Blogging helps me share things with people. My goal is for you to see something that brings a smile to you.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Annual Pilgrimage to the Gem & Mineral Show

Every year I make an annual pilgrimage to the Gem and Mineral Show, if I can make it.  In fact I'd have to be on my death bed or so far out of town I couldn't get there in a days drive.  This year was no different and I did make it.  Only this year was different because I went with my Red Hat friends.
    The Red Hatters had been talking about doing this for a couple of years but it just never worked out for them. This year was different and we were finally able to go.  I was suppose to entertain the group in July, but I had to be out of town so the Lady that had August graciously switched with me.  Taking them to this was the perfect solution for me.  They like bling stuff and I liked the fact I didn't have to clean my house to have them over as I would have if I had done  what was originally planned. (I've been gone for a month, and needless to say it needs a good cleaning because my sons and husband were still at home while I was gone.)

Every year I see new and exciting things.  Some things aren't new to me but I still like seeing them anyway.  I think of it like going to a museum only with this museum you can buy the items and frequently you see a lot of stuff that does eventually end up in museums.  So you're seeing the creme of the la creme - what can be more exciting than that?

Here's some of the exciting and wonderful things I saw.  These were so beautiful to look at with the light shining upon them.  The vendor said it was mineral encrusted coral. The pictures do not do them justice at all.

This person had these fishes and other sea creature embedded in shale.  He said they came from China.  I've seen fish from Germany that was orangey in color but not fish like this. The details in it were amazing.   .  I'm always amazed when they can find creatures like that in rocks - when you thing at how soft theirs bodies are and for them to be preserved like this just blows me away.  And because they are so rare they prices reflected it too.  So it was fun to look at and takes its image.  I could tell the vendor was found of it also because he picked it up and tilted it so I could get a good shot of it.  It's nice to meet people who appreciate the same things you do and realize how valuable something is.

 Just look at this shrimp and the details in it.  It kinda blew me away.  It looked almost like you could pick it out and eat it, but it was really embedded into that shale. 
 Here's some other fossils that he had but they were not near as exquisite as those first three were.

These trilobite were at a different vendors place.  They were fun to look at too. Unfortunately when I asked about these trilobites the person there didn't know anything but said if I waited the person that did know would be back shortly - I just looked and took the pictures.It did make me curious as to what it is and if I had to venture a guess I'd say it might be Paradoxides or Ptchoparia if they came from Cambrian age rocks.
 Look at these trilobites and crocodile head.  Everyone was oohing and awing over that too.  I had to look and drool too because as you can imagine it was way out of my price range too.

 And just so you can get an idea of some of the prices I'm including this shot too.  If you look closely you can see these bugs are just a mere 350 to $450.00.   Wouldn't you love to be able to buy all of these and think nothing about it. Its stuff like this that I like to dream about.

This one I really liked because the calyx was so intact on this crinoid.  At least that's what I was thinking it was when I saw it.  Now I'm not so sure - it may be an Echinoderm.  I wished I had asked.  If nothing else if I found the age of the rock then I would have a better idea of what it is. 

Mammoth tooth

 I've seen these before on a test.  Luckily for me I was once on a field trip and some of the guys discovered something very similar in a former glacier river bed and found out what it was. The department I was with became the proud owners of it and it was a fun piece to stump people with.  Can you guess what it is?  They had two of them there.  I couldn't tell if it had been sawed open or if it was two different pieces. I was glad I got it right so quickly and I impressed the person who was trying to sell it - Very few people get it right.
 a Mammoth tooth

And here's some of the things I bought.
 I picked this piece up to see if I could figure out what type of trilobite it was.  When I saw it was only 4 dollars I couldn't resist getting it.  Its Diacolymene Qugri Ordovician in age from Morocco.  I got it right from being from the right area but wrong age.  And I'm not sure if the name is right or not, but I had to go with what the vendor said it was.

 Can you guess what this was.  I missed it when I first saw it and the vendor said I bet you can't guess it.  With clues I finally figured it out. 

