In this issue…Feature Fact –Mars Sphinx– — Rockhound Recipes and Tips, column –Travel: — New Zealand- Feature Article, Serial, Metaphysics and History of Minerals, this issue, Onyx.
FUN FACT OF THE MONTH.
The newest metal detector might just be a microscope. Scientists have found that in areas with underlying gold deposits there is an elevated spore count of Bacillus Cereus, a bacterium which is common to soil. Low concentrations of gold seem to have little effect on the spores, but in areas where there is a significant concentration of gold the spores show counts of up to three times higher than normal. This discovery is expected to allow geologists to find gold deposits inexpensively and with much more accuracy.
TREASURE HUNTING – OLD CHARTER SALVAGE
What’s going on now?
No new updates on this expedition to date.
No new updates on this expedition to date.
Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community
Hi again rockhounds of the world.
What a month it’s been! Here in the North we are welcoming autumn and the cooler hunting conditions that come with it. I took a trip to Prineville a few weeks ago and it was a scorching weekend, but another member of RHS1 and his wife joined me and we both collected a nice cache of crystals and moss agates to take home with us. Jim says he will be able to get some pictures of some of his cache soon so stay tuned for that.
As you have noticed, the Forum has a different look to it now. We didn’t change any of the topics, we just moved them around a bit so you can get to the most popular topics first. The introductions topic is still there so if you are one of the bashful members who hasn’t said “Hi” to us yet, come on in and tell us who you are and what your favorite hunting is, or if you are experienced or new. We have several questions coming into the forums about where or what to hunt for in different places so tune in and help your fellow members out a bit if you can. That’s what we are all here for.
I had an email today from someone wondering about buying some native Alaskan specimens. If any of you have Alaskan stones to sell, please contact me with your contact information and I will forward it to them.
If you haven’t been reading the Mars Chronicle, you are missing out badly. If it seems as if it is all fiction, I can assure you that it is a wonderful mixture of fact and fact based fiction. The Chronicle is actually following first hand information about what is actually being found and what is actually being planned for the planet. Where does the fact end and the fiction start? Hahaha. You will probably find that out in the future for yourself – and the answer will shock you more than just slightly. If you don’t like to read but love pictures, all of the satellite pictures are the real thing. You will get an idea from those just how close even much of the “fiction” is to the real findings and real planned explorations. Phenomenal.
For those of you who have rockhound events coming up in your area, let me know and we will post those in the Gazette. The Calendar is ready for entries as well, so we can also list your event on the calendar. We can put a live link through to a website or to a Gazette post with information about the event in the calendar so anyone who sees the event schedule can click it for more information. Use your free advertising folks. People are not going to attend events they don’t know about. If you have gone to the Shopping Center on RHS1 and didn’t understand it, it’s all very simple.
The first page gives you all the stores. You can either go directly to that store’s website from there or browse what we have offered from that store on RHS1. For instance, on RHS1 we have listed many of the National Geographic books, but if you click the “Go to National Geographic” link, it will take you to their shopping pages with all of the many different types of items they supply, such as optics, cameras, outdoor supplies, and so forth.
Don’t ever be shy to ask for help if you are confused with it all or if you are looking for something and are just having to do too much looking to find it. Some of our merchants offer what you are looking for, but finding it hidden in all the other great stuff can be difficult.
Don’t forget to let us know if you have any news that you would like to share with the rest of the world in the newsletter. We are always looking for stories of interest and for tours of good rock and treasure hunting areas around the world. If you find a dinosaur or an unknown cache of emeralds – this is your spot to spread the word!
Until next month — Rocking the Third Rock – And the Fourth.
ROCKHOUND RECIPES & TIPS
Using canned or frozen vegetables, meat or soy, and cheese, white sauce or soup, you will turn a package of Ramen into a feast. Try it yourself. Cook noodles, drain and see what is lurking in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry. Here are a few recipes to get you started. Make it a Ramen day!
1 pkg Ramen noodles, any flavor, with seasoning packet
2 C water
2 T butter
1/4 C milk
Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain. Return noodles to saucepan. Add butter, milk and all or part of contents of seasoning packet. Heat on low heat and stir until butter melts and noodles covered with creamy sauce. Serves 2.
