More Fluorite Cleaned End of April

I caught up on my websites last night and then decided to do some more cleaning this morning, both additional fluorite pieces and the house. During my cleaning last week, I actually discovered a few pockets of cubes in large pieces that were covered by calcite, and photographed a few of them today.

2 Cooking Three Up

…and here is one of the large pieces that I cooked last week and discovered this pocket hiding inside behind all the calcite…

2 Pocket Found During Cleaning with Galena

here is another one that this face of crystals was hidden behind a thick crust of calcite….

2 This Face Revealed by Cleaning

…here is one of the groupings of clusters I cleaned up today….

2  Another Grouping Cleaned Up

..the one on the far side leaning on the near one, was yet another piece where the cubes were hidden behind some thick calcite crust…another one I was glad that it cleaned up so nicely to reveal some really nice big cubes…

2 Another Cluster Found After Cleaning 2

..and another view of it here…

2 Beautiful Cluster Cleaned Up

..and a second grouping here too….

2  More Cubes Cleaned Up


and a third grouping….

2 Big Ones Cleaned Up

..the one on the left is a nice plate with large cubes on the front and back side both…it had alot of rust colored stains on it that I removed first with Super Iron Out and then today I placed it in the Muriatic Acid to remove the calcite and clean it back up…it actually looks much better now…

2 Huge Front and Back Cluster

..this side has alot more cubes than the other side, so I didnt even photograph the other side…

I have two larges ones with something on them that resembles sand,but it wont come off with either solution so I`m guessing I get to keep it no matter what…one is this one, which as cubes on both sides of the piece…

2 Large Cluster Cleaned Up

..and here is the top of the piece with the large cubes and the yellow sand looking stuff and some white spots all over it…

2 Large Cluster Cubes

There were two nice clusters that I found at the Eureka Mine this year, both cleaned up very nicely with the help of the Muriatic Acid, the first one has a ridge of nice cubes on either side of it…

2 Deep Purple Cluster Cleaned Back Side is the back side of it…deep purple with a hint of yellow imbedded in them…

2 Deep Purple Cluster Cleaned 2

..and here is the other side….also deep purple in the center especially and some translucent cubes on the side as you can see…

2 Deep Purple Cluster Cleaned

..and here lightened up a bit for the front side…

2 Deep Purple Cluster Cleaned Lightened Up

..and here are the cubes closer up….

and the other one I soaked for a day in Jet Blue Liquid Detergent to give it some extra shine…since I couldnt find any sausheen detergent…

2 Deep Purple Cluster


2 Deep Purple Cluster 3


2 Deep Purple Cluster 4

here is also one of the smaller ones I found at the Eureka, which turned out to be very pretty and translucent as well…

2 Palm Sized See Thru Cluster


2 Palm Sized See Thru Cluster 2



Cleaning Fluorite

I decided to get caught up on yard work and mulching and cleaned up some of my fluorite I recently found at the Eureka Mine near Marion, Kentucky, the past few weeks as well. I dipped them into muriatic acid to clean off the massive amounts of calcite that we found them in this year, and burned the calcite crusts and druse coverings off, as you can see in the following images….I do this outside on a fairly windy day so there is no danger of fumes and I place the tray up high so no pets or kids can get to it either, plus I always stay right nearby….

here are some images of the main cluster I wanted to clean off…

Before Before Cluster


Before Cluster 2

…and here it is, cooking in the acid in the tray…

Cooking Calcite

..and up close in one corner of the tray…

Cluster Cooks in One Corner

..and here you can see the progress I`m making with it…

Another Before Shot 3 actually burned it off quite quickly, I was impressed with it cause I wasnt standing there very long before I was pulling it out and turning it around and putting it back in…

Cubes On One Side Cleaned Off

..and here is is drying off….

After the Muriatic Acid Bath

..and here are several others that I was able to clean off as well…

Several Clusters Cleaned Up



..and one showing calcite holding the crystals together more or less….so I`m going to leave it as is…

Calcite Holding This One Together

this one started off looking like this with calcite on it and palm sized….

Started Palm Sized Then Disintegrated

..and then during the cleaning process, the acid ate so much calcite off, the piece literally disintegrated on me to wind up like this….

Left Some Calcite On This Cluster

…I`ll be doing some more cleaning this weekend and will post more results then…


Clement Mine Group Dig April 2011

Thank God for Tylenol !!

