Detecting on Desert Pavement

Desert pavement is a mix of stones and pebbles that looks like a parking lot made up of flattened gravel. Surface rocks are bound tightly together in a mosaic like pattern. Wind has scoured this rock and gravel of its sand and other lighter material over millions of years. Detecting should be considered if a great deal of quartz is present. Values should be better exposed than the nearby desert with its always present overburden of alluvium. Desert pavement is ecologically fragile and should never be driven on.

Detecting on Desert Pavement from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


Photo of surrounding area. This is near HWY 160 and Crystal Road in southern Nye County, Nevada.


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The Coolest Looking Watch in The World? Or Out of This World?

This is my etched and polished slice of the Saint Aubin meteorite that I bought last year from Aerolite Meteorites. It shows a Widmanstätten pattern and what are called shock lines. The Widmanstätten pattern isn’t found in terrestrial rocks, consequently, it is diagnostic for many meteorites.

I’ve just found out that Omega has produced watches with dials made from thin slabs of etched meteorites with this distinct pattern. Each dial would be unique as a fingerprint or snowflake, no two alike. Very cool.





More information on this used Speedmaster Moonwatch “Grey Side of the Moon” is at Bob’s Watches, an honest and reliable seller with great service. (Believe me, I know.) As to the price, yes, you guessed it. It is out of this world.

https://www.bobswatches.com/omega/omega-speedmaster-meteorite-dial-grey-side-of-the-moon.html

More on the Widmanstätten pattern from the Britanica

https://www.britannica.com/science/Widmanstatten-pattern

“Widmanstätten pattern, also called Widmanstätten figure, lines that appear in some iron meteorites when a cross section of the meteorite is etched with weak acid. The pattern is named for Alois von Widmanstätten, a Viennese scientist who discovered it in 1808. It represents a section through a three-dimensional octahedral structure in the metal that is formed of bands of kamacite with narrower borders of taenite, the meshes being filled with a mixture of these two alloys.”

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Day Two of The QIA PowWow in Quartzsite, Arizona 2020

Thursday at the QIA PowWow

Thursday brought another day of beautiful weather to Quartzsite. A few wisps of clouds appeared from time to time, somewhat relieving the sun’s powerful glare. Temperatures rose into the high 60’s in the afternoon, shirt sleeve-weather but best taken in with a long sleeve shirt to prevent sunburn.


The day got warm enough that an alert went over the public address system about a few dogs that had been left in cars. Their owners were told to get back quickly to their vehicles before the police started breaking windows. This brings up the matter of dogs at Quartzsite – they are all over.

On a leash, hand carried, or in a stroller, big dogs and little dogs are all about the aisles at the PowWow. I’ve never seen a dog fight but there are occasional lunges and a few sharp barks. Young dogs are around that may not be used to crowds and there are tiny dogs that are vulnerable. Every owner I saw seemed to have a dog that was socialized or mostly so. The dog community is fully present at the PowWow as you hear constant compliments from people on each other’s dogs. Big dogs seem to draw the most likes.

I could only visit a few vendors as I got wrapped up in long talks with each about their materials and collecting. I met quite a few people who knew people who I knew. One example was Kirk Brock at Rock Solid Jade at space 490. I showed him my jade key fob to see if he could identity its locality. He thought it most probably nephrite from Mendocino County in California. I said I carved it in Hesperia at the Mining Supplies and Rock Shop during a jade carving class taught by Mariana Shoupe. “Oh, yes,” Kirk said, I know her quite well. I think she is here now at the show. ”

This video looked great on my phone but it and a few others changed from landscape to portrait layout. I’ve attempted to rescue it with a frame.

Rock Solid Jade with Kirk Brock from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


Another example was when I fell into two people who kept mentioning Utah locations for agates. I then noticed that one had a Southern Utah Rock Club hat on. “I’m a member!”, I exclaimed. “I know Lynn. He showed me a great place for field agates that I would never have found otherwise.” They smiled and said they knew this place near Cedar City well. The couple lived in Mesquite, Nevada and when the weather got too hot they would drive to that higher elevation to collect during the summer. This conversation took place at the space for Johnson Brothers Lapidary.
https://www.johnsonbrotherslapidary.com



I’ve written that you’ll never know who you’ll meet in Quartzsite. Proof of that was when I stopped at Mike Martin’s space, number 239 and 240. Lots of fossils. I am not a fossil guy but I know they are popular and I haven’t covered fossils. So, I asked for permission to photograph and started asking questions. He looked at my business card and started repeating my last name. “Farley, Farley, Farley.” I thought perhaps he had read one of my articles for Rock&Gem. Instead, he asked if I had any relatives in Humboldt County, California. I started to cry but held back my tears. “Just my late brother.” “That was Tim! Biff Barker! He worked for me when I owned the radio station in Eureka. He was great. Everybody loved him. Great sense of humor.” Tim worked a long time in radio and Eureka was where he found a home. He did morning drive and was absolutely fun to listen to. Mike allowed Tim to be himself and it was a very emotional time for me as we both exchanged memories of my past brother. Mike, by the way, does an enormous amount of self collecting and coin and relict hunting in England. Well worth a stop.