Here's a different view of it.
I asked him if it was sedimentary - since it didn't look metamorphic at all and it was too light to be igneous.  He said it was from the ocean.  Big clue there.  That through me off because the way he was acting I was thinking it might be something weird like a coprolite, and guessed that.
 Here's some different angles of it. When I took the photo's I forgot the scales at first.
I then asked him if it was a fossil, and he didn't really answer that by saying it could be.  I looked at it some more and said the tiny pores in it reminds me of bone. He said I was right with that and that threw me off.   He then asked me which bone and would it help if he oriented it in the correct way.  He then positioned it like that.  I couldn't imagine any bone positioned like that.  He said look at it closely what does it look like and I looked again and said it looks like an.....
Whales ear

 Ear.  He said Bingo - its a whales Ear.  Its a piece of the inner ear in a whale.  It was only 15 dollars and I couldn't resist getting it since I found it so fascinating to look at. 
I'm sure glad I never got that on a Paleontology test because I'm sure I would have missed that one. 
 I know this isn't the best image but it has the scale on it so you can see how big it is. 
 Here's a better image of it. 
 The next piece I liked because it was so pure looking and it was a mineral I didn't own in such a large size.
Schorl or Black tourmaline
 One of my hobbies is to make jewelry/ beads for Mardi Gras.  With the Red Hattes my name is Lady of Love- so I like to give beads away that are heart shape if I can.  So I was pleased to be able to get so many heart shaped beads. 
Howlite and Moonstone
 Here's some more:

 Here's the list so I can keep track of what's what.
      Blue- died Howlite, to look like lapis
      blue - sodalite
      green - she said green quartz but it sure did look like Aventurine to me.
      blue green - died Howlite to look like Turquoise
      red- Red jasper
      tan - picture jasper
      brown - tigers eye
      black -Onyx

 And finally is this last piece I got.  I think this is by far the most fascinating thing I saw.
When you first look at it you think its a burrow of some animal.  But what animal?  

Fulgurite from Kermit Texas
 You notice the tube that runs threw it from top to bottom.  You can see the pieces of sand sticking to it. But then when you really look at it closely in spots its shiny - almost like glass. In fact it almost looks like a glass bead.
Fulgurite from Kermit Texas.
 Finally the vendor tells you that it is Fulgurite from Kermit, Texas.  Fulgurite is formed when lightening strikes the ground and goes into it.   The heat is so intense it melts the material that it goes into.  Out where this came from there is a lot of sand and so the sand gets melted and forms these tubes.  The vendor was telling me that he's seen some that are are a couple of feet long.
   I just got this small one because it was in a price range I could afford.  He had others that were a lot longer but of course they were way more expensive too.
   I just thought it would be a fun piece to have.  I like coming across these head scratchers items.  It make the show so enjoyable to go to.  I spent over two hours there and could have spent more but I did have other things to do with the Red Hatters and so I had to go since I was the host of this outing.

For some reason the Red Hatters picture didn't down load - I guess it was more pixels than whats allowed.  Is that a hint we might need to start dieting??? 

I muse:  I was planning to go again the next day.  I was going to take more pictures and maybe some other things but my son had a swim party to go to and it took longer than I thought it would, so we didn't make it again.  I'm just grateful I got the images I did get and the things I did get.   Maybe next year.....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The falls at Chagrin Falls, Ohio

As a child I used to like coming to Chagrin Falls (here's Wikipedia,_Ohio  ) mainly because we would hike around them and then afterwards we would stop and get ice-cream. I remember loving to get the ice-cream more than anything else.  The place we would go to would make it on the location and to me it was the best tasting ice-cream ever.  I don't know if they still make their own ice-cream but the ice-cream place is still there next to the falls.  Now its a quaint little area to visit and it makes for a nice day excursion.

There's not much on the geology of the area but here's what's some stuff on the Chagrin River

Now for my pictures of the area:
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
   This is looking down from the bridge.

This is as you go down the stairs. They are a natural waterfall

 Even though I grew up in this area and studied the geology I never seemed to have made it to this location on a field trip.  I assume the falls are made up from the Ohio formation but I don't know for sure.  There were no signs to help as far as that was concern.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
From this picture you can see that there wasn't much water going over the rocks on this day.  What I liked is the fact you really could see the shale's that are underneath the water.  

What was interesting to see was the water that was seeping through the rocks and would be considered a spring.

