|Summer Swan Song Pocket Opening Up|
After watching the above story unfold from my digging site, I hit a pocket of amazonite. Someone had dug a couple of test holes in a pegmatite some time ago and then left them. I poked around in their holes and found a lot of quartz which I decided merited further inspection. After about 3 hours and 2 feet below the previous rock hounder's diggings I was just about to give up. I kept finding subhedral smoky quartz crystals and microcline. My gloves were shredded from the quartz shards, my finger tips were bleeding and I had nothing to show for my efforts. I took the top off around the pocket one more time and dug out the overburden. To my delight I started seeing hints of blue on the microcline (amazonite). I don't understand why one microcline can be right next to a crystal of amazonite. I would think a pocket would be all microcline or all amazonite, but I guess that's not the way mother nature works. While the amazonite was only pale blue/green, the size was larger than I normally find. Time was up this day, the Woodman left with his ill-gotten gains and a fairly large fine I suppose, I found a few amazonite crystals and one nice smoky and covered up my promising dig. I shall return with a new pair of gloves to harvest more crystals at a later date.
|More than one large crystal in this pocket|
|Big Blue/Green Kahuna just about ready for extraction|
Near the end of September (visit #2) I returned to the dig and cleaned out the pocket debris intending to extend the dig in all directions. As I was cleaning what I thought was the bottom of the pocket I noticed some straight angles on what I had at first perceived to be country rock. I carefully scrapped around the rock and found it to be a large amazonite crystal... hurrah! Another large amazonite crystal not as well formed was in front of the prize, so I took that one out first. Initially I couldn't believe a crystal could be this big in such a small pocket. Due to mud, crystal fragments and compaction it took me 3 hours, yes 3 hours to remove 1 crystal. From the pictures you can see the difficulty in removing a crystal of this size. No prying was done until I got to the bottom of the crystal on all sides. The crystal weighs just under 26lbs! This is the biggest amazonite crystal I have ever seen. Bob, my digging buddy, even helped me dig the crystal for awhile as I needed a break and know mistakes happen when you get tired and frustrated. After digging out this crystal I found several smoky quartz crystals all damaged beneath the amazonite crystal. I probably did some of the damage to the smokys but suspect when the pocket collapsed and the 26lb amazonite crystal landed on them they didn't fair to well. I then found a number of smaller amazonite crystals to the right of the big blue/green kahuna. Bob thinks I should name this pocket, so I shall call it Summer's Swan Song. A cold front was moving through Lake George and black clouds and colder air were moving in from the north. I think Summer's Swan Song is very apt for this near end of season find.
|That's one heavy amazonite crystal! Some odd twinning too|
Visit #3(30 Sep): to the Summer Swan Song pocket. First thing I did was dig out the debris in the pocket from the prior days visit. I was careful to hand load material onto the flat blade shovel in order to spare the crystals from any trauma. Within 10 minutes I was once again digging out crystals. Another beautiful fall day at Lake George as the leaves are now beginning to change. Below are a few pictures of the crystals I took out of the pocket. The smokys have all been problematic with exterior white quartz growth and blunted tips. The quartz seam pretty much runs up the hill and begins as fairly brittle quartz and then firms up as you go. The smoky quartz crystals are all tending to be below the amazonite. This day all I did was carefully dig out crystals. I got a few nice plates and single specimens. I used up all my newspaper for cushioning and my backpack was overflowing with crystals. No twinning was observed in any of the amazonite crystals although they are covered in pocket mud for the most part. While I believe I have 90% of the crystals removed, I must still excavate the bottom of the pocket and carefully probe the sidewalls to make sure I'm really done. I also left a few crystals near the pocket as my backpack was overflowing. Here are some more pictures showing the crystals just after coming up for air after their 1,000,000,000 year rest and yes, there will be another visit to the Summer's Swan Song pocket!
|First one of the day, note brownish mud, somewhat unusual, its normally redish, yellow or purple|
|Nice grouping, appears to be about 5 crystals in all|
|Smoky and amazonite, one of the few well formed smokys I found|
|After a week of cleaning in acid. Looking good, Abe is almost standing on his head... more cleaning is required|
|Largest Smoky so far. It was broken in half and has white quartz hooding parts of it|
|Lots of crystal forms in the pocket, note smoky and amazonites here|
|Smokys collected yesterday most of them have issues... Intarsia anyone?|
|Washed and ready for an acid bath|
|Dark area underneath this amazonite is purple fluorite. Have to keep an eye out for that as well|
|Snow capped smoky with amazonite 3" tall|
|Pocket Favorite the "Big Kahuna" partially cleaned|
|Apparent Bevino twinning plane shown as diagonal faint line through lower half of crystal extending to upper left corner!|
|Purple Fluorites on side of Amazonite Crystal|