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January 16, 2019, 05:46:02 pm
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What a summer!

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Author Topic: What a summer!  (Read 435 times)
Snakeadelic
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« on: August 14, 2015, 08:13:30 am »

So far the rockhounding trips with BGMS have been the salvation of an otherwise depressing, annoying summer.  I just went on my 3rd, and as always it was a grand adventure, complete with 10 or 12 pauses for someone to get out of the lead car and roll BIG rocks off the dirt road.  We were looking for a thunderegg deposit that only 2 of the group found because it turned out to be about a 20-foot-long section of road cut a mile back from where the GPS told us all to park.  I only got a crack at it because the wonderful gentleman who let me ride in his truck was chatting with another rockhound, and I didn't get much time since there was a bigger truck waiting behind us.

Thunder Mtn 1 is common opal.  It's official:  every time I go rockhounding more than 5 miles from home, I bring home opal.  A significant chunk of my Biggs hauls is also opal, according to "What Is It Wayne", the treasurer and club ID master.  I found opal in Priday/Ochoco geodes at the BGMS show this year, and up at Cramer Creek as well as Keep Cool Creek, and now Thunder Mountain.

Thunder Mtn 2 shows the fracture pattern Wayne ID'd as opal, as well as some of the vivid green mixed into some of the "thundereggs" from that 20-foot section.  Most of them showed little to no rounding, which is likely why most of us drove right by since we were told to hunt for baseball-and-bigger rounded stones that looked like concrete on the outside (which they did despite the lack of rounding).

Thunder Mtn 3 is a mostly-opal fragment with some kind of yellowish mineral overgrowth I haven't had a chance to run past anyone in the club.

Thunder Mtn 5 is what has me REALLY excited.  My first thought was "gotta be a copper mineral!"  Macro photos, however, show that the majority of the vivid green is bottle-green, highly translucent to nearly transparent, and despite the crystalline sparkle that attracted my eye it's botryoidal rather than prism habit.  Most of the bubbles in the photo are well under a millimeter across (I LOVE LOVE LOVE having an easy Macro setting on my camera!).  Now I just gotta wait until the 2nd week of September to wave it at Wayne :).

Larger and more extensive photos can be sent by email if anyone's interested in seeing more!



* Thunder_Mtn_1.jpg (78.86 KB, 816x612 - viewed 11 times.)

* Thunder_Mtn_2.jpg (125.29 KB, 816x612 - viewed 11 times.)

* Thunder_Mtn_3.jpg (58.5 KB, 816x612 - viewed 9 times.)

* Thunder_Mtn_5.JPG (180.32 KB, 1097x719 - viewed 17 times.)
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Ziggen
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 01:20:35 pm »

Awesome finds!  Who doesn't love Summer?  I myself have had and am having a great "mineral" summer! Congrats!
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This post counts towards my 50 posts so that I prove I am not a predatory seller dealing in stolen goods and will be allowed to list items in the shop.
Mark
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2015, 03:04:50 pm »

clicking on your pics will enlarge them and clicking on them again will return them back to size.  This doesn't always work.  On my pics i link from photobucket, it doesn't work.   I am guessing if you use the forum "additional options" to post your pics, it then works.

I like pic 2, that is some nice looking "smooth" consistent stone that would look good in jewelry.  It looks really lite blue on my pc, what color is it in person?  I think you mentioned green.

Mark
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2015, 03:08:11 pm »

On the last pic, i would start by googling smithsonite and mimetite, both are mostly botryoidal with small "grapes".

Mark
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ileney
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2015, 04:31:47 pm »

Oooh! That last one is so bubbly and translucent. How yummy looking!
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Snakeadelic
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2015, 06:25:59 am »

Mark, the white areas on all the Thunder Mountain stones are opal.  The rock in that second image doesn't show nearly the botryoidal structure in the green that some of the other chunks do--but you are not imagining that hint of blue.  Several of the small bits from that trip have a distinctly blue cast to the white (opal) areas; the green is definitely a different mineral but probably not the "copper oxide of some kind" my brain first kicked up when I was collecting them.  I'm going to wave the botryoidal green at the club treasurer to see what he thinks :). 

And I do use the direct upload, because last time I tried to start a Photobucket account I got stuck on the page where they REALLY wanted me to look at "sponsor" sites--to the point that I was not allowed to proceed with signing up because I didn't want to know about car loans (I no longer drive EVER), mortgage refinancing (I live in an apartment with excellent amenities), or the cost of tuition at online universities I have no interest in attending.  Since I suck at image manipulation programs like Photoshop, the images I post here are 25% of full size, resampled and occasionally gamma corrected in IrfanView.

Sadly, our final trip of the summer has been canceled, though I heard several of the old-timers say the location we were scheduled to visit isn't highly productive even for the main goal, which would have been pyrite.  Attached is a photo of sunrise from a couple days ago or so...we are smoked in BAD and the woods around us are tinder.  Nobody, including the relative young'uns like me, is wildly enthused about hot vehicle engines in bone-dry forest or getting all our minerals in one chewy breath.  The truly amazing thing about the smoky sunrise is that nothing within MILES of us is actually on fire; weird valley-related air movement patterns suck it in from all around us and trap it here.

Guess I'll just have to be content with sorting, photographing, and deciding fates for the several hundred pounds of everything from Moolack Beach fossils to local river cobbles to "how much of this stuff now IDd as opal DID I drag back from Biggs Junction?"  Winter is NEVER boring for me :).


* field_trip_cancelled_8-15.jpg (32.89 KB, 816x612 - viewed 8 times.)
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tkcaz
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2015, 07:43:04 am »

Wow, great finds.  Here in southern AZ the only summer rock hounding we do is in an air conditioned building. :-)  Looking forward to cooler weather for my own adventures.
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Tim

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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2015, 07:04:38 am »

tkcaz, that's exactly why if we ever win the lottery we'll join the obnoxious throngs of 'snowbirds'.  When Montana's on fire or smoked out (August) and when it's frozen solid (January), we'll just bail southward to loll in some kind of tiny air-conditioned bliss in August and let me rove the chill desert slopes for cute pebbles in January.  That's the plan, anyhow.  My neighbor has dreamed what turned out to be winning lottery numbers twice (first time he blew it off as just a dream until he saw the winning numbers, second time the store clerk was closing early and refused him service and OMG yes he was severely <unladylike word> when he saw the winning # the next day) so if he ever dreams of lottery numbers again I'll break into my tiny stash of 50-cent pieces and Sacajawea dollars!
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