Archive for the ‘crystal ball’ Category

Secret Tunnel to Dracula’s Garden, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Leaving from Jeff’s house in Guelph, the three of us braved the winter evening and followed a secret tunnel to a place that is known as Dracula’s Garden. The garden is really a secret room beneath a city in Ontario. The trip there and back was exhausting. We were underground for just over 2 hours, crawling, duck walking and stooping. We waded through an old and crumbling passage that is known as the blood sluice – and at the end, a most incredible place that is decorated in soda straws and various other formations that are usually found in caves.

See video on the secret passage to Dracula’s Garden here

Jeff found a strange green marble that we called the “Dracula’s Eye” and SNAFU discovered a symbol part way along the hidden passage that was etched into the wall; I say it is for the Illuminati, but that is only wild speculation.

Most intriguing about the speleothems in Dracula’s Garden is the fact that they have formed so incredibly quickly.

Soda straws, curtains and stalactites are composed of calcite that has been leached out of the soil and rock above and re-deposited within an underground cavity. The basic process is that carbonic acid dissolves the calcite as acid laced ground-water passes through calcium rich substrate. Cool temperatures, lots of water and the presence of organic matter adds to the concentration of the acid. By the time the carbonic acid rich water reaches an underground cavity, and is is heavily laden with dissolved calcite, it gases off carbon dioxide and becomes super-saturated with calcite, thus it dumps this at the edge of a speleothem and grows it as some fantastic lacy rock pinnacle or curtain or cave pearl.

In Dracula’s Garden the speleothems have grown with amazing rapidity. Decorations like those seen here are usually thousands of years in the making, these formations are pure and white and hard and yet they could not be older than the cavity in which they’ve formed – about 100 – 160 years in age. Conditions for speleothem growth must be ideal. I had once seen a single soda straw in a sewer in Hamilton  (Stairway to Paradise), but it was puffy and porous – more like tufa than the pure and well formed soda straws in this spot.

Two hours of crawling and duck-walking leaves my legs in agony today. I can barely walk and I’m sure my companions are suffering some similar pain as well – SNAFU more his knees being a problem as being the tallest he found the height most dehabilitating and he crawled more than duck-walked. In the video you can hear this strange whump, whump sound in the background, that’s him crawling in his hip waders. As it is now dark I think a little hot tub therapy might ease the pain – standing after sitting is the worst and going down steps is almost impossible (I have to go down backwards on my hands and knees).

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Behave Yourself! – Rockwatching Blogging Protocal


scan0001, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.

We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us  (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).

So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on

1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.

8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).

9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.

Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick

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Flittering images in a crystal ball.

gemboree1 037, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

From the time of the Indian Raj’s, the Egyptian Queens or the Siamese Princes there had always been an irresistable draw to gem stones. What is it about these rarities that we so value? In my opinion, it is the beauty that is the attraction. It is the natural qualities of pure colour, fire, and brilliance that appeal to the “magpie” in humanity. In years past most of the rock enthusiasts at the show came in the guise of amateur geologists and crystollographers. Today the interest is strong but it is a whole culture of new age enthusiasts that come to worship the stone’s spiritual qualities. The many wayward directions from which a rockhound approaches their interest seems almost irrelevant to the core of the matter. It is the beauty of the stone around which everything revolves.

There is a lady tending a booth of crystal balls and spikes of quartz crystals. A dealer tells me she is very knowledgeable but is officially here just purchasing materials for a class that she is teaching. I ask her how the amethyst balls differ from the rock crystal balls. “The amethyst is more intuitive” she explains. “It deals with feelings and perception, the rock crystal is clarity and intellect. Its vision extends upward in a cone above your head.” Her eyes glitter as she looks into the ball. Flipping her sandy-blond ponytail she gazes at the ethereal images that flitter across the light-flecked innards of the sphere.

Apache medicine men were said to use crystals to help in the location of wayward ponies, and as Fredrick Kunz relates, the gift of a far superior crystal to one such diviner made the giver, Captain John G. Burk, a close friend and ally of the medicine man. He said that with his new crystal, he could now see everything he wanted to see.

Kunz talks of the polished crystal in “The Curious Lore of Precious Stones” saying that any polished surface might act as a scryer, but suggests that a ball shape might multiply the reflections of light. The images seen by a viewer in one position will likely be invisible to a viewer in another position. He does, however, say that the value of brain pictures cast upon the ball will only have as much weight as the importance that we place upon the process of subconscious intelligence.

On the table there are many phantom quartz spikes. This peculiar type of crystal has the property of appearing to possess a second smaller crystal within the confines of the larger crystal. Dust or debris had at some time marred the surface of the inner crystal. Some stopped growing there but others continued and trapped the dusted image forever in the appearance of this phantom crystal. Sometimes the phantom appears as a faint shadow. At other times it is as obvious a plane as the smooth surface of a bedroom sheet.

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