Its probably the only reason, besides maybe a combined soak in my hot tub last night, that I was able to get out of bed this morning. What a weekend in Marion, Kentucky !!

We had a good turnout, full house at the group dig on Saturday, April 2nd, great weather, made several new friends and saw several old friends as well, and everyone found some great stuff to take home. I didnt see anyone leave that wasnt happy with what they found there this weekend.

Missy and I left town about 10 am Friday and headed down to Kentucky, opting to travel by interstate all the way down there, so we drove through Illinois once again this trip down and back. I stopped off in Paducah this trip to visit a good friend who is a very talented painter and photographer there, Jeff Spicer, and we yakked for the better part of the afternoon before Missy and I headed on down to Eddyville. First order of business after checking in at the motel was supper at the Oasis Southwest Grill in Kuttawa, one of the best steakhouses I have ever had the pleasure of dining at. Reminds me of a Lone Star Steakhouse but even better atmosphere and much more well lit, and the folks that work there are very friendly and customer service oriented. I have never seen so many managers and assistant managers roam the dining rooms and check on things like they do there. I opted to have the grilled chops dinner this time and boy was it good…two center cut chops marinated and glazed with your choice of honey mustard sauce or their signature barbecue sauce, and I chose the bbq sauce and it was delicious. The chops were large, and you get either one or two with your meal, and grilled to perfection. With the steamed broccoli and Idaho baked potato and their addictive dinner rolls, I was in hog heaven afterward. 🙂

Missy and I rose early the next day, excited to get down to the museum and visit with Tina and Ed and VJ and Bill and see who all showed up to dig…we arrived about 8:15 am and found about ten diggers already there and some touring the museum as well. Talk about a first class rock and mineral museum…words just dont do this place justice at all, and several have tried in years past…but this place is very much worth the five dollar entrance fee and take the walking tour if at all possible, because these people know how to walk you through the pages of history with a view of beautiful fluorite and other crystals and minerals specimens, that will knock your socks off !!

I visited with everyone and met up with Ian Merkel and his friend Marty from upper state New York, and then found Bruce Skubon from the Philly area, just before Ed rounded everyone up outside to further their cause and give his safety talk as well. And what a cause they have there…folks there just arent that many places where a rockhound can go anymore these days, and find a place like this, a group of people with access to great mineral laden locations, that are willing to allow rockhounds access to dig to your hearts content, for a small fee. THIS is a good cause !!

We headed out to the mine and parked, Ed graciously allowed me to park up in the woods again, to provide Missy with some shade, and everyone walked up with their tools and buckets and began checking out the material we had found last week and left for them. Bill had come down earlier and started the pump, but wasnt satisfied with the way it was operating and returned to town to see if he could find a better one. In the meantime, the group filtered around the piles and down in the pit where they could go, and began looking for material.

At the museum, Tina had pointed out a birthday boy to me so I picked out some poker chip calcite crystals I had brought with me and gave it to his dad, they were settled in on the end of the smaller tailing pile and digging in to find fluorite. I walked around and assisted several other rockhounds in finding some nice stuff, surface collecting wise.

Once the water was low enough to work the pit, several rockhounds jammed into the small area and began to work. Here the pit is full of rockhounds at work…

2 Busy as Beavers

In the next image, Ian is shown washing off the purple crown to check things out…

3 Ian Washes Off Purple Crown

…while Ethan in the dark blue shirt and Marty in the gray shirt, chisel into the ledge to look for more pockets…

4 People Stop To Watch Ian


5 Marty and Ethan Work the Ledge

..while Bruce tackled the entire saddle singlehandedly and worked the pockets he found waiting there…

Bruce Finds ALot of Pockets

..and boy did he liberate some nice crystals out of those pockets….…in fact he liberated some nice plates from those pockets….

18 Beautiful Plate Recovered by Bruce

..and while they were working in the pit, several more worked the big pile, some seen here on the front side and some not seen on the backside…

8 the Big Pile Was Popular

…but the main focus was on the pit and the pockets found there last week that remained for others to work on this week…

9 Hard At Work on Crystals

…here are some photos of the pockets that greeted Bruce Saturday morning on the saddle…

10 Saddle Pockets


11 Saddle Pocket Up Close


12 Saddle Pocket Close Up

….deep purple cubes with calcite and smithsonite surrounding them……

13 Big Cubes in This Saddle Pocket

…from all those pockets, here are a few plates that Bruce was able to liberate….