Japanese Peanut Ramen
1 pkg Ramen noodles (save the seasoning package)
1/3 C peanut butter
1 T garlic powder
2 T lemon juice
2 T soy sauce
1 t sugar
1/3 C water
1/8 t cayenne pepper
Cook the noodles according to package direction, drain. To prepare the sauce, place all the ingredients except ramen in a microwaveable bowl. Stir well and microwave for 30 seconds. Add sauce to noodles and stir. Serves 2.
Ramen Noodle Salad
1 large head Napa cabbage, shredded or finely chopped
5 green onions, chopped
2 packages uncooked Ramen noodles (save the seasoning package)
1/2 C slivered almonds
5 T butter or margarine
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 t soy sauce
1 C sugar
1/2 C vinegar
Put cabbage and onions in large bowl and chill. Combine dressing ingredients in another bowl; refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Heat butter in a skillet over medium-low heat and slowly cook noodles and almonds until lightly browned, chill. When ready, mix cabbage and onions with noodles and almonds; pour dressing over all and toss. Serves 10 to 12.
Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein
3/4 pound boneless beef steak, sliced into 2-inch strips
2 t soy sauce
2 t dry sherry
1 t cornstarch
2 pkgs Ramen noodles (chicken flavor)
4 C boiling water
3 C broccoli flowerets
1-1/2 T peanut oil
3 T oyster sauce
2 t cornstarch dissolved in 2 t water
Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, reserving 2/3 cup of the broth. To the broth, add oyster sauce and stir; set aside. Combine soy sauce, sherry and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch; add to beef. Steam broccoli in the microwave until barely tender, about 2 minutes. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet, and stir fry beef. Add broccoli to beef and stir; add oyster sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Add dissolved cornstarch in water; cook until thickened. Add the drained noodles, stir and cook until heated through. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Ramen with Cheese and Mushrooms
2 pkg Ramen noodles
1 can mushroom soup
1 C grated cheese
Cook the noodles according to package directions, adding can of mushroom soup in last few moments of cooking, stir and simmer about 2 minutes. Add cup of grated cheese on top of noodles; do not mix. Cover pot with lid until cheese melts. Serves 2.
Keep on Rocking in the Free World!
About the Author of Rocking Recipes
Eileen Trainor (“aka” CyberCelt) earns a living as a writer, webmaster, teacher and trainer. Please visit her RVing websiteUSAer.com and advertising website.
She maintains three blogs: CoolAdzine.blogspot.com CoolAdzine.blogspot.com andUSAer.blogspot.com
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr”.
Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community
TRAVEL – NEW ZEALAND
Dunedin New Zealand
The rock find of the day by club members. A lovely ammonite.
We have a club in Dunedin which is situated about third the way up the East Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. New Zealand is to the East of Australia and we are a totally separate country from Australia. We have many American and other tourists who love to come and see the range of scenery we have here and the benefit is that you can go from one end of the country to the other by plane in 3 hours.
For the rock hunters there is the benefit of no wild animals to attack you (No wolves, bears, coyotes etc) and no snakes. We do have the odd red back spider but they are only in certain areas. If you venture onto farm land without permission there may be an odd wild farmer or two to fend off. It is politeness to ask before you fossic. We also literally have millions of sheep on nice green pastures and nice little flightless birds called Kiwis. New Zealanders are often nick-named Kiwis after this bird.
Because New Zealand is so far from Europe many of its rock and fossils are very different. The sequence of rocks and fossils must be recognized and defined by fossils peculiar to New Zealand. And local names added to the scale to make it relevant to the findings. The names are known as the N Z series. As Geologists found good examples of NZ rocks representing each geological age, they built up a sequence of type sections with fossils and sediments which became a standard reference for comparison with all other rocks of that gauge in the country. These series are used on the inch to the mile geological maps that are indispensable for anyone seriously looking at the geography of NZ.
