In this issue...The Amber Room…The Gemhunter… THOM’S COLUMN… Rockhound Recipes and Tips… TRAVEL…Wisconsin.. FEATURE ARTICLE… Meet the members… —RHS1 News.
Merry Xmas Everyone ! …Indiana -O)
FUN FACT OF THE MONTH…
The Amber Room.
Reconstructed amber room detail.
As promised, Debra Cruz of www.theunequaled.com is back with a sumptuous where’d-it-go mystery that will nag at the imaginations of treasure hunters and history buffs worldwide. Thanks Debra. This would be a phenomenal puzzle to solve!
If you happen to visit Tsarskoe Selo, Russia, perhaps you would be lucky enough to see the rebuilt Amber Room. The original Amber Room is the subject of a great vanishing act. Given to Peter the Great by the son of the King of Prussia, Frederick Wilhelm I, the Amber Room consisted of thousands of pieces of amber assembled into intricate mosaics and decorated with ornaments, figures and patterns.
In 1941, the Nazis disassembled the room and took it to the German city of Konigsberg, now known as Kaliningrad, Russia. In 1945, the Soviets captured Konigsberg and packed the Amber Room into 27 crates. The original room hasn’t been seen since. The hunt continues for the whereabouts of the Amber Room, or proof of its destruction, but nothing has come to fruition.
Opening in 2003, the Amber Room is alive again, having been reconstructed by photographs and memory. Expert craftsmen spent more than 20 years painstakingly carving and rebuilding the beautiful room that had been dubbed The Eighth Wonder of the World,. The Russian government relied on donations to help bankroll the enormous cost of the room’s reconstruction, including a massive donation by the German company.
Note from Debra: Looking for more interesting history? Check out my quirky shopping site peppered with mysterious history and amazing trivia. www.theunequaled.com
WHAT IS THE GEM HUNTER
UP TO NOW?
The world knows him as The Gem Hunter. But to locals around his home front he’s just Mr. Gary. Mr. Gary is still a pretty special guy, though.
For years the adventures and escapades of Gary Bowsersox, the world’s most well known gem hunter, have captured the imaginations of rockhounds and adventure seekers the world over. When I heard he was tackling the Afghanistan government with a different sort of project this time, I had to find out what was going on over there. So I asked him, of course. The following is his answer to me:
Khenj Village Girls School Class
We, our Rotary International Committee, plans to distribute school books and school supplies to the children in the emerald mining area of Afghanistan (Panjshir Valley) and the ruby mining area of Jegdalek, Afghanistan. I visited both of these areas and their schools last May as well as wrote a report for USAID on Revitalizing the Gemstone Industry of Afghanistan.
During the last six months I have been lecturing to raise money for the project. The power point slide show for these lectures is on the web at:
www.gems-afghan.com You can also find articles on the mining areas, a copy of my USAID report and hundreds of photos on our web site www.gems-afghan.com ………………………………
Aloha from Hawaii, Gary
Gary W. Bowersox “The Gem Hunter”
Gem Hunters Corporation
PO Box 89646
Honolulu, HI 96830
MrGary77 at aol.com
khenj Emerald Mines
Okay, if you just read that and didn’t click to his slide show you are missing one incredible tour. The pictures are intriguing, and for those of you interested in donating to the project, it is outlined comprehensibly there as well. If you would like to help Gary in his efforts for Afghanistan, give him a holler – I’m sure he’ll be delighted to hear from you.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR members, friends, and viewers.
Last month we featured a few Christmas wishes from some of our members, so if you are wondering what your favorite rockhound might be wanting to see under the tree this year, just click on the November Archives at the bottom of the page and grab some quick ideas for the season.
RHS1 now has RHS1 Network webpages available for those of you that would like their own rockhound related site but don’t have the time or skills to build a page and learn to generate traffic to a site. All you will need to know is what you want to tell the world. A page on the RHS1 network is an inexpensive and easy way for clubs to get their event news and contact information up easily where rockhounds will be able to find you with no problems. If you want a webpage on the RHS1 network, just hit the “contact Sally” link at the bottom of the page and I’ll be glad to discuss your needs with you.