14 Bruce Did Well


15 More Finds of Bruce


16 Bruce Knows How To Recover Crystals


17 More Crystals for Bruce

By 4 pm on Saturday, many of the group had departed for home or other adventures…Bruce and his wife along with Ethan and Melissa driving south to see Mammoth Cave on Sunday before heading home with a thirteen hour drive ahead of them. When Bill made his last trip out to check on us, he found five of us left digging, Ian and Marty, Phillip and Shirley from the Danville area, and me. Phillip and Shirley were checking out the tailing piles and I had found a stash of crystals and clusters in one of the pit banks.  We stayed til around 6 pm, vowing to return early the next morning and find some more goodies.

Ian, Marty, and I headed back to Eddyville to clean up and get some dinner…as we approached Hwy 62, we observed about twenty turkeys walking toward the highway through a field of tall brown grass…believe me, I`m still kicking myself for not stopping in the highway to photograph them…sure was a neat sight to see…countless times I`ve seen them feeding in fields or flying or walking through the woods, but never have I seen them walking through a field like that…

We chowed down at the Oasis Grill and I had the same thing once again, it had just been so good the night before and I was very hungry once again. It was just as good tonight too. Despite being in a dry county, Ian and Marty were able to order a few Sam Adams brews and enjoyed their food as well. They took off to wash clothes after and I decided to catch up on emails before hitting the hay for the night.

We headed to the mine about 7 am and arrived to find Bill heading out after starting up the pump for us and leaving some forms for us to sign. Luckily the pit didnt fill as high with water as we thought it might and we were able to get started digging fairly fast.

Marty and Ian began working the fracture vein again and I started in on the banks again, and between the three of us, we began pulling out crystals and clusters right and left. After about an hour, we heard some vehicles coming down the hill and low and behold, some additional rockhounds showed up from Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee, adults and kids alike. I called Bill and told him we needed some more forms and he responded quickly and found several eager rockhounds that had been placed on the waiting list for Saturday, ready to dig today. Pretty soon, the pit had a few more rockhounds working in it…

22 Sunday AM Pitt Workers

Jack and his son, Cameron, were two of the first ones to show up and eventually made their way over next to me and since I was only staying til noon, I gave them a few crystals I was finding in the bank and gave them my spot when I wore out and decided to stop digging. I was quite happy with the stuff I found this weekend and only too happy to share it with others. Sorry I didnt get any photos of you and Cameron stretched out in the mud digging for crystals, Jack. 🙂

Ian and Marty had flown into St Louis` Lambert International Airport so they had to leave shortly after I did, to catch their flights back home. Here they are shown checking out some last specimens and wrapping things up…

23 Standing Next to Their Finds

..and happy with their finds….

21 Marty and Ian

…and ready to come back another time to find more goodies…me too guys, will be back down in June for the weekend celebration, hope to see yall there then…

Clement Mine Dig 2011

I returned from my Florida trip on Monday, somewhat rested up on Tuesday, tried to catch up by editing up  photos while working around fire calls, then returned to work Wednesday night and Thursday evening, I drove into work and stayed til 2 am, then drove from St Louis to  Marion, Kentucky, as we were scheduled to start the dig at 8 am Friday morning. Since I was leaving from work Thursday night, I opted to leave Missy at home and my parents would pick her up, on their return from Florida Friday morning and take her to spend the weekend with them.  It turned out to be a great decision due to the weather we experienced down there over the two days, rain and lots of muddddd…..the type of mud you get on your boots and cant get off easily…take a step and get a six inch thick glob of mudd on your boots…yeah that kind of icky mudd. Missy would have been a muddy mess and I would have been an unhappy camper.

I arrived about 6 am and drove out to the mine, finding someone had been thoughtful enough to leave the gate open for me,  so I drove on down the hill,  crossed the creek and parked at the mine. I cranked my seat back and took a 45 minute nap, the sun waking me up just short of 7 am….I knew Mike and the guys would be arriving shortly, so I got out and walked around a bit to see if I could find anything and see what changes had occurred since my last visit……

Before We Started Digging Friday AM

…I saw the pit looked relatively the same as the the last dig that I had been to in October last year…but alot of dirt and mud had fallen down from the walls on the high side and accumulated in the pit,  on the west side especially. This was the high wall that I had dug into, at the base last fall and found some beautiful crystals, next to a couple of nice gentlemen from Indiana. I looked around the edges and located some nice small clusters just sitting on top of the dirt where they had apparently weathered out of the older tailing piles. I snagged a few of them and placed them in my truck…here was one I found hiding in the dirt, I placed it up on top of the high bank for someone to find…

Hiding In a Crevice

and these two that were just hanging around….

