Archive | July 2020

Forest and Field

The wild and the partly tamed.


Palouse Postcard

It is a green summer so far.



I have seen five comets in my life that I can remember.  This is a picture of the sunset from the night that I saw Neowise.  I do not have a picture of a comet yet.  The spot I chose to see Neowise had the light pollution from the local mall complex washing out any chance of a photo.  It did make its company know through the glare.  I could see it unaided.


When PanSTARRS came in, I was standing in the same spot.  The one other observer at the time handed me a pair of binoculars so I could see it.  It was a small flash in the haze on the horizon, much less visible than the light captured in this picture as the planet rotates and our star drops out of view.

I made some comment to the man that I do not count comets that I cannot see unaided, but that was just dissapointment on my part.  I did see Halley’s comet in 1986 at the Jewett Observatory.  It was a snowball in the lense without a tail.

Hyakutake was in 1996, seen in a dark-well of a lot behind where I was living at the time.  It was a wonderful spot to stargaze at night.  Suburban sprawl has taken it.  That was just after the big flood along Paradise Creek.  It was the winter thaw where I saw storm drains turn into geysers through their iron covers before they were inundated.

The comet I spent the most times watching was Hale-Bopp.  That was in 1997.  There was a dark-well behind some silos, the rails have been pulled now, but the silos are still there.  They are no longer in use for seed storage I believe.  Lord knows what cuning plan the entrepeneur who bought them has in mind.  He is using them as neon-propoganda for another one of his ventures at the moment.  Hale-Bopp was impressive, and gave some of the Heaven’s Gate people a way off the planet.

I have seen five comets in my life.  I am not sure if I believe that omen of  doom stories about them.  Maybe it is just that when people who see them, they are awake past sundown for some reason.  Maybe something is keeping them awake.


The Details

I was verifying an old treasure site for this up coming autumn, just getting out to clear my head as I couldn’t settle on anything for the moment.  This was just at the edge before working my way into a gully.


It is all part of the process.

The Hoodoos

Hoodoo is an old miner’s term for basically bad luck.  I am not sure if it can be applied to all the full spectrum of magicks.


The mountains in the distance of this picture, and running off toward the right, east if you want the direction, are called the Hoodoo Mountains.  There was lot old mining and logging that went on in that area in the past.  Most of the garnets I have come from that area.

I think of the Hoodoos as a distant place up north somewhere, like I think of the Blue Mountains in the south somewhere.  I have a whole bunch of pictures that come from the Hoodoo Mountain range.  I have a lot of little memories that come from being in, or on the edge of those mountains.

I was exposed to hoodoo you might say.



7-7mm 2-15 cts 6 ray star

I love the color of this garnet when light shines through it.  It is 2.15 cts and actually has a faint 6 ray at the top of the stone in this picture.

Star Garnet

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This is 11.69 cts of star garnet with a 4 ray.  It was dug out of the Emerald Creek garnet area in N. Idaho.

Lapis Lazuli

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This is a cabachon of lapis that I picked up when I was in high school in Lahore.  I never bought the class ring that would have held a similar piece.


Nephrite – Jade

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These are 22 mm cabochons of nephrite, a form of jade.  They came out of cut slab I tumbled once and are waiting for the right jewelry project.


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This is 1.47 ct. of sapphire.  I have not been able to get the color in the photo to the deeper blue that is in the stone.  Sapphire and ruby are both types of corundum which has a hardness of 9 on the mohs scale.  I added this to my collection for a little over $700 dollars when there was extra cash about.  Someday I would like to find a ruby.  It probably comes out of mines in Northern Thailand or Myanmar.  I keep it because it is shiny and in case I have to test the hardness of something.  Then again, I might win the lottery and start commissioning jewelry to hand down to posterity.