Temporary and permanent forums are available to members also. If you have an ongoing project or just need a temporary place for people to chat about an event or project, please contact me about a forum as well.
Remember – RHS1 was built to be of service to your community and to improve the ability of rockhounds worldwide to meet and discuss their projects, clubs, or just chat. Use us to your advantage.
Here’s a wish to all for a safe and happy holiday season.
ROCKHOUND RECIPES & TIPS
Roast PheasantI’m sitting here watching the first snow of the season fall through my living room window. As my mind wanders I think back to winters past. One memory that stands out is a special Christmas dinner from years ago. What made it special was the dinner we had that day. Since it is easier to get wild game in many supermarkets and specialty stores, I thought I would share the main course recipe with you all today. You can substitute chicken for the pheasant if you want.
One Pheasant serves two people. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper inside and out. Stuff the cavity with any preferred stuffing or:
- 1 Bay leaf
- Parsley sprigs
- Slice of lemon
- Slice of onion
- Celery leaves
Cook the liver and giblets in stock until tender and chop. Reserve stock and giblets for gravy.
Cover the pheasant with bacon strips and place in roaster. Add sufficient stock and white wine (if desired) to cover the bottom of the roasting pan.
Cover and cook 1 hour at 350 degrees or until tender. Remove larding strips (bacon), return to oven uncovered to permit skin to brown, basting every few minutes with juices in the pan.
Remove pheasant to heated platter ( remove bay leaf, celery and parsley sprigs) while you prepare the gravy. Add flour to pan juices, stir until well blended and flour taste is gone, then add giblets and giblet broth. Stir and scrape sides of roaster, cook slowly until thickened, and pour into preheated sauce boat.
The side dishes we had that day where:
- Wild Rice,
- sauteed mushrooms,
Thom Meyer is a retired professional chef who has a degree in Culinary Arts – Also an avid camper and most importantly a person who likes to eat. Lately he has been involved in marketing and building websites when not using WordPress for them, a process of which in some circles he is considered an authority. Among his many websites that he maintains are www.recipes-4-all.com and www.wp-revealed.com
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”
Hunter S. Thompson
THERE’S MORE THAN CHEESE TO BE FOUND IN WISCONSIN
Wisconsin State USA
Wisconsin is well known for it’s mouthwatering cheeses, but other than that it seems to be much of mystery state to many. Driving through Wisconsin can be a delightful experience. The rolling tree covered hills, many lakes, and seemingly endless greenery make Wisconsin a camera bug’s dream come true. Despite what you might have expected, Wisconsin also has some pretty respectable rockhounding possibilities as well.
For those of you who are fans of Lake Superior agates, you won’t be disappointed if you visit Lacrosse or Sauk Counties, which both produce these fine rare specimens. Chalcedony and agates of other varieties are available to the hunter in many locations, but you are not limited to hunting agates in Wisconsin.
Just a few of the more well known varieties of minerals that Wisconsin lays claim to are aquamarine, quartz and smoky quartz, garnets, fluorite, tourmaline, zircon, malachite, and the list goes on. Literally hundreds of minerals can be found throughout the state. The glacial drift of Southern Wisconsin has yielded many remarkable diamonds including a 3.34 carat in Dane County a 2.11 carat in Racine County, a whopping 21.5 carat beauty in Washington County and an impressive 16.5 carat bauble in Waukesha County. How many more of these beauties lie waiting to be recognized by the alert hunter?
In the central part of the state the rockhound would do well to spend some time in the tailings of the old talc mines. While talc might not seem particularly interesting, what can be found along with the talc should deserve notice. Malachite, serpentine, green chlorite, garnet, and soapstones found amongst the talc are nice surprises to be won in these locations. Quarries and old mine sites around the state can be veritable treasure chests in Wisconsin. There are minerals to be found in nearly every, if not every, county of the State. Gold prospectors don’t need to be left out of the hunt in Wisconsin, either. In fact, the lucky gold prospector may just have a few good days picking up platinum if his instincts are well honed. Copper, silver, and galena are also a common find in many portions of the state. The gold in Wisconsin is mostly flake as it has been left mostly by glaciers, but the copper in many areas of the state can be found in some pretty impressive chunks.