Just Hanging Around if anyone asks me if there is really fluorite that can be found there anytime, I`m going to point them out to this story as living proof that YES, one can definitely find some nice stuff there anytime.

About twenty minutes later, Mr. Crider and his son showed up and fired up the track hoe and bulldozer, and shortly after that, the rest of my crew drove in as well…Mike, Bill, and Thomas from North Carolina, and Jeff from Georgia…having arrived the day before, they were freshly rested up and ready to explore and free more beautiful fluorite crystals from captivity…in other words, we were
” READY TO ROCK ” !!!!!

Mr. Crider got together with Mike to find out what we needed him to do and then he began his work. ..while his son operated the bulldozer….we widened the pit a little bit, digging out part of the old shaft area, and dug out about twenty feet of dirt and rock in front of the vein area to the north…..resulting in this newer pit at the end of the dig…

Freshly Dug Out, Now Pumping It Out

..and then just pumping down the remaining water from the pit….

Getting Pit Pumped Down

….Jeff worked the pump while Bill assisted in the pit moving the hose around to get as much water as possible out….Mike and Thomas worked at finding some pockets to work while this was going on and liberated a few large chunks of fluorite while waiting for the water level to go down…

Getting Pit Pumped Down Friday After Dig

and as this was going on, Mr. Crider created some new tailing piles, one huge pile full of goodies behind the pit and one row of piles between the pit and the logging road…

Tailing Pile Along Road Edge of Pit

After that I put my camera away and we concentrated on finding pockets of beautiful fluorite crystals, many of them laden with calcite crystals, some with greenockite, and all over the place…pry bars were used and several large plates were liberated from the fractures of limestone…the following photos will give you a good idea of what we found last Friday…

Floor of Pocket Mike and Jeff Worked

… is the floor of one of the fractures we worked Friday and in the next image, I am standing on the floor of that fracture…

Cubes and Calcite in Pockets All Over 4

…….here is a close up of those pockets at my feet….

Cubes and Calcite in Pockets All Over 3

….as you can see, pockets of cubes all over….it gets better though….

Cubes and Calcite in Pockets All Over

…. here is  a photo of the bigger of the pockets up close…

Bigger of the Pockets in Floor of Fracture 2

Bill is shown working on a pocket off to the side about ten feet away from us here…

Bill Hammers Into Chunk is one of the nice chunks that Bill found later Friday and liberated….with a large calcite crystal sitting on top, something we rarely see at the Eureka Mine….in fact have never seen before or again since….

Calcite Crystal on Top of Cubes

… is yet another specimen of beautiful deep purple fluorite we found…

Chunk with Calcite Druse and Cubes

..and a close up of it…….

Chunk with Calcite Druse and Cubes 2

this next one is what Bill found in one of his many pockets Friday….several chunks with galena lead cubes all over them….

Galena Lead Pieces Bill Found

…this was a large heavy chunk found with cubes all over one side of it…

Large Piece Dark Purple Cubes All Over

Weather wise, we started out with cloudy skies on Friday, but by mid morning it started sleeting but changed over to all rain, all day, as the temps warmed. Saturday was a bit of a repeat, starting out cloudy only, then the rain settled back in about noon…we would have rather had the sleet than the rain…

One of the nicer pockets that Mike found along the way, resulted in this beautiful chunk coming out….

Large Pocket Extricated by Mike

and resulted in this next photo when he brought it up on top of the hill….

Mike Happy With Pocket Piece He Extricated

and shown here with a few other pieces that came from the same pocket….

Pocket Pieces Mike Extricated

all in all, we found a lot of deep purple this year and several encrusted with calcite crystals like these….

