Between the creek and the wetlands, there is a washed-out section of the disused rail gradually falling apart as the winters take their toll.  I get it, in the autumn afternoon I did not even make it to the willows by the last bridge before the grade takes a walker behind the hills to harvested hills.  I ran out of steam.

I did blunder into a garter snake, yellow and black line slithering under the iron and into some rocky burrow under the rails.  It was probably as thick as my thumb.  I am not much good at moving targets these days. 

I was looking for a bit of zeolite or fire opal that is sometimes mixed in with the basalt gravel filler.  I have a nice hard zeolite cabochon that is about 45 x 26 mm and weighs about 10 carats, it has nice milky cream swirls in it.  It came out of the same stretch of right of way.  I do not think the fire opal is totally out of the realm of possibility.  They are both hydrous silicates, and I have found common opal in the same stuff. It is just a matter of if it has dried out too much.

About johnsmithiiimxiii

John Smith, IIMXIII is the avatar of an award winning poet, artist, etc. who still lives in the Palouse country of the Pacific NW. He has not received much notice with his prose . . . but as his avatar, I hope that he keeps plugging along.

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