May 14, 2010

The Rockhound Instinct

I'm a rockhound. I come by it honestly: It's a trait I inherited from my dad. If I'm walking over, under, or beside any sort of rocky surface I cannot help by look closer. I think I'm genetically hardwired to do it. It's like a compulsion.

When I was nearing my high school graduation, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue as a career. I loved music, I loved geology, and I loved a lot of other subjects. My dad suggested that business was a good way to go - and he was right - but I still feel a strong pull toward geology. I have absolutely no interest in discovering the mother-lode or staking claims for a new mine; I just love understanding the geological history of the land and adore finding new and interesting rocks. I am by no means an expert in identification, though. I would like to, one day, change that. When I'm old and retired I might have to go back to university for exactly that reason: To learn how to identify the discoveries I come across.

When I made a stop at Kluane Lake, my brief investigation of a boat launch quickly turned into a rockhounding expedition. I couldn't resist. There were so many interesting rocks and minerals! Here are a few of the pictures I took from my hike. Maybe you can help me identify some of my finds.

There was lots of this stuff, whatever it is.

I'm not interested in the white mineral on the left. I'm more interested in the crystalline greenish-blue stuff on the right. What the heck is it?


I didn't do any scratch tests or anything like that, but I think that's regular ol' quartz.

What is that reddish rock?

I think the green spots are chunks of oxidized copper. I'm not sure what else is in there.

Nothing particularly interesting about the rock. I just liked the spiral of lichen at the bottom.

Glacier scoured bedrock?

(I should note that I wasn't sure if the area I was on was part of Kluane National Park or not, so I left everything behind. It was all too big for me to take any anyway. You can rest assured that the pretty rocks are still there for others to enjoy. I kind of like it that way.)

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