Friday, August 27, 2010

Columnar Basalt Lust

While driving yesterday, SHusband asked if we could pull into a nursery that we were near. Of course is almost always the answer, after all, if you were no longer driving very much, and made a simple request, shouldn't it be honored? And for a sweet guy like this, anything I can do for him is my honor to do.

So, we pulled up next to a new display of some pieces of rock looking stuff (I am soo technical-you would think some of his geology knowledge would sink in, but apparently that is not my ability-to me I call rocks blue or green-it works for me).

They were very dense dark grey rock in the form of hexagonal columns, surface was variegated in color due to weathering. The columns were fused together and jaggedly broken at the tops. Very exciting, and SH got out of the car to touch them!

He was so excited because he said they were Columnar Basalt rock which comes from the inside of a dormant or extinct volcano, it is crystallized magma. They are not indigenous to this area-we have never had a volcano-snow yes, volcano no.

And they can be found in many places, out west at the Devils Tower in North East Wyoming is a very famous location. The movie "E.T." was filmed partly at this location SH tells me. Can you see how this would be the inside of a volcano?

The Devils Post Pile formation is another location, and is in California. SH just showed me some pictures from one of the reference books he has. That is what is nice, every day is a learning experience for me with SH.

He already has a very small (2-3 lb)sample from Oregon. Imagine the postage he paid for this dense little morsel!

A similar location of this rock is Little Falls, Passaic County New Jersey. Also, Giants Causeway along the Northern Coast of Northern Ireland. This is a very famous area where you can actually walk across the tops of the columns. A trip to Wiki using Giants Causeway as your search, will give you the technical stuff, and a neat little legend about the way it got formed and named.
Here it is:

See the people standing in the upper-right of the picture?

The specimens they had at the nursery were anywhere from 3 to 6 feet tall, multiple columns and verrry heavy-the lightest was around 500 lbs, and the one SH is standing next to was almost 800 lbs. And the Cost??? A little over a dollar a pound!! They had them displayed vertically, and they have a landscape business that will deliver, dig a hole and "plant" this in your lawn-no watering needed.

So listen, I would not mind if one showed up on our lawn to go with the others that have been delivered over the years. There could be worse things on your lawn!

And here is a nice picture taken about 10 or so years ago of SMom on one of our lawn rocks. Hi Matka!

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