Friday, May 25, 2012

Amber Huntin' in the U.S.A.

Today was a great day for amber hunting in the PNW! After a full week of springtime raining, it cleared up for us today and we had a lovely field trip with the Little Man's class.

The hike was about a mile and a half through an absolutely gorgeous forest where once a coal mine existed (and blew up) a smidge over 100 years ago. Now it's a State Forest, and a nice place to hunt for amber and fossils (if you have a permit to do so... please don't go ripping up the ground in the area without asking!)

This is Geologist Bob, who was a consulting Geologist for many years before retiring and starting his much more important career of teaching 3rd graders about Geology! :D He is a very interesting person, and of course very knowledgeable... and great with kids!

Little Man had to pose for a shot on the trail ;)

One of many pictures of the Amber-hunting-grounds. I had to show the muddiness (and L.M.s proximity to said-mud) and the steepness. It was quite an ankle-twister but we all managed to find a spot to plunk down and search. Because of the recent rains, there was already a lot of amber and Jet on the top! Just had to look for the sparkles and then pick it up!

Here's my lovely wee pieces

I don't have any pics of the fossil-hunting part because I was one of the adults assigned a hammer. I felt like Thor a little bit with a bunch of kids bringing me shale to pound on and see if there was anything fossil-ey inside! Mostly we found Meta Sequoia needles, but supposedly if you are lucky you can find a clam fossil! We all tried very hard but it was all about the ancient sequoias. L.M. Found a cedar though! It's nice to be a little different ;)
 The black squiggle in the middle there is the cedar needle

Here's the Jet and Amber I carried for the class collection. I wanted to take it home and wash it off a bit. You can kind of see how different the colors can be in the amber, we had kids finding yellow, orange, red and BLUE amber (I had no idea there was such a thing as blue amber).
All in all it was a very pleasant day and I am so grateful that our class was able to do this! Thanks to everyone involved in making it happen!!

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