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Apr 13 2011

Living With Geology

John Van Hoesen of Geologic Musings in the Taconic Mountains asks a good question for this month’s Accretionary Wedge: “How much or what kind of ‘geology, have you incorporated into you home / living space?”

If I had my druthers, this house o’ mine would be slathered in stone.  Floors, counters, patio, all stone, of all sorts of varieties.  Sometimes, I stand in the aisles of Home Depot and just dream.  Travertine?  Slate?  Granite?  Gabbro?  Something more exotic?  I love it all.

However.  This is an apartment, and the complex might not take too kindly to me ripping various and sundry bits up and replacing them with a riot of rock.  So I’ve had to make do with hand samples.  They’re everywhere!

Mah not-so-grand entrance

If it’s flat, it’ll fit a rock.  That’s my philosophy.

Richmond Beach rocks

Here’s some lovely bits I collected from Richmond Beach, a sandstone sort of thing in a gorgeous mauve color.  You can see the old mudcracks.  I loves them!  There’s just something about an ordinary moment in time captured forever in stone that way.

Mah table

This is my constant companion, the table I sit by whilst writing.  On it, you’ll find some of my most-treasured treasures.  My spessartine garnet, my garnet schist, my carbonundum.  There’s some petrified wood, and odd unidentified bits I’ve picked up on walks along the area, including a chunk of what I’m nearly certain is marble.  Pretty pebbles, some beautiful pieces of local schist, all gathered from beaches.  A few polished stones from Arizona.  The hematite bracelet my mother got me for Christmas, which showed me she really had been listening to all my geobabble.  And a bit of limestone from Lord Hill.  Limestone’s rare around here, so I treasure it.

Zen garden.  Yes, I made the whole thing, including the building.  Look upon my works, ye mighty, and weep!

I love Zen gardens.  If I could have a yard, I’d have a Zen garden in it.  Have to content myself with Zen in miniature for the moment.  The dark rocks in it are bits of basalt picked up around my home in Flagstaff.  They’re from my childhood stomping grounds, so I treasure them.

Arizona Collection and extras

Here’s my rock collection from my Arizona trip.  You can read about the making of it in Arts and Cats I, II, and III, and a treatise on the finished product here.  Beside it, you’ll see some lovely bits of granite picked up in a Grand Coulee road cut.  Granite’s rare round there, so I treasure it.

You begin to see a theme, I’m sure.

On the other side, various bits and pieces picked up around beaches in the Olympics.  Just cuz.

Breakfast Bar

When I moved in here, I was a little overwhelmed by the white.  Decided early on I’d have to do something about that.  I began with some brown marble tiles from the Home Depot across the road, and rounded out with leftover bits of gabbro countertop that Lockwood kindly saved for me.  And atop those, some beauties gathered on adventures near Mount Rainier.

Richmond Beach collection

Okay, so I went a little nuts on the rock collecting at Richmond Beach.  Look, all sorts of awesome stuff had washed up on the beaches.  And there were endless delights in the railway embankment.  And when it comes to rocks, I haven’t got any willpower at all.

Oregon box

This is stuff I collected when out traveling with Lockwood last September.  I just haven’t got round to deciding where to put it yet.  But the dining table’s nearly empty….

Nightstand fountain

This is where it all began, this little fountain.  Nearly every rock on it is something special I bought: a bit of amethyst from Mount St. Helens, various baubles found in rock shops and gift shops around Seattle, Arizona, and other places.  Believe it or not, that tiny little fountain used to represent most of the rocks I owned.

Olympics collection
Closeup of the best sample

These were all collected during our trip to the Olympics.  Eventually, I’ll have them displayed properly.  They’ve got stories of subduction zones and orogenies to tell.  They’re the last thing I see before I go to sleep.  Well, other than my Lord of the Rings posters, anyway.  One of which has some really interesting fantasy geology in it…

Come back after this summer’s adventuring season, and I’m sure you’ll see plenty more.  Now you know why I’m afraid to ever move.  Between the books and the rocks, it’ll probably cost me a gajillion dollars.  But they’re worth it.

3 comments

  1. 1
    CJR

    Wow. I suddenly feel totally out geo-nerded.

  2. 2
    glacialtill

    You've inspired me to break my rock collection out and display it. I just have to convince the boyfriend to let me keep it out.

  3. 3
    george.w

    Beautiful! That is elevating decor to a whole 'nother level.(If you get the chance sometime, turn off all the lights and shine an ultraviolet light around. There might be some fluorescence.)

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