Rectangular Piece From Pocket


Several Found with Calcite and Cubes


Several Found with Calcite and Cubes 2


Small Pieces of Cubes Clusters from Pocket


Medium Sized Chunk of Cubes from Pocket


Medium Sized Piece with Calcite Druse



..and even large pieces, talking 180 to 200 lbs each, with alot of calcite and galena cubes on them…

Another Big One with Calcite and Cubes

We had a great time, despite the weather, and found a lot of nice material, and spread even more of it around the sides of the pit for everyone to find. I received a call Saturday about noon from home, my Mom letting me know that they were getting hit with a major winter storm, thunder sleet and thundersnow falling, two inches of sleet on the ground and now the snow coming down with flakes as big as your hands…and more coming…so I decided I had better get on the road soon…I called one of my meteorologist friends at Channel Five News in St Louis and was told that the storm was due to hit St Louis anytime and that I would likely hit heavy snow and sleet around Mt Vernon, but the roads should remain just wet since we had warmer temps the last few days…

So we split up the finds and I took off about 2 pm and headed north toward Missouri….and sure enough, just west of Mt Vernon I started west into heavy snow and some sleet falling…the farther west I went, the bigger the flakes and the prettier it looked, heavy wet snows always make everything look pretty…

Approaching St Louis Winter Wonderland



Halfway to St Louis Heavier Snow


Winter Wonderland Along I-64 in IL

..I crossed the river into St Louis with the snow having moved out of the area and the roads still wet…

St Louis Arch and Riverfront



..and traffic was so heavy at the turnoff to I-44 that I just continued west to Big Bend and then went south to I-44, crossing the tracks in Webster…. I had to stop on the bridge anyway so just shot the scene down the railroad tracks…

Webster`s Rail Line from Murdoch

and then I started up the grade at Antire Hill and shot this one…

Starting Up Antire Hill

..and as I got closer to home, I figured I would stop at Shaws Arboretum in Gray Summit, and photograph the neat little lake over there…

Arboretum Lake and Footbridge


Daffodils and Dogwoods in Snow

Luckily everyone arrived home safe and sound last weekend, and now we are preparing for the weekend and group dig this weekend. I look forward to seeing everyone at the group dig Saturday.

Florida Trip and Diamond Hill Quartz

My Mom decided back in the fall that she wanted to celebrate her ten year remission from cancer, in a warm and sunny location during the winter this year, and when my sister told her that she and Brad and my nephew and nieces were planning a trip to Orlando during spring break, Mom decided that would be the perfect time and place to go as well.  When she asked me to go with them, I decided it would be a great opportunity to do some rock and mineral collecting and since I would be driving down a few days ahead of them,  some photo shoots as well. With the problems everyone was having getting through the airline security lines and anticipating taking my rockhounding tools with me, knowing what problems it would create, I opted to drive down instead. One night at work, I figured out the mileage roundtrip,  and figured out my fuel consumption would average out to the same cost as airline tickets round trip. So I planned my vacation the week before my Kentucky Mine Dig weekends, taking off eight days for the trip. Monday the 14th, we woke up to five inches of snow on the ground and I sure hoped this wasnt going to be a treacherous drive down, but my prayers were answered the next morning when Missy and I left town mid morning to a cool but sunny day. After a long day on the road, we arrived in Atlanta where we stayed an extra day with good friends Tad Boomer and his partner Roger. After a little small talk, we were soon asleep in the basement guest room.

The next morning Missy and I slept in a bit, visited with Tad and checked my emails, and then Missy and I headed over to Watkinsville, to visit with a new rock and mineral dealer friend, Chet Karwoski, who I had been talking to for about a year regarding the Diamond Hill Mine, and skeletal quartz specimens. Up to recent times, Chet had owned and operated the mine, only recently selling the mine to a friend of his, and we had discussed possibly trading some crystals, so I brought some poker chips and druse quartz down for him. We had agreed to meet mid afternoon and about 3 pm Missy and I arrived at his beautiful rural home and visited with him and his wife Gail, who is an author of childrens books. We talked about various mines and minerals and crystals a while before getting into the actual show and tell and trade. Chet has some gorgeous large specimens of skeletal quartz in his front yard, four of them shown below that required a small crane to place into position in his yard….

Large Skeletal Quartz Yardrock at Chets


..this one a very pretty specimen with both the iron oxice stained orange crystals and the black manganese coating on the crystals…

Large Skeletal Quartz CloseupLarge Yardrocks Skeletal Quartz Chets House

Large Yardrock Skeletal Quartz Chets HouseLarge Yardrock Skeletal Quartz Backside

…we traded for some smaller crystals, most of them the pretty skeletal quartz, but I also selected a few of the amethyst and smokey quartz crystals too. Here are a few of my trades…

Large Plate with Amethyst CrystalAmethyst Crystal on End of Skeletal PiecePalm Sized Chunk Amethyst & SmokeySmaller Cluster of Skeletal QuartzSmall Amethyst & Smokey Cluster

