Saturday, February 19, 2011

This is an arroyo bank that the weather and rain has been working on for - well I have no idea how many years. The arroyos can be cut out in just one huge flashflood or it may take years and years with a lot of little rains. This one allowed me to see the different levels of different kinds of rocks, sand and dirt that may have taken a hundred years or more to expose.

I have always been interested in geology and different kinds of rocks. I have always been a rock hound as were my parents. My granddad was a prospector in the Silver City, NM area and had an interest in a gold mine once and had a turquoise mine for a while. That really started our families interest in geology and rockhounding. Of course as all rockhounds do I am usually looking for rocks that are pretty or unusual. Lots of petrified juniper wood, quartz, crystals, are usually what I am looking for out in the desert were we go as well as some unusual shapes now and them. But recently I have become very interested in meteorites. I have become a fan of the TV show Meteorite Men which shows the travels and finds of Steve and Geoff who hunt and find meteorites.

So on this day I taped our strongest magnet to a mop handle and took it with me. Knowing how rare it is actually find a meteorite, especially without a metal detector, I didn't expect to find anything. But I knew there were lots of rocks on the desert that had the look of some of the meteorites shown on TV - dark and kind of rusty. So I worked my way here and there down the arroyo we drove down especially all the banks. Nothing.

But I was surprised when I got lots of tiny - I mean very tiny, black specks stuck to the magnet. I had learned in the classes I took to get my nurseryman's licence that there was lots of iron