This section has a bend in it, with good examples of deposition/erosion and I'd been down there once before with a class to study that process in the field. I noticed a large bit of wood while I was there and I picked up a few pieces, but that was before I really knew what kind of special qualities to look for in a good specimen.
So when I was on the property where you gain access to that location, I figured it was a great opportunity to see what I could find. I found some great stuff, and I only walked about 50 feet downstream. There's a long section of streambed to walk, and I didn't even look in the banks to see if I could find any large pieces. Mostly because I hadn't really prepared - no bucket or tools - and it's a long walk from the creek to the parking area, although my Jeep could have made it further.
So here are a few of the pieces I picked up. I'll be going back - probably after school's out or maybe on the weekends - to see what other prizes I might find.
I like this one because of the growth rings
This one's a little bleached but I love it because you can see where a twig snapped off
The back side of the same piece. I'm not sure if the oval on the right is part of a twig scar or not, but it's still pretty cool.
This one's special because of the crystallized sap. Sometimes it's amber, sometimes it's chalcedony; I'm not entirely sure what this particular mineral is, but it's very pretty.
I think this is one of the best I found today. The rings are so vivid and beautiful.
I didn't realize how out of focus this picture is, but this has nice rings too.
I just liked this one because of the waviness of the grain. I've been told that this area was covered up with vines at the time, so I think this is probably a good specimen showing that.
I picked up this one because it looks like it has evidence of char. The other side looks like outside bark. I know there were fires; I've found other pieces that were clearly burned, and I think that's what happened with this one.
The twig scar on this one is awesome, as is the hash markings. Not sure if that's part of a unique bark, or if it's from bugs eating the wood.
Again, I didn't realize how out of focus this one was until I just uploaded it. This one is amazing because of the three types of minerals on the broken end. There's the black, that tan colored one that's a big bubble and translucent, and then the clear crystals. Again, I'm not entirely sure what minerals they are, but they're very pretty and unique compared to other specimens I've found.
When I first picked most of these up, I didn't know what special characteristics they had. I grabbed them because I noticed the color first or, in the case of the twig scarred ones, the twig scars. What a surprise I got when I came home and washed them all off!
Now that I know there are some very special pieces at this particular location, I'll definitely be going back with boots so I can explore a little more and take a bucket with me. I expect to find some more with mineral inclusions and possibly more of outside bark. Who knows what I'll find when I actually inspect the bank to see if anything's buried in there.
What I think is so cool is that I found these after walking only a short distance. I can only imagine what else will be down there! The best part is that I have access to this location pretty much whenever I want.
I only have a few weeks before I graduate, so I need to get to this particular location as soon as I can. If it's fruitful, I'll go back more than once. Since I already have SO MUCH FREAKING WOOD, I think I'll actually take my time and wash everything off in the creek and take a good look at it before I decide to take it with me. I've found that I really just need to be more selective in my pickings because there's just so many boxes filled with wood found at different locations that I'm almost swimming in them. Besides, some of the really neat pieces should stay behind for others to find.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed looking at these pics and following me along on my outdoor adventures. I'll update again when I have more to post.