Diamond Hill Mine is a neat mine with a huge tailing pile area to dig through that produces some very beautiful smokey quartz and amethyst crystals and huge plates and chunks, like those pictured above, of skeletal quartz. Its located about two hours north of Atlanta near Abbeville, South Carolina.  Since I didnt have enough time this trip and since it had rained recently with the mud making it nearly impossible to dig there,  I decided I would come back in the fall season instead. The next day we continued on down to Florida for a few days of fun and relaxation, photo shoots, and family time…for the rest of that story, check out my other blog site

Rockhunting Mid February 2011

Missy and I woke up about 11:30 am this morning and headed south to do some rock hunting at the secret location…tired of being cooped up the last few weeks due to the snow and ice. As I drove in on the main dam road, the wind was really blowing today, dirt and dust was coming across the hood of my truck for the first quarter mile in on the road pretty thick, so I decided to drive on over to the non windy side and as I made it over there, I spotted a lone poker chip on my left side and stopped to pick it up.

We started looking around both sides of the dam road, checking out the washed out areas first and found some nice plates of druse and quickly filled two bags with it. Kaye couldnt go today, was helping take a friend to the doctors office, so she had asked me to find her a nice druse plate or two.  Believe me, I was turning several over looking for some, found a few nice smaller ones  and then all of a sudden, turned one over at the base of the hill….

Turned This One Over

and ” Oila “, big beautiful bubbles on the other side !

Sand Side Discovered

Still not sure what color the bubbles really are tho…due to the heavy clay stain on them now…hopefully by tomorrow morning I will have a good idea what color they are…well while down there admiring it, I heard a new dog yapping and yelping and ran up to the truck to discover that Missy and I had a visitor….

Cute Little Guy

…what a cute little guy was sitting by my truck talking to Missy….so little I almost didnt see him even…and a bit malnourished…looked like he hadnt been fed in a while…what a time to be out there with no food. I had a spare bottle of water tho, so I pulled a bowl out of the cab and poured it in and boy did he start lapping it up…confirming my suspicions that he was very hungry…

I left him to drink some more water and wandered back down to my new discovery and lo and behold, he followed me and Missy every step of the way after that…when it came time to drive down to the lower location and check things out, he followed us back to truck and after looking into those big brown eyes of his,  I didnt have the heart to leave him there…so I put a towel down in the back seat and lifted him up and placed him on the back seat. He sniffed around my fire gear and then stretched out nice as you please across the towel. I actually was thinking of taking him home with us….then he became sick a few times in the truck and luckily I had put a thick towel down, and that took care of the mess. Strangely enough, Missy seemed fine with him, something I hadnt figured on for sure.

Cute Little Guy Followed Me All Over

On the way home shortly after, I dropped him off at the local police station and the officer told me that they had plenty of food and water for him and would keep him around for a few days in case someone came in to claim him. After that, he would be picked up by the local Humane Shelter. At least I know he is in good hands and will be taken care of til they find a good home for him. He seems like a nice little pup.

Cabin Fever Late December 2010

Well last Tuesday, December 28th, I had cabin fever and since I was off and the weather was halfway decent, I decided to drive down and see what could be found around the secret spot…I had emailed Docia and she said they only had a dusting there, so Missy and I drove down and found about two inches of snow on the ground…I checked a couple of the side roads first and found a few nice druse and poker chip combos…..

First Three FoundFirst Druse Chip Combo Found

…and decided to drive down to one of the lower locations just to see if I could find anything walking around…as I started down there, I decided to take an interconnecting road that I hadn`t explored yet, which connected me to the old path and once on the old path, I was driving down through a stretch where some of the original rocks had been placed in a muddy area and for some reason I looked to the left and a bright sparkle caught my eye. I stopped and backed up and there in the snow was a medium sized druse with a nice poker chip or two attached….

Waving At Me As I Drove By

…we hadnt been down this road in quite some time…I`m thinking it must have been sitting here the whole time covered in dust and dirt most likely….cleaned from rainfall since then…it sparkles alot more in person let me tell ya, than the photo shows…I wrapped it up and placed it in the cab with me…and we drove on down the road.

Well there was snow all over the rocks and I didn`t want to climb around in the snow on the rocks, just in case,  so I decided to check the outer areas for druse instead. I grabbed two bags and started checking the edges and within a few minutes, I figured out I hadn`t grabbed enough bags…I came up on several plates of bubbly drusy quartz and soda straws of glittering smokey colored quartz crystals…talk about EXCITED !!!

