Rocks In My Head
These pics show citizens' reactions to the ruling (and a lawsuit) that says you can't sell rocks off your property in Helga Township (Hubbard County, MN). My own reaction was to post a Genuine Helga Township Field Rock For Sale notice on my Facebook.
According to the book I have resumed reading, Minnesota Geology, the Cenozoic was the era when Minnesota began to achieve its status as the “icebox of the nation”. The Rocky Mountains had formed, changing the climate. Dinosaurs had disappeared and small mammals predominated. Remains are found in the Badlands of South Dakota which unfortunately are not found in Minnesota. Glacial drift covers evidence of activity. Of course, subsurface exploration may one day reveal some of the specifics.
I haven't done much with my rock business this summer. I was flea-bitten (or something) and I didn't print up new business cards as planned, or place ads in the local shopper. I did, however, sell a couple of articles on birthstones and I made a handful of infomercials in the virtual world called SecondLife. Those were fun to do! I also acquired inventory through purchase and trade. I chose stones with an eye to jewelry making next winter. And the trade was great! Also, I now market Thunder Bay amethyst.
Some day, when I have time, I’m going to take up a fun hobby like this. Maybe after I retire.
Allow me to throw a bucket of cold water on your life too.
Do you polish your own rocks or do you just buy and resell?
I have all the equipment to do the processes but there wouldn’t be enough hours in a day to create this much inventory. Not that it’s any of your business.
Do you find all of these rocks around here?
Sure. We live in an area that abounds in precious metal ores, azurite and malachite, aquarmarine, rubies, emeralds. Just dig right in.
I should stop in and take a look at your rocks.
I’ve been here for decades. Why bother now?
I’m bringing the kids over to look at rocks. Kids just LOVE rocks.
This isn’t a toy store.
Do you have a rock polisher?
Yes I’ve got an all-in-one machine that tumbles, makes cabochons, facets and does the whole operation. You just press a few buttons and let ‘er rip.
Are these rocks basically what was left over from your grandfather’s business?
Are you a rude SOB who never learned any manners?
What is this specimen?
It’s an ugly gray rock. Why do you want to know?
Do you buy rocks?
Leave your number. If I want your damn rocks, I’ll call you.
My uncle used to polish rocks.
Where do you get all these rocks?
I pick them off from trees.
Have you been to Duluth? They have a nice BIG rock shop over there.
TThe Jurassic period of the Mesozoic left discoverable rocks in NW Minnesota, known as the Hallock red beds. They are known from drill holes and do not contain fossils. Nearby evaporites in ND and Manitoba suggest that the climate was hot and semi-arid. It is likely that dinosaurs wandered across Minnesota but no remains have been found.
The Jurassic was followed by the Cretaceous when the seas advanced upon North America. The eastern shore of this Cretaceous sea was located in part of MN. Sediment deposited in this sea was mostly siltstone. Conglomerates made up of hematite pebbles are found, which indicates that the hematite must have been formed quite some time before it was weathered and broken up. The entire world most likely experienced warm climate.
Some coal has been found in Minnesota from this time, made up of conifers. It is likely the landscape was swampy. Weathered granites and gneises have left behind kaolinite, which is used in ceramics.
Dinosaur remains in Minnesota may lie under glacial drift. A few cretaceous fossils have been found, including a marine crocodile, sharks teeth, ammonites and snails. Also the variety of plants include flowers, ferns, conifers and deciduous trees.
Here is a video I produced in the virtual world Second Life, about the alternative birthstone for January, the rose quartz.
The Permian Period of the Paleozoic Era, like the earlier periods alas left no rocks behind in Minnesota. But in the western US there are evaporites left when the seas dried up. The interior of the continent was hot and dry, with periodic rains that left mud in low places. There were quite a few reptiles, including finbacks, and considerably fewer amphibians.
As we measure geologic time, the Paleozoic Era was followed by the Mesozoic, the first period of which was the Triassic, occurring 225 to 190 million years ago. Again, Triassic deposits are not found in Minnesota. In the western US there are some, which are red from hematite in an oxidizing atmosphere. The continent slow moved north, so the equator was around by Texas and Florida. Life forms included some dinosaurs, flying reptiles, and small mammals.
In Europe and elsewhere there's a Carboniferous epoch. We in the U.S. divide the Carboniferous into the Mississippian and the Pennsylvanian. Like those of the previous periods, the Pennsylvanian rocks have been eroded away in Minnesota. However, elsewhere the landscape was dominated by swamp, tree ferns, and horsetails. Compaction turned the vegetation into bituminous cole. During this time the Canadian shield was uplifting. The entire continent was tilting westward.
I bought another geology book by the same author as my last purchase. A customer stopped by and gave it a high recommendation. Reviewers complained that much is repeated from the author's other book. I did not find this to be the case. Of course, I am the one who still reads from the book my uncle used at the U of M in the 1950's.
Some day soon I want to go on a rock hunting trip. This can take one of three forms. Either I will go somewhere that has geological features I can photograph. Or somewhere I can pick up samples in the field. Or, somewhere that I can visit a rock shop.