by geology. Volcanoes, caves, rocks, crystals, hot
springs, you name it, I like it. I have had this fascination ever since
was a child. I think it came about because I spent time in Yellowstone
every summer for my first 18 years. Yellowstone, as
probably know, has the largest concentration of geothermal activity
anywhere in the world. My Mother's family was from Cody, Wyo. which is
the east side of Yellowstone. Cody itself has geothermal formations and
a hot springs in town. There are also huge dried up hot spring craters
on the outskirts of town. In addition, when traveling to Wyoming
from Colorado we always passed through Thermopolis, Wyoming whose
to fame is the worlds biggest hot springs.
I'm not sure
Heather had an affinity for geology when we first got
but she sure does now. We have traveled all of the western US in search
of mining areas, hot springs, volcanoes and caves. In our younger days
we spent a lot of time in caverns in Colorado including Cave of the
Winds, Hubbards Cave, Fairy Cave, Fix'n to Die Cave, Fulford Cave and
Groaning Cave just to name a few. We have also traveled to see every
point of geological interest we know about. Our geological travels have
taken us to Hawaii, Oregon, New Mexico (yes New Mexico does have active
volcanoes), Washington, California, Idaho and Iceland
in search of volcanoes. In 2011 we went to Italy and Sicily on a tour
and climbed all of the active volcanoes. Details of that trip are
I also have a rather substantial library of
geology books with an emphasis on volcanoes.
interesting geologic aside, check out the book "The Deep Hot
Biosphere" by Thomas Gold for a very interesting theory on the
abiogenic origin of petroleum.
is a lava tube we climbed through
See me down there?
is a picture of the spectacular
Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone
is a picture of the Morning Glory
Pool in Yellowstone National
Park. Is this pretty or what?
We are rabid
collectors of rocks and crystals. If you have ever been to
our house you already know that. We have rocks and crystals in every
room of the house, in every closet and in most drawers. Some of our
prise specimens are shown below.
is citrine. This crystal
structure is called a plate because the crystals formed on a somewhat
you can probably tell from the next
series of pictures Heather and I really love amethyst.
specimen below is celestite which
has a wonderful blue gray crystal.
has a wonder iridescent
quality to it. You can see the blue glow in this picture
A find from the fall 2006 Denver mineral show, lapis from
Afghanistan. Its hard to tell from the picture but it has ribbons of
gold colored pyrite flowing through it. It is a really beautiful piece.
Smokey quartz crystals are alway nice. Here is a specimen we got in
This specimen of Rhodochrosite was found in the Sweet Home Mine in
Alma, Colorado. These pieces are somewhat rare.
An Australian boulder opal specimen which we bought at Taos Gem and
Minerals many years ago. We stop at the store every time we go through
Taos. They have a wonderful collection of rocks and gems.
A collection of crystals and an amber tree setting on a slice of slate
with dendritic patterns. The slate was given to us by our friend Mark.
He found it and thought we would like it and we do. This is a
constantly changing display that usually is found on the map table in
our living room. From top clockwise we have our amber tree made for us
by a friend in Denmark from amber he found on the beach, yellow crystal
sulfur, an amethyst stalactite, amazonite we found near Lake George, a
cluster of quartz crystals, rhodochrosite crystal cluster and finally
more quartz crystals that have titanium deposited on them. This makes
and Mineral Shows
Heather and I
routinely attend Denver's mineral shows. The Colorado
& Fossil Show happens
in the spring
and fall as does the Colorado Gem
We have also been to Quartzsite,
for their big gem show. We want to attend the grand daddy of
them all the Arizona
Mineral & Fossil Show
held in Tuscon, Az. but
we haven't got
there yet. One must have something to look forward to.
Museum of Nature & Science has the Coors
which contains a huge selections of rocks and gems.
You should check this out if you haven't already.
I have loved
fluorescent rocks since the first time I saw them as a
child at the Griffith Park
in Los Angeles, CA. I guess there is a little kid still
inside me because I still love them. I have collected quite a
number of specimens over the years, most from EBay but some that
Heather and I have found ourselves. I first bought a portable black
for locating fluorescent
rocks in the
field. This portable black light has both long wave (365 nanometer
wavelength) and short wave (254 nanometer wavelength)
lamps because some rocks respond to one wavelength and some rocks to
the other wavelength. Some fluorescent rocks respond differently to
both types of ultraviolet. EBay has a very active fluorescent rock
area. Click here
to check it out.
After I had accumulated a bunch of these rocks it became clear that I
needed a better way to display them. At about this time I had just
finished setting up my wood working shop so I decided to build a
display case with built in white and ultraviolet light sources.
Switches on the side of the display case control which light is on. The
display case was the first major wood working project I did in my new
shop. Here is a picture of it.
Below is a marginal picture
display case with only the white light on. A white light is built in so
people can see what the rocks look like before being stimulated by
ultraviolet light. Most are very plain and you would never have any
idea of how special they really are. If you picked up many of these
rocks you would just put them back down as they are typically
The picture below was taken with both
the short and long wave lights on. You can see a little of the case in
Below is a closeup of the rocks doing their thing. This picture barely
does justice to the glowing rocks. They are much more impressive up
close and personal. We have rocks that glow in about every color of the
rainbow. Some of the rock exhibit phosphoresce meaning they continue to
glow even though the ultraviolet lights are turned off. Some
phosphorescent rocks will glow dimly for hours after exposure. Some
other rocks exhibit tenebrescents meaning that the physical color of
the rock changes after exposure to ultraviolet. If these rocks are then
put into the sun, their natural color will return.
When I do my fluorescent rock display show for guests I never fail to
get a gasp when people first see the glowing rocks. They are truly a
wonder of nature. If you asked me nicely the next time you are at our
house, I'll give you a personal show.