We find a lot of colors there, clear, pink, yellow, gray, tan, brown, blue, and smokey is by far my favorite color of druse to find…but we don`t see alot of it, so I was very excited when I saw several plates of it that had eroded out of the clay, and within a few minutes, I had filled two bags with the plates.

Here is one of them still coated in clay….

Plate Found In Clay

Hopefully by tomorrow, I`ll be able to get a few more photos taken of the plates that I brought back…here is another one of some that I found while there…

2nd Set Found

and only found one double down there this trip…but found a lot of drab gray druse pieces with some nice poker chips attached to brighten them up, one a few photos above had a nice yellow chip attached.

Druse FoundPink Tinted Druse PieceBubbly Druse on Limestone 2Druse Plate with Hematite BallsSmall Chip Attached to Small Druse 2Small Chip Attached to Small DruseBib Bubbles of Druse

..and here is the rest of the story…druse plates and poker chip chunks and combos, that I have set out in the yard to let Mother Nature clean up for me….my water hose doesnt work too well this time of year. 🙂

The Rest of the StoryThe Rest - Big Plate of BubblesThe Rest - Plates Waiting for Mother NatureThe Rest - More Plates WaitingThe Rest - Lots of Plates Waiting

..and there you have it…

Arkansas Quartz Nov 2010

I took my mini fall vacation and headed south to the Hot Springs area for a few days off, had to cut a day out of the normal plans due to the recession and some cut backs, to make it happen, and since I didn`t stay at Mountain Harbor this year, I cut the Bear Mtn Mine visit out this trip and went to Miller Mtn Mine instead…I did pretty good there, found a large chunk for my rock garden right off the bat…it cleaned up nicely and is sitting out in the yard now letting Mother Nature scrub it down and clean it off, but there are some nice crystals on the sides of it.  I don`t think anything I have found this year, yard rock wise, can top that 200 lb chunk I found at Bear Mountain Mine back in September with Jimmy E there with me.

Large Boulder I Found Now In My Rock Garden

Large Boulder I Found Pocket

…but I had a lot of fun at Miller Mountain Mine again this trip, and believe it or not, Missy and I arrived about 8 am to find ourselves the first ones there, and we had the place to ourselves for about an hour…we stayed for about six hours and I left with four bags full and six medium sized yard rocks as well…and there were only three other diggers there when we left. Here are some of my finds from there, all cleaned up of course.

Assortment of Small Ones FoundLittle Cluster Found

Nice Chunk Found

this one had some smokey colored crystals, still have some clay pockets to clean out but its looking like there might be some genuine smokey crystals in there…

Nice Chunk Found 2Quartz Cluster FoundSingle Point and Burr



Small Cluster FoundSmall Lemon ClusterSmall Point FoundSmokey Colored Quartz Cluster


















Arkansas in the Fall 2010

Well I traveled back down to the great state of Arkansas for my fall trip last week, and decided to stay in Hot Springs on Lake Hamilton this year, since Mountain Harbor was completely booked with two events…but after giving it a lot of thought, decided I was going to do some more photo shoots down closer to Hot Springs and would only have time to work one dig in for quartz crystals this trip….it made more sense to stay in Hot Springs this time.

Missy and I slept in just a little bit and then headed to Miller Mountain the next morning…arriving shortly after 7:30 and finding out we were the first arrivals of the day….after talking to Faith and checking in while Bill was bringing up fresh dirt piles, I drove over to the parking area and let Missy out to stretch her legs as I prepared to find some nice quartz.

On Arrival 8 AM

Well I didn`t have to wait long to find something nice and big…soon after lacing up my boots and grabbing my rake and bags, I ambled behind the truck to the first pile and found a very large quartz chunk with crystals all over one end and both sides…so I backed my truck up and loaded it right up…then decided to do some surface collecting while I had the place to myself….I filled half a bag with smaller crystals laying around in sight and soon after, another couple of folks showed up to look for quartz too…they turned out to be a nice couple from Topeka, Kansas, and were like me, just looking for anything pretty to take home…I helped them locate some nice crystals while digging into a few of the piles near the parking lot…I was mainly still surface collecting but if I located something, I would dig down and see what else was nearby and usually there were quite a few small clusters and points nearby. I filled two bags pretty quickly….within the first hour I dug out a couple of smaller clusters of smokey colored crystals…and was quite happy with them…decided even if I found nothing else the rest of the day, my day was complete with them…but as it was, in the five hours I was there, I did find quite a few nice singles and clusters…

