The Baxter Mine, Inyo County

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The Baxter Mine, Inyo County

My eyes are good enough to cut and paste links if I wear my sunglasses at the screen:

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A road within yet outside of a WA.

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It was a beautiful morning.

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Excellent tour of the the Baxter Mine on YouTube. Comes complete with the requisite twangy banjo music that is on every prospecting or Old West adventure video..

Vision Update

Personal website:



October 19, 2020

Displays and TV continue to put intense pressure on my eyes. I was seen this morning by an ophthalmologist who says I have an infection in my right eye. He’s prescribed antibiotics and a follow on appointment for two weeks from now.

Until the infection is no more, he cannot do a comprehensive examination. With luck he will be able to do that exam in two weeks to tell if the infection was or is the problem, or perhaps an old eyeglass prescription causing strain or perhaps, indeed, too much computer time.

Sunshine Gallery and Gifts Reopens!

Sunshine Gallery and Gifts Reopens!

October 15, 2020

Rolf and Mary’s store is half-way between Tucson and Tombstone. You won’t find a more authoritative mineral dealer anywhere than Rolf Luetcke. Check Mindat. You’ll see. And ask him about catching rattlesnakes. Full article here:

Hello, Tom

Made this sign today to hang on our gate so people can call to come visit the shop.

I’m asking for people to put on masks since Mary and I are both high-risk.

We shall see how things go and tomorrow when I hang this sign on the front and closed gate.   If anyone drives to the gate with a mobile phone, I can go and open in only about half a minute. Not a problem.

We will see how this works.

Just thought I let you know we are trying to get back to some semblance of normal. Rolf Luetcke

Wishing You The Best

Hello to all my readers. I am having a great deal of difficulty using any computer display or monitor I’m dictating this text right now this will be the last post I write until I can get my eyes fixed I cannot look at the screen without being very uncomfortable I’m looking away from the monitor right now I am still going out into the field and you can follow me on Instagram at TG Farley at Instagram but I will not have any descriptions or write any hashtags in those posts instead you’re going to hear audio it’s easy for me to record a video and then press send that’s all I’m capable of doing right now I wish you all luck and I hope you keep exploring and prospecting and finding things Wherever You Are

Back to That Unnamed Canyon in Section Three

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Found a source of confusion that might have resulted in the Baxter Mine being recorded at two very different locations. I am here in Section 3. Sections 9-16 in this township are close, just slightly south and west. But the real Baxter Mine is located in 9-16 in the township north of this township. At least three miles away. The typewritten page with a pen correction is from the State of California Mines and Geology Report in 1951. This GLO monument has been corrected, probably dating back to when the San Bernardino Meridian was finally established for good instead of being just projected in this area. I’m guessing the surveyors corrected the disc in the field instead of fashioning a new one to reflect the locating history. Two groups of rocks exist here, as if the surveyors moved the monument post from its original spot. Don’t know. The concrete marker is near HWY 178, I disc, just the letter ‘C” impressed on its face. #geology #survey#governmentlandoffice#inyocounty#mojavedesert #rocks #desert#borders#surveyinglife

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Probably Not a Wintering Ground

Too few dugouts. Back to that unnamed canyon between Pahrump, Nevada and Shoshone, California.

An Indian Wintering Ground?

Anthropologists, please weigh in.

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Sorry I didn’t take still photos so you could look further. About 12 feet wide, 12 feet deep, about 6 feet high. I suspect native people dug out or enlarged natural openings. There are several in view from this entrance. Prospectors would have used them as temporary shelters so anything that was here was probably damaged or lost. No reason for a prospector to have dug so many with no indication of resources or any exploratory diggings. No obvious pick work. This may have been a wintering ground. While miners and others dug out homes out of clay at Dublin Gulch in nearby Shoshone, there was water there year round. No way to live here in the summer. #geology#mojavedesert #inyocounty#explore#shelter#geology#rocks

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Bird Break!

Bird Break!

(Double click on the image to call up the full size photo)

Hi Tom,

Nice photos. It looks like you have a mix of House Sparrows and House Finches (see attached photo). The sparrows are not native, but are well established in North America. We have lots of House Finches at our feeds, but only a few House Sparrows. Male House Finches get red (or rarely yellow) on the head and breast, but these guys are too young to have much color.

Take care, Jim

Jim Boone, Ph.D., is a professional ecologist who, among many other things, runs It is the best guide to the natural world of Southern Nevada and much of Southern California. Jim has been instrumental in helping save Gold Butte National Monument and is a tireless advocate for conservancy.

Jim and I have a good relation but I didn’t expect him to tag the photo I sent him. I am not a birder but I love birds. You can tell by the photo how much experience you have to have to read birds. The photos below are low-res.

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Rolf Luetcke on Fossils

Hi Tom,

Besides being an “old fossil” , my fossil hunting actually goes back to when I was a kid in Germany. My dads’ family house was near a small town and they had a nice piece of land with the old family house on it. The whole area around the house was crushed rock that was brought in to make an area that didn’t get muddy during rains. In among the pieces of rock there were crinoid fossils. I would sit for hours looking in the gravel for pieces with the rounded fossils in them. I had no idea what they were but I remember looking for them.

Never got into fossils in a big way either but knew a bit about them from my college days.

Didn’t get back to fossils until I moved where we are now. I was taking the dogs on morning walks and when I walked, I rarely slowed down, I have always had a fast pace when I am out and hiking. But, having to pee does make one stop and on one hike I stopped to pee and then always looked around and to my amazement, found a bone in a piece of rock just about a mile West of our house. If I had just found the bone I may not have noticed much but thought it was something a coyote had lost but in this case, the bone was par of the rock of the area, a white caliche like material. That got me looking and before long I saw little bone fragments all over the place.

Home again I researched this and got in touch with the University in Tucson. One of the guys there sent me a paper he had written on the fossil history of the San Pedro River Valley. It seems this area was a study area for major Universities from a few places back in the 1930’s and 40’s. They had found this area rich in mammal fossils from recent times to about 5 million years. I was hooked and started looking more and more. Found a bunch of things and was able to identify quite a few species in what I had come across.

Found all sorts of things of the mammal fossils from the area, including Camel, Mastadon, Rhino, Horse and many more. Fun stuff and I have a nice display in the shop/museum of the finds.

There are a number of much more ancient fossils also in the area and those stones I sent photos of are examples.

Lots of shell fossils in the area limestones too. One spot between Tombstone and Bisbee has wonderful layers and each one a different kind of shell life in it.

Never did get into fossils as I did minerals but it was fun to learn some of the history of the area.

One that was both mineral, fossil and lapidary material is Turitella, a fossil material from the West. I got some nice big pieces of it and did a few into jewelry, quite hard stuff. You may look into getting some for your cutting.

Here is a photo of the Turitella I did a cabachon of, neat stuff.

This is fossil Auricaria cone from Argentina, this piece a friend gave me to cut. This material is somewhat protected now by the Argentine govt. it was mostly smuggled out before.

This one is Stromatolite, a fossil algae, and quite ancient. Got some of this to cut from the Illinois friend.

My knowledge of fossils is not that good but I have had fun with the material I have come across.

I am sure you will come across some also in hunting rock. Petrified wood, or pet wood as we call it, is a good example.

Take care