The oldest land is in the west of the Islands and is thought to be around 600-380million years old. About 300-130 million years ago the formation of the Eastern block occurred. And then about 85 million years ago we broke off our edge of Gondwana. 25 million years ago we were mostly under the sea and then the last 20 million years we appeared again topside. Right through NZ you can still find sea fossils in the highest mountain ranges and the most unlikely of places. In NZ if you know where to look there are fossilized wood an other fossils, beautiful crystals, and minerals in abundance.
Is it a plane, is it a bird, NO its a bungee jumper in NZ
The benefit of coming to NZ is having so many fun places to go and things to do. We have bungee jumping in the Kawarau Gorge. You have a strong 43 meter bungee cord tied onto your ankles and you leap off The Kawarau Bridge. This is situated in Central Otago. (I would advise if you have a sore back don’t do this.) On the way down you can look at the schist rock to see if you can find any gold (Joke). The river is full of gold and in the early days there were many prospectors who made their fortune and pounds of gold were taken out of it. Now days you can still find nuggets (If you are lucky) and pan the gold.
Waitaki region NZ
Vanished World Fossil Trail around the Waitaki Valley area. The Vanished World Trail allows public access to geological localities that reveal the ancient history of the region ~ fossil sites, extinct volcanoes, mineral localities, and major landforms. Vanished World localities range from Waianakarua to Oamaru on the coast, and inland to Duntroon. The Vanished World trail is self-guided; drive from place to place, starting or stopping at any point. Some 24 million years ago, the Waitaki region was under the sea. Creatures of this sea and the remains of other organisms sank and became part of the seafloor sand. As this sand was buried deep beneath the sea it became compressed and cemented to form limestone.
Uplifted in the last few million years to the surface, this has over time been eroded into the range of shapes and forms to be seen by those who travel the Vanished World Trail. Study of these limestone rocks has helped unravel the mysteries of the past and the evolution of creatures that left their fossil presence in these rocks. Waitaki rocks contain the records of ancient creatures ranging from multi-patterned and microscopic diatoms to the whales that swam in the ancient seas.
This trail has been designed to provide a glimpse and an introductory interpretation of a particular period of geological time when the New Zealand region played a significant role in the development of groups such as Cetacea (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and penguins. The Vanished World Trail in the Waitaki District covers localities along the Otago coast, and inland to the Vanished World Centre at Duntroon. The trail complements Waitaki’s other well-known tourist attractions including the Moeraki Boulders, the Oamaru Blue Penguin colony and the Clay Cliffs at Omarama.
One of the sites on the tour is Boatman’s Harbor where unusual volcanic structures known as pillow lava are visible. The spherical and pillow shaped masses are the result of fingers of lava flowing onto the seafloor from the Oamaru volcano some 40-50 million years ago. Erosion by the sea has cross-sectioned parts of the flow, enabling the glassy surface of the pillows to be seen along with fossil bearing marine sediments that fill in the gaps between the hardened lava.
Another place you can visit in Otago is Macraes gold mine. They have a two hour tour and take you to see enormous trucks and excavators in action. You can visit heritage mining sites including a complete battery stamper. They have a gigantic Fraser’s open cast pit and a CAT maintenance base to visit. An interesting site there is that you can also visit the Otago Fish and Game hatchery and see the rainbow salmon breeding ponds followed by a stop at the gold processing plant. Tours operate at 10.30am and 1.30pm most days. You can’t fossick for gold yourself but there is a little stream nearby by Palmerston where you can pan for your own gold. The weather in New Zealand changes depending on where you are. It is more tropical and has a high humidity in the top of the North Island.
In the South Island the weather can be cooler especially in winter where you can get -10° C frosts in winter and snow at times. NZ very rarely get tornadoes or hurricanes. We do get the odd thunderstorm though. We normally don’t get the extremes in weather, especially near the coast. The inland can get very cold in winter and hot in summer. It pays to do your rock fossicking in the warmer months as at times it freezes here and it is very hard trying to pry a frozen rock off another. Because a lot of NZ is coastal, you can get 4 seasons in one day at times of the year especially in spring. Probably from August through to May is our main season for hunting specimens. It always pays to take a warm change of clothes with you and a Jacket. Some sites need hard hats, protective goggles and gloves.
