Ever since I was in my teens I have been a lover of rocks. I took some geology classes in college (heck, I even taught a few geology labs), but I never seemed to absorb the rock identification or rules of formation that I learned again and again. I did, however, maintain a love for rocks and I have always collected rocks from wherever I go. Sometimes I find agates or jasper or other more "worthwhile" rocks that many folks collect. But oftentimes I come home with pockets of river rocks that attracted me by their color, shape or texture.
And, apparently I have passed this behavior down to my children as well, which is awesome.. except for when they try to take rocks out of other people's yards.....
For Christmas, my family got a rock tumbler, and finally, this summer, we had gathered enough rocks to fill it and make the process worth it (it took almost 4 weeks from start to finish, so we decided it only made sense to do a large batch once or twice a year). Rock tumblers are like magic. Although some rocks are beautiful just the way they are (and sometimes that is what makes them so delightful), so many of them look amazing once polished. Our batch of rocks went from this:
Anyways, I have been trying to learn more about rocks, and how to identify them. I got a new guide book from a local writer and even managed to attend his talk at the bookstore. I still think I will be a non-discriminatory rock collector, picking up things of value or not, just because I find them interesting in some way, but hopefully I can become more knowledgeable about what I am finding.
The kids and I headed to Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks last week. It's the second time I have been there and I could spend hours staring at the thundereggs, gypsums, petrified wood, glow in the dark rocks, and other gorgeous specimens. But, as much as my kids enjoy finding rocks (and buying them from the gift shop!), their patience in staring at them is limited to about an hour. However, Finn was pretty darn interested in the rocks and the process of how they formed and were mined, and we found a whole bunch of great books to borrow from the library.
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