Missy Checks Things Out

…here Missy is seen on one of her many jaunts around the tailing piles checking things out…with the beautiful fall foliage in full display near the entrance to Miller Mountain Mine…

Foliage Near Entrance

…mind you, this is only the rocks part of the story of the trip…if you want to see the rest of the trip, you have to visit my blog site with the landscapes, waterfalls, sunsets, and beautiful models, found at

Secret Spot Once More

After listening to the forecasters last night talking about rain all day on Sunday, I decided to head back to the secret spot again today to take advantage of the continued great fall weather…I checked with Kay before I left town, but she was restricted to wedding detail today and couldn`t make it, so Missy and I headed south a little after 11 am.

We arrived to find a very high wind and dust blowing everywhere….

A Little Dusty

…so thick as I drove across the flats, that at times I couldn`t even see the front of the hood on my truck….

A Little Dusty TodayA Little Dusty and Hard to See Thru

I drove across to the far side and decided to see if I could find some druse first this trip. I grabbed a bag and my rake and headed down the slope of the upper location to see what could be located today…here is the view from the bottom of the slope…

Sure Was a Nice Day...80 Degrees

After finding two nice pieces of druse right out of the truck, I soon discovered there were quite a few chunks of nice poker chips all over the slope as well as druse, and it didn`t take me long to find the first nice chunk of druse with poker chips attached….


First One Found Druse and Poker Chips Chunk

..I no sooner stuck this one in the bag, than I turned around and saw the second one, very pretty and my first find of the day….

2nd Find of the Day

…this one about the size of a softball and very nice and colorful, despite having been out in the sun all summer….a few steps away, I found these two close together….

3rd Find Two Together

The 4th find, turned out to be my second surprise and second find of the day…it doesn`t look like it here, but following advice from Docia, I dug it out….

4th Find...Dug Out Looking Better

….and then I turned it over to see the other side….

4th Find...Rolled Over...WOW

…and I was like WOW…..carried that one up to the truck and wrapped it up right then….came back to within five feet of my bag, that I had left near the bottom of the hill, and found number five….

5th Find...Five Feet from Bag

…a nice druse with hematite balls and a poker chip attached….and found these two pretties sitting in the sand next to the truck…

2 Found by My Truck

…then I came back down to the bottom of the slope and found Missy sittin pretty and looking out across the moonscape….

Missy Sittin Pretty

…then I turned and spotted another pretty….

14 Was a Sweet Find

…there was no doubt that fourteen was going home with me…very sweet poker chip here……and then I turned around and spotted these two close together….

15 and 16 Close Together

…lets see if you can find number 17 in this mess… was easy for me…I almost stepped on it…why you have to watch where you step at all times in a rock strewn field like I was in….

17th...Can You Find It17th Closer Up...Real Beaut

..sometimes you never know where you will find them…this one was partially hiding on me under a big rock….

19 Up Closer

..and this beauty was pulling the out in plain site maneuver and sitting pretty in the sand when I spotted it….

20th Sitting Pretty in Sand

…while number 21, a nice druse plate with a poker chip or two attached, was nestled in some rocks while I was walking back to the truck…I actually spotted 22, 23, and 24 and sat my bag down next to 21….


22 and 23 Big Ones24th near Truck

…and I found this nice little number as I was getting near the road…large druse chunk with multicolored crystals….large crystals on it too….well I loaded all of these up and then decided to drive down to the lower spot, I had had enough of the dust blowing around and wanted to get out of the wind for a while and check out the pockets again….

Quarry Pockets Worked

the upper pocket into the slope is the pocket I worked yesterday and again today at first….after removing poker chips and nice druse plates from the upper pocket, I discovered the pocket going deeper and back toward where I was sitting….on top of yet another pocket, hence the lower pocket where you see my red hand rake sitting…I pulled some nice druse plates with big poker chips attached to them…you will see them in the next few photos….

Finds Today in PocketsDruse and Poker Chip Combos Found

and one more a little closer up….

Three Clusters Today

…all in all a great day weather wise and finds wise….now they are calling for morning showers tomorrow and clear and sunny skies in the afternoon….hmmmmm wonder what I could find to do tomorrow….