Helping several ten to twelve year olds enter the water at Snake Rock without tipping their kayaks over, I notice the rock next the where I am squatting and holding a boat steady. There is a thick layer of large crystals, yellowish white in color and cleaving along flat planes, crumbling into the sand and plant growth next to the water. I realize this must be a calcite deposit. I know there is one across the river just down stream of here that I have not yet been to, but have been told about. I friend of mine showed my several quarter sized crystals she found there and they look just like the crystals by my feet. I exclaim in excitement and bring everyone’s attention to them, explaining what they are. Some kids thinks its very cool and collect some, others not so much… Each to their own interests! I love rocks. My yard has rocks in it form everywhere we go. I decorate the garden walls with rocks of all shapes, sizes, colors, dimensions, and characteristics. I know then names of some of them, but not others. Oddly enough, rock identification was not an aspect of geology class that interested much, although I find plate tectonic, earthquakes, and volcanism fascinating. I do not need to know a rocks name in order for it to speak to me, catch my eye, and sweet talk me into carrying it with me for the rest of the hike or paddle I am doing at the time. So now I have several nifty Adirondack calcite crystals hanging out in my herb garden.
Rainy wet day in the Adirondacks, we are herding 60 some odd high school senior girls from New York City down a slow moving section of the Hudson River. They are having a lifetime adventure and loving every minute of it! I am the sweep boat, making sure everyone is accounted for and goes where they are supposed to go. My long green kayak is sitting on a rock bar that juts way out on the inside of a meandering curve in the river. I had to run across the bar to the other side of an island to help a couple of canoes get unstuck and back on course. Walking back to my own boat on the ankle to knee deep rushing water I start noticing the cobbles I am traversing. Wow! So many colors, shapes, sizes, and crystalline structures! I start picking some up for a better look, and get totally absorbed in the amazing variety of rocks surrounding me. A few minutes later, back at my boat, I drop several large heavy specimens into a cargo compartment and hope they don’t shift while I’m paddling. Grey and white marble with green streaks corners smoothed round, egg shaped granite with sparkling mica, quartz with large sharp crystals. I send encouraging words to the girls floating by as I climb back in my boat to help to next girls stuck on the cool rocks!
We have a small spring in our yard beside a car sized boulder under several giant hemlock trees. There is a small cistern build to contain the spring water that the builder of the house used as their drinking water. A small creek empties from the cistern, travels through a culvert under the road and into the stream. There is the remains of an old low rock wall curving from the boulder to just past the cistern. I have a landscaping dream to some day clear out that area, extent the wall, and make small shaded cold water pond. Today, I was playing in that tiny channel of flowing water. I started my dropping a couple of large rocks and watching the flow respond the the obstacle. More rocks, smaller and larger were placed to maximize holding power and block flow. Eventually, I created a small dam, that backed the clear cold water into a small pool. The overflow gurgles down through and over the rocks I placed in the channel creating a soothing burbling stream noise. For now, this is good.