Around Dunedin (where the Otago Rock and mineral club is situated) there are several quarries. One is Blackhead Quarry where there are Vesicles that contain Ca- and Na-rich zeolites, abundant calcite, and rare pyrite. If you are lucky you can get beautiful specimens of natrolite, phillipsite, calcite etc. The trouble with this quarry is you need hard hats and protective gear and a large sledge hammer. You also need a certain amount of energy as breaking the basalt rocks to find the crystals is hard back breaking work.
Another quarry is Waltham park quarry at Fairfield just outside of Dunedin and the KT boundary is found here. Ammonites, shells, and other fossils are found below the KT line. You need gumboots and some sort of digging implement. Please watch where you dig or you may end up with half a cliff falling down on yourself.
I would advise you if you come over to NZ to get in touch with the local Rock and Mineral club in your area. There are many throughout NZ.
The members you will find are very friendly and will often arrange Field trips for you and tell you the best places in that area to fossic in. Often you will be given specimens as well.
Thanks so much for your wonderful tour and pictures, Heather. New Zealand sounds like a tantalizing and unique rockhound vacation spot – um….well, except for the bungee jumping. I think I could pass that up without too much arm twisting. It’s not really so much because it would terrify me into an incoherent stupor. I just think I’d be much more drawn to panning for the nuggets at the bottom… err, on solid ground – you understand.
Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community
FEATURE ARTICLE – SERIAL
METAPHYSICS AND THE HISTORY OF MINERALS
The agate-like sardonyx (banded agate). The specimen is one inch (2.5 cm) wide.
Image credit Wikipedia.
THIS MONTH’S GEM; ONYX
Birthstone: Alternate stone for February. Hebrew and Roman stone for July
While throughout history many stones have been mistaken for and used as onyx, true onyx is banded chalcedony. In ancient times many colors of chalcedony were grouped under the name of onyx. In modern terminology the term onyx refers to black and red (sardonyx) almost exclusively. While black onyx can be found naturally, most onyx is treated or dyed to achieve its black coloration.
True onyx is hard, about 6.5 on Mohs scale, making it a good stone for carving.
The word onyx is the ancient Greek word for “fingernail” or “claw”. It was applied to the stone via the myth that Cupid cut the Goddess Venus’s fingernails while she slept. The scattered clippings were turned to the stone onyx. Some ancient cultures believed the stone contained entrapped demons. Conversely, in India it was worn as a protection against the “evil eye”.
Ancient Egyptians carved cameos from onyx. Onyx is one of the foundation stones of the Holy City from the book of Revelations in the bible, and also a stone of the Breast Plate of the High Priest, also known as the Breast Plate of Aaron. Roman soldiers wore amulets of sardonyx with Gods and heroes carved on them believing the power of the engraved figure would be transferred to them in battle. Sardonyx was also worn by orators believing it to bestow eloquence upon them. Throughout ancient and medeival times the stone was used as a memorial stone and was believed to relieve grief.
Queen Elizabeth gave the Earl of Essex a ring of sardonyx with her portrait engraved on it as a pledge of friendship.
Medicinally, onyx has been used for strengthening a many parts of the body including teeth, bones, fingernails, and skin. It has also been used in the healing of ulcers, heart maladies, ulcers, glaucoma, hearing. Worn next to the solar plexis it is thought to increase stamina and strength. Rubbed on the feet it is thought to sooth soreness.
Metaphysically onyx is an extremely powerful stone used to align all of the chakaras, centering, and grounding. It helps to achieve self-control, subdues sexual desires, protects against negative energies, absolves mental and physical conflicts, dispells grief, and absorbs positive energies of the universe promoting happiness in the wearer. Sardonyx is thought to intensify bonds of friendship and love. Black onyx is used in magick for protective rituals and for banishing. The stone must be used with care as it has been thought to cause nightmares and depression when misused.
A gift of black onyx is a gift of protection and spiritual balance. A gift of sardonyx is a bond of true friendship and/or love.
Rock Hound Station 1
Global Rockhound Community