Thursday, March 26, 2009

Souris Treasures - Agates

This week, instead of getting more spring-like, the weather reverted back to winter. As I watched the snow fall, I thought back to last summer. In particular, my treasure hunt to the Rock Pit in Souris, Manitoba last July. The pit is a working gravel pit. After paying a daily fee, I drove the short distance to the pit and parked in a designated area. With a squirt bottle of water, a bucket and a digging tool, I scrounged the pit.

Click on any photo for a wonderful close-up showing the waxy texture that makes an agate easy to spot amongst all the other rocky material.

Pictured in this main photo are 4 agates I found while exploring the pit. Some were lying at the bottom of rock slides, and others I dug for in the soft walls surrounding the pit. Agate is a microcrystalline impure form of quartz (silica), chiefly chalcedony, characterized by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. The following photos are close-ups of the above agate

Top left in the main photo, this chunky agate has 2 indentations or holes on one side.

Top right in the main photo, this egg shaped agate looked like it had a small piece of moss or insect stuck in the middle.

Bottom left in the main photo, this is probably the clearest agate I found last summer. If you look on the photo at the top of this post, this agate is on the bottom left. It looks like it has a white spot. But when you hold it to the light, even the spot is translucent.

Bottom right in the main photo, the lines on this agate show it to be an agatized piece of petrified wood.

The indentation in this agate was formed by a steady drip of water over many years. We're talking hundreds of years here to carve a bowl shape like this out of the agate.

Do you like rockhounding? Do you go out for a walk and return with 'treasures' in your pocket?

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