 A lot of these stones are glacial debris that has weathered into the river.  They are fascinating to look at and you never know what you may find there. 
 Then we went back up and went to look at the other side of the road.
There wasn't much water flowing over the dam and usually when I've seen it before there is more water coming over. But there was still plenty to make the falls pretty.

 here were some geese that was enjoying the lake that was behind the dam.
I really wished there was more on the geology of the area.

I had visited the Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga national park and this is what the one book said about the geology of the park. 

Brandywine falls in Ohio - the Cuyahoga National Park.  (From "Geology of  National Parks" 6th ed Harris et al (2004))  
The top of the falls is the Berea Sandstone,  Mississippian age. 

The Berea is part of a delta system and coastal sands, the shales are prodelta marine deposits.

The geology in the area is:
                   Period                       Group                       Formation                    Member
        Pennsylvanian                 Pottsville                 Sharon Conglomerate   

        Mississippian                                                                                        Meadville shale
                                                                                Cuyahoga                    Sharpsville SS
                                                                                                                    Orangeville Sh

                                                                                Berea Sandstone
                                                                                Bedford Shale
 Devonian                                                                 Ohio Shale                Cleveland Shale
                                                                                                                    Chagrin Shale

Since the park is so close to these falls I can only assume that some of the same formations are present.  If I have to venture a guess I would say the rocks are in the Ohio shale Formation and are probably the under the Chagrin Shale.

Miscellaneous Impressions from my Trip to Ohio

I had to go to Northeastern Ohio to help take care of an elderly parent.
Here are some impressions I had while I was there.

This one was while I was heading home.  It looked like it was the angle of death and I was wondering if I was going to make it home in time.  After seeing this smoke rising and how at one point it really did look like a person I could understand how people used to believe in genei's
When I got there I was noticing how low the water was.
The purple martins (  ) were out in force and i loved watching them fly around.   I hope you like seeing them fly too because I took lots of pictures of them.

More pictures showing how much the lake was down.
Normally those barrels are under water.

While I was visiting at my step dad's place I was surprised to see a Doe and her two babies walk through the yard. 
I could barely get the camera before they were gone but the babies stopped to eat and mom caught up.

My cousin visited and brought his dog.  It was so cute. He looked like he was the dog on the can of dog food I sometimes give my dogs. 
I went walking in Forest Hills park and always liked this bridge.  Who knows when I will get to walk on it again and so I took this picture so I could remember it.
This is the hill were we used to like to go sledding in the winter time.  It doesn't look to steep but trust me its steeper than you realize. 
I like the way the sun was shining through the clouds.
I was noticing how low the water still was and how still it was on this day.  Then I noticed all the sea gulls.
Up closer

I got this one because it reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

I thought this was so picturesque with the sailboats on the lake.  They looked a lot bigger that this when I took the pictures. 
I just liked the look of this.
The winds started to pick up and the purple martins headed home.
What really got to me was how quickly the waves started to get big.
I thought this unusual the way they were breaking in line like they were.
I went for a walk and couldn't resist getting these flower pictures.

While walking I also so this and thought it was so cute.

Another day with the lake being really low.
All those sea gulls left foot prints.
And even feathers.
On this day I couldn't get over how Erie the lake felt and could understand why its called Lake Erie.  this day the lake was so still.  I had never seen it this still.  There was a haze too and it was the weirdest feeling.  It was like the world had come to a stop.
A perfectly still day on Lake Erie
It was so still the sediments started to settle out and you could see the bottom of the lake.  This is really unusual.  Also look how low the lake is too. 
Another picture of it being so still and Erie.
What was even spookier was when a hawk showed up and started to circle around. 
I was glad when he headed home away from us.

One day the purple martins disappeared from their house.
We wondered if they had flown off but then heard them in the neighbors yard.
They were starting to gather at the tree.

They gathered all that day and then the next day they were gone.  It was amazing seeing them all get together like that. It was time for them to head back south and I figured it was time for me to head back south too.  I had done a lot while I was there - got my stepfather into hospice and helped my mom get the help she needed.  My family needed me.  School would start in 2 weeks and I had to get my son ready for that.
purple martins gathering to head south

I hated the reason I had to go but was glad I could go and spend so much time there.