Monday, April 20, 2009

No Fossils, Plenty of Agate

This is the view from a hill just outside Lovelock, NV where we went to collect fossils and agate. Rains had made the jeep road to Fossil Hill harrowingly slippery so we drove out of town past signs inviting or perhaps importuning "Lock Your Love in Lovelock", took a short paved road past the freshwater diatomaceous earth mines, and then a dirt road to this spot where agate boulders and rubble litter the ground.
Clementine held a conversation with the welcoming committee, this horned lizard. The pronghorn antelope left calling cards, but declined to say hello.
We usually follow the motto take only photographs leave only footprints, so it was a rare treat for the kids to be allowed to wail on boulders with hammers and take the resulting fragments home.

I snuck off to get photos of birds I could hear calling down the hill. The birds eluded me, but I found a rare sense of solitude in a wide open place.


Mister Dad said...

whoa! just stumbled upon your blog, and gladly so! so much so-- beaute pics, btw-- i'm gonna link ya. twack! there... you're on my links.

i love rocks. agates are wonderful! and even they praise God! like we all should, really...

great lizard pic, too! he looks happy. i like that. didn't sell my terrariums last weekend's garage sale, so maybe it's a sign.

Blessing~ mister dad

Stefaneener said...

How is it that Clem can always find the scurrying things? Like Ellie, I guess. Looks like fun.

Susan said...

Mister Dad, welcome and thanks for the compliment and the link! You can always find a use for a terrarium, I say.

Stefaneener, Clem catches her share of crawlies, but this one my brother-in-law nabbed. We set him down later and admired how he blended with the rock.

patricia said...

You went all the way to Nevada for agate? Wow, you are an inspiration. I feel like I need to do better with exploring nature with my kids--our tendencies lean toward art and lit. You always give me good ideas--but I'm still not sure I'd drive all the way to Nevada for agate!

Susan said...

Tricia, we were visiting my parents at Lake Tahoe, so it was only a 2 hour drive. Also, the rock hunting group we went with did not spring the sad news that Fossil Hill was inaccessible until after we arrived in Lovelock.

But it was so worth it, for the vistas, the lizard, the lonely wildflowers, the happiness of kids with hammmers and not least because I got to say diatomaceous earth several times and I have long enjoyed how it rolls off the tongue.

gina said...

WOW- what a lovely treat of a day!

Kristin said...

I enjoyed this post very much because of the photos. Also, I think that doing this kind of stuff with your family rocks! Literally in your case.

By the way, there are agates on the beaches near us. If you like rocks, check out: Gem Trails of Northern California by James R. Mitchell.