|Amazonite from a December Pocket--Wait til this cleans up!|
We go rock hounding this time of year as the weather permits. Normally Bob and I shut down our prospecting by mid-November but Mother Nature has given us a couple extra weeks this year. While the shady areas are pretty much locked up with frost the south and west facing slopes can still be prospected fairly late this year. On the drive in Bob mentioned it sure would be nice to find a December pocket--sure would. One area we’ve skirted on our claim while prospecting is an area where just about the entire hillside seems to have been dug long ago. One old-timer told us a few years ago about digging where others have already dug "do you think anyone would leave anything there for you?" We can respond that NOBODY EVER GETS IT ALL! (I think the old-timer was trying to dissuade us from digging in an area he wanted to dig). Bob decided to redig an area he thought merited some inspection because NOBODY EVER GETS IT ALL. On closer examination he found a slight seam of blue running near the surface. This streak of blue color (amazonite) ran into the ground and towards a previously dug area. I’ve probably discounted digging too much in areas well dug as I assumed the old timers probably did get most of the crystals in those areas. Bob was determined to find some amazonite and so he thought he would follow this seam hoping it might pocket out before it ran into the older dig. Now you might surmise this would not be much of a post to my blog if the seam dead ended into the old dig before a pocket appeared and you would be right! As the seam began to produce a few small amazonite crystals Bob gave me a call on our radios and I decided to check out his blossoming find.
|Lots of nice amazonite piling up in the background!|
I sat down next to the dig and examined his finds of amazonite and smoky quartz shards. The amazonite was of very good color and well-formed but most of the smoky quartz crystals were just shards. As I sat and watched Bob dig he carefully continued digging on the hill at about a 20 degree slope down. Bob kept pulling out nice amazonite and occasional smoky quartz crystals. Then just as a little mud in the seam became a little more prevalent a pocket within the pegmatite opened up and bam out of the ground came some fairly big shards of smoky quartz and couple of solid 6 inchers.
|Good Termination Needs Cleaning|
Both smoky crystals and amazonite were well terminated and appeared fairly complete. Smokys and amazonite crystals continued to pop out from the side walls of the dig. The previous digger’s excavation was only about 10 feet up the hill right in front of us but the evidence shows NOBODY EVER GETS IT ALL! We both kept our fingers crossed hoping for some smoky/amazonite combination plates. As the pocket opened up we saw some fairly large pegmatite chunks with crystal definition on them showing through the compacted pocket mud. Bob started carefully pulling out these amazonite plates one after the next. While the plates were no bigger than palm-size, the crystals were well-formed, lustrous and nearly pristine. So while there were no plates of smoky quartz/amazonite combinations the plates of amazonite Bob did pull out were very collectible. I stayed out of Bob’s way for the most part and examined some of the specimens he pulled out. My seemingly weekly headache had returned and bending over into Bob’s crystal pocket was not comfortable.
|My plate :-) Nice pile of crystals in the background as well!|
Finally Bob suggested I get in and check out his crystal pocket. I couldn’t resist and of course I pulled out one of the nicest plates of crystals pictured here. The plate even had some smoky quartz on it. I handed these specimens over to Bob who assured me I would get something nice from the pocket. I only lasted a couple minutes in the pocket as my headache was just too much to tolerate and probably didn't deserve anything. When Bob realized I was too sick to dig he finished digging, buried the remains of the pocket, bundled up his crystal booty and we drove home. It was a good day and despite what one old-timer told us, we know NOBODY EVER GETS IT ALL! We may not be able to return to Lake George until next spring as the weather forecast calls for low temperatures in the single digits which will freeze over the creek crossings and push frost down a couple feet into the ground. Next bit of prospecting will probably be at garage and estate sales ;-) Til 2018? and yes I saved the best picture for last!
|One of the better plates we found this day (90% cleaned)... I dug this one out during the 2 minutes I was digging in the pocket material. As you can see I must have had quite a bad headache to relinquish this kind of digging fun back to Bob.|