Saturday, August 19, 2006

Valley of the Mists

The rains over night left us with seven tenths of an inch.
I watched as the rain drop fell from the bittersweet berry onto the leaf and danced about until it fell onto the quartz cluster below.

We are keepers of the cluster. A friend of our son's asked us to care for it when he moved to Europe. This twenty pound "rock" is from Mt Ida, in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. This area is known as the Valley of the Mists.

We are fossil hunters. My favorite is the crinoid. It is the fossil of the Sea Lilly and the Missouri State Fossil. When we travel I like to stop at an outcropping and look for fossils. The history of the land tells me about the plants and animals and bugs that are living there. It reminds me that the Earth is always changing.

Saucy sent a comment and I thought it would be fun to reseach a bit on growing a crystal garden. Would be fun to do one.


Saucy said...

That quartz is amazing. It just grows like that? I've seen the crystal growing kits at toy stores but didn't realize they would grow like that! Lovely.

Q said...

Hi Saucy,
Yes that is a natural crystal! Anyone can grow them too. My sister grew crystals when she was in grade school for a sceince fair project. She won too!
She had crystals all over our house. Doing a crystal garden would be fun and ever so pretty. I am posting a link for recipes and such.
Let us know if you do one!

Sprite said...


Dear Q~

Did your son's friend dig that cluster at Mt. Ida?

I have been crystal digging on more than one occasion, it is so much fun, but also incredibly difficult work. I noticed the site that you posted said often a person can walk around and just pick the crystals up off the ground. This is not the usual course of events in digging. Though it can happen for sure.

I had a very cool experience on one of the digs in Arkansas. Basically, the crystal miners (where the digs are located) go and bring up huge mounds of clay soil from the minds and drop them into huge mounds in the authorized area for digging. A person can go in to this area, and pay a certain amount per day to go and dig through these huge mounds.

On one particular trip, while my self and a friend were digging - it began to rain. We saw crystals just popping up everywhere out of the mounds. So basically, the rain was cleansing the clay, and we could see sparkles of light, and just go and pluck them out of the clay. It was just awesome to see.

Once a person digs the crystals, in order to cleanse them - they must learn to use oxalic acid to soak them in for a period of weeks. It removes the iron oxide deposits, allowing for the beautiful specimens that people can purchase in rock shops. I have noticed over the years, when I leave my quartz clusters outside, the tend to develop more of this rusty looking deposit. Isn't nature just awesome?

I have an interesting idea that I read in my studies of quartz.

Okay, riddle me this: Where one finds diamonds, there will always be quartz crystal mines nearby. But, where there are quartz crystal mines, one will not always find diamonds. I don't know if it's true, but it is interesting.


* sprite

Q said...

Hi Sprite,
I do not the entire story of the cluster. I only know where it came from! It lives in the garden.
You have such wonderful experiences. I have never been crystal digging. My son has. Does sound like hard, heavy work. I think I would be inclined to go with my husband.
You know all sorts of things about crystals I bet. I only know they are pretty and if you hold them just so sometimes one can see fantastic realms. Sometimes certain "rocks" speak and they are nice for energy.
I have two rocks I bring in every year for my hearth. They are my winter rocks. They hold the heat from the fire and when I am cold my rocks warm me. I also know some rocks tell stories. Must be why I love fossils so very much.

Hummm..I do love riddles. Let's see I would think that the pressure for diamonds would be different than quartz. No pressure only a chemical reaction.
You are a diamond! Bet you have all sorts of beautiful crystals!


Sprite said...


Dear Q~

Oh! Thank you.

I do have a few crystals.

I make jewelry so, I have a few stones, beads and gems too. It is a wonderful thing, to create beautiful things with one's hands. I am blessed by that.

* Sprite

You said:
You are a diamond! Bet you have all sorts of beautiful crystals!