There are around 14 rock and gem clubs throughout the state of Wisconsin that can help you with locations to hunt during your visit so if you find yourself in a quandry about where to start looking, ask at a local Chamber of Commerce. They will also know how to get in touch with the nearest rock and gem club.
For those of you with paleontological interests, you will find scores of places throughout the state from which to harvest the records of past life in the area. Being that Wisconsin was under water for much longer than it has been above, marine reefs and fossils abound. Crinoids, also known as “sea lilies” are common Wisconsin fossils to find as are coveted trilobite fossils. Corals about in outcroppings of reefs which extend for up to hundreds of meters. Brachiopods are also an easy find for the fossil hunter. Perhaps you would be one of the few to find a fossil of a giant beaver or mastodon which roamed the plains after Wisconsin’s rise from the sea.
The real attraction for seasoned fossil hunters, however, are the Cambrian fossils of Central Wisconsin. In this area you can find the fossils of soft bodied animals which conditions almost nowhere else on earth have been right to preserve. In these areas of the Mt. Simon and Winewoc formations, the hunter can find the rare fossil of the jellyfish, Climactichnites and Protichnites – and many of these fossils are the best that exist anywhere.
Galena – Wisconsin State Mineral.
No rockhound visit to Wisconsin is complete without a visit to the UW Geology Museum in Madison. The museum features both minerals and fossils from the state including a spectacular florescent display and meteors from Wisconsin and around the world. Which brings up yet another feature of interest for the rockhound. Meteorites.
Meteor hunters might not want to pass up the chance to visit the Glover Bluff meteorite impact crater in Southeaster Wisconsin in Marquette County near Coloma. It is estimated that this 500 million year old crater originally 5 to 13 miles across. Not a bad place to look for chunks of meteor debris.
Nugget Lake Park in Western Wisconsin borders a 4 mile across area known as the Rock Elm Disturbance, and is thought to be an asteroid impact crater. In the streams of this area the avid panner can find gold dust and possibly a few diamonds in the mix.
The sites and minerals mentioned are just a few of the areas in Wisconsin that the rockhound can find the perfect sort of hunting adventure. Winters in Wisconsin are harsh so the hunter will want to visit from late spring to early fall. Don’t forget while you are there to pick up some of the state’s incredible cheeses to snack on during your hunts.
Black River home.
This month we would like to introduce you to member “Ziggy” who lives in Gottingen in the middle of Germany. He, at thirty years of age (and single) lives a dream life for a rockhound.
Ziggy in action.
Ziggy has been a lifelong rockhound – starting with fossils and working up to gemstones. His love of travel and gem hunting flourished and he now has several degrees in gemology related fields and has accomplished his dream of finding a career that will allow him to travel. He has this to say about his experience:
Ziggy takes a break.
—-quote —-Finally I took classes in the AIGS gemology school, where I met Vincent Pardieu. I worked with him in the lab, had several field trips and also went to Burma with him. In the AIGS laboratory I mostly have seen “brutally” cut and synthetically enhanced corundum species, so I rather preferred the natural untouched shaped and colors. and slowly I made my way back to the crystals and finally to the mineral business. —unquote——–
Me, myself and I.
Spending time when possible bicycling around Asia, Ziggy not only enjoys the local cultures, he gets to hunt some of the planets most spectacular crystals and gemstones. You can see some of these fabulous specimens, and some great pictures of some of his travels as well, at his website:
Panjshir Emerald Crystal.
Note to Ziggy from RHS1 – those are some spectacular stones you have on your site. We look forward to hearing more about your adventures and finds.
Image and info credits for this edition:
Wikipedia: Gary Bowsersox: Ziggy, RHS1 Member.
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