Mike Martin’s e-mail is paleomike@aol.com

Mike Martin / Detector and Fossil Sales from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


Inside the main hall are displays and, as always, the Ottesens. I didn’t get a chance to ask them about how they are restarting the fee digs but they are. I’ve been out to the Royal Royston for my first Rock&Gem article and also to their Broken Arrow claim last year. Both terrific experiences.
https://ottesonbrothersturquoise

Inside the QIA Main Building from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


Alexander Balagula of Unique Russian Mineral at space 326 provided me a chance to try out my rusty Russian. Alexander didn’t correct me on my “Good morning and how are you greeting?” I felt good about that. He showed me some beautiful free form cabs of eudialyte on which he said he founded his business. He lists Fort Lee, New Jersey as his business address and the stone I eventually bought comes from the Kola Peninsula in Russia. To add to that that sense of going around the world, Alexander is a Russian Jew who lived for many years in Israel.

When someone asked him about his sign, Unique Russian Mineral and what it was, he smiled and said it mostly refers to himself. I liked his sense of humor. He will be in Tucson. His business card lists a website and an Etsy page but they don’t easily reflect his offerings. The Etsy store is gemstoneworld. Try his e-mail or these phone numbers. E-mail: abalagula@verizon.net. Cell phone: 201-647-4211. I had buyers’ remorse about the stone I bought and Alex gave me full credit for the returned cab. I wanted what you see in the photo below but settled for something more affordable on Thursday. Don’t settle or you’ll go through a painful night of reconsideration. Yes, I got that piece with the plume of yellow sphene or titanite on Friday. I understand your jealously.



At one point I heard Pink Floyd being played on an acoustic guitar being played by a young man who calls himself DanTheCabMan. That’s an Instagram handle for those who don’t know. He played “Wish you Were Here” and I wished every rockhound could be there in Quartzsite, too. In the video he says he won’t sing. I promised I wouldn’t, either.

#danthecabman from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


Here’s a photo on Thursday of what I used to call vesicular basalt with peridot. Not particularly wonderful specimens but a teaching moment. I am now told this is more properly termed vesicular porphyritic olivine basalt. Of, course.


Practical points. I found my fabric and rubber hiking boots worked very well for walking the aisles. After all, I hike in them all day so it made sense they would work here. Whatever you use, make sure they are comfortable and perhaps have a backup pair in your vehicle in case they don’t. Also, I found getting in touch with people is extremely difficult these days because everyone has their own preferences. Some use a mobile phone, others e-mail, some text, some message by Instagram or Facebook. I don’t have advice on overcoming this but you may want to make arrangements before hand if you are meeting someone in Quartzsite. While the vendors will all be in a certain location, your friends may be bouncing all over towns at different venues. Speaking of which, tomorrow I will be going back to the PowWow for a little bit and then hitting Desert Gardens across the highway later on. Different material, bigger stuff, lots of rough.

Bonus footage! Non-Pow-Wow. I almost forgot Miner’s Depot, a Quartzsite institution. I did a video on them on this second day and they are worth a lot more in print than I have time for here. They are less than a half mile north of city center. Great people. Gold spoken there.

Miners Depot in Quartzsite, Arizona from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

Pow Wow Show Promoters
Mike & Carolyn Zinno
928-927-6325
PowWow@QIAarizona.org

Quartzsite Improvement Association
235 E. Ironwood Avenue, Quartzsite, AZ 85346
http://qiaarizona.org


You can read more about Quartzsite at Rock&Gem’s website and Facebook page. (external link). I was covering the day to day at the PowWow for them this year and I have written extensively on all things Quartzsite in the past.


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The New Convoy C8 Dragonfly LW Ultraviolet Flashlight

Just got this handheld from Patrick Bigos at Midnight Minerals in Maine. I paid around $130 for my setup. That included an extra set of batteries and I also ordered a holster. The base unit is $85.00 but always order more batteries.

This Convoy is an amazing upgrade to my previous Convoy, a four year old S2+. That was a sad thing, underpowered, battery draining, finicky charger. But let’s not dwell on the past, technology has moved on.

This lamp produces recordable afterglow from even marginal rocks. With its concentrated beam it produces afterglow better than my 18 watt bench lamp.

This is just a first look. If you want to try night hunting for the first time or if you have some troublesome rocks to light up, give this Convoy a try. It is very impressive.

Here’s the URL”

https://www.midnightminerals.com/product-page/WTC-CONVOY-C8-DRAGONFLY

Convoy C8 Dragonfly Long Wave UV Flashlight from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.


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Casts, Molds, and Impressions

Can we have a bit of fun here? I thought my rock and mineral backgrounds were boring so I went retro to 1964. This is from my Instagram account which I know many of you do not follow.

Casts, molds, and impressions are confusing terms. Molds are impressions. Casts are relief. To explain, let’s say you wanted to make a beaver footprint cast down by a creek. With some plaster of Paris, you would fill in the footprint the animal left behind. This is an impression or mold in preferably moist soil. Once dry, you would pop out the hardened compound. You now have a cast. A mold needn’t be a track left by a live creature, it can also form when a body fossil decays or dissolves, leaving an impression.

In this video we have a puma track cast. As Authentic Wild relates, “This cast was made from a captive lion taken in as an orphan by the caretakers at the famous Sonoran Desert Museum in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. An impressive cat.” The simulated impression of a dinosaur track comes from the museum store at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in St. George, Utah. Artist David Slauf replicated the track of a small Grallator, also known as a Katiebell track. SGDS is the place to see all sorts of real casts and impressions. Even the impressions of dinosaur tail dragging!

#cougar#dinosaur#puma#casts#impressions#geology#collecting#animaltracks#nature#tracks#naturalworld#

https://www.authenticwild.com/

https://thomasfarleyblog.com/sample-article-track-stars/


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Self-publishing, Quartzsite, Stalled Projects

Self-publishing

With the encouragement of Kevin Singel I am pursuing turning my SW Travel List into an e-book and a print on demand book for sale through Amazon. For a really low price, less for dealers if they want to sell the hardcopy book at their stores. Singel produces Finding Gold in Colorado and he is doing well with self-publishing.

My travel list is morphing into something much bigger as I am adding content from my unpublished book and I am writing about places I have personal experience with throughout Northern California. I am also adding information on Oregon places to visit and collect as well as more details on northern Nevada and southern Colorado. My MS is now at 33,000 words, bound for 40K or so. That’s significant. The rockhounding book I submitted to my old publisher was 60 thousand words.

Quartzsite

I will be in Quartzsite on January 15th and in the area through the 19th. That’s Wednesday through Sunday. Three nights in Parker, one in Blythe. I’d love to camp and it would certainly be cheaper, but I have an enormous amount of camera and computer equipment to bring and keep charged. I may need to do some simple video editing during that time and I will have to keep up with the work I do for my Vancouver boss. Tough in a tent.

I’m really looking forward to Quartzsite as I will learn new things and catch up on old friends. I’ll be adding to my travel list for sure.

Stalled Projects

1 – My intent on producing some educational, instructional videos is now on hold. One example. A clear demonstration of how the Public Land Survey System works and is laid out will be an absolute time killer. It will take away from my writing and I can’t afford that. Simple, off the cuff video is far easier to produce and I am continuing with that.

2 – My dive into getting better with florescent mineral photography is also on hold as, again, it is far too time intensive to deal with right now. I have the equipment, not the time.

3- The benitoite specimen case I wanted to exhibit at Tuscon 2021 is also on hold. The main reason is that I can’t assure the safety of any specimen loaned to me through the mails. Too much chance of damage. The only way a case will work is if collectors hand carry their specimen to the floor of the Big Show and retrieve it in the same way at the end of the weekend. No one has yet said they are willing to do this.

Back to the writing.


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My zircon gravel under short-wave from Anakie in Queensland. Who’d have thought that brown was an interesting fluorescent color?

Out For The Day Near Jean, Nevada in Clark County

Parachute from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.




I stumbled upon this old navigation aid for pilots near Jean. After some research on the web, I found arrows like this are scattered across the country. They were used along with beacons to help pioneer mail delivery by air in the 1920s and 1930s. The website below is fascinating. Lists arrows in every state along with many details. Tons of photos of arrows and their history. Do you have one in your backyard?

http://www.dreamsmithphotos.com/arrow/

A little from that website:

“These giant arrows were called Beacon Stations and helped guide the pilots of early airmail flights across the nation. They were at the base of 50 foot skeleton towers that had a 24″ or 36″ rotating beacon and in the early days painted Chrome Yellow. Where electicity was unavailable they had a generator shed on the feather end of the arrow to power the beacon. The site number was painted on one side of the roof of the shed, the other side had the airway.They pointed to the next higher numbered beacon station, directing the pilot along his route. All arrows pointed east on the west-east airways and north on the south-north airways. They were built between December 1926 and November 1932, when metal arrows became the standard.”



Quick handheld iPhone photography, apologies. Rock found in desert wash. On the left, the rock glows orange (calcite), green (quartz) and a little bit of white from an unknown mineral coating. This under short wave. On the right, the green and white disappear completely under long wave while the orange stays strong.

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Checking In After A While

I’ve been up to a number of things lately but I haven’t gotten round to describing them. Unfortunately, most of my recent activities do not involve field trips. Still, I wanted to check in at this time and I hope to get a proper post done around Tuesday or Wednesday. I wish you all a great holiday season.

Recent update to the Benitoite page

My personal writing blog has this post on sparkles in mineral photography

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