and took off for the 4000 feet above sea level mountains. Even then, a shock-wave tsunami might stretch thousands of feet into the sky, and go inland for miles before losing inertia.

Now I have a real reason to have a backup plan. But really, if THAT is the way I go out, It’s not too bad a way to go. I’d LIKE to survive, but he probability is pretty low.

Time will tell.

It’s pretty difficult to locate a piece of spinning soot-covered, non-reflective black rock in the vast empty dark of space. We only REALLY notice NEOs when they obstruct something. That’s not a great way to find our potential doom, methinks. Maybe we could spend some of our budget on making sure that does not happen…?

A love of Geology, turned into art through the natural expression of stone, and skill.

Honor Horology

Something we greatly enjoy about our process is that we actively go out to rock and mineral gathering areas and find raw minerals. We’ll spend all day out in the gorgeous desert collecting hunks of quartz and jaspers, just enjoying ourselves. Afterwards we’ll lug our treasure trove home pick through, ogle, and separate into groups for tumbling. Now they’re not terribly rare, these stones we find, but I think that’s part of beauty. Now a days it seems we put emphasis on the perfect and rare, when there is untold beauty in the very rocks beneath us. We find these quartz, jaspers and agates, and accentuate the already vibrant colors and inclusions they possess. Sometimes the inclusions are the best parts. I love how active a process our jewelry is in creating beauty from the unexpected.

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Somewhat Explained?

Images (especially landscapes) that inspire introspection, or interpretive awe, become a way by which I make incarnate the volume of emotions contained within. Although these places truly exist; the bent lens by which I have seen them illuminates a secret perspective: so twinged by a unique view of the symbolism empowering my own non-physical reality (then made tangible). For me, photographs steal the breath of thought and make it real for my eyes, and hopefully, yours too.

Rockhounds Cometh

Pegmatite dykes are uncommon in San Diego County, but pretty fucking rare as geologic features go, overall. There are a bunch of factors that contribute to the development of these dykes, but again, the minerals deposited within are usually byproducts of the matrix that was already there before the intrusion of volcanic material. In the case of the Peninsular Ranges, mostly Mesozoic granitic (gabbro) rocks. These were intruded by basaltic volcanoes after the batholith came above ground and began to weather-down.

I’ve been out to the desert hills, looking for undiscovered Pegmatites, but so far, have only found deposits of Tourmaline and Amatrine on surface / alluvial areas. For me, this is unsatisfying. Scouring for a very rare occurrence is likely to end in frustration.

INSTEAD, I’ve decided to allow nature to do the work for me. In east county San Diego, there are old volcanoes that intruded upon the granitic and metamorphic deposits already on the surface, and in all likelihood, produced uncommon minerals from the interactivity of heat and pressure from the intruding magma. Anywhere igneous rock runs into something that was there already, I get interested. I have found an area near the Peninsular Range’s Table Mountain Volcano, where quartz and feldspar from the granitic pluton are heavily concentrated already.

My speculation is that by investigating the wash-out areas from the lowest levels of the volcanic area, I’m likely to find good mineral deposits on the surface. It might take half the day to FULLY INVESTIGATE the area. We’re talking about a mile or so of open desert riverbed. Wash, down from generations of rainfall on soft, sandy, eroded desert granite. It’s a neat place, and I can’t wait to hike the volcano with Birdy.

How about February?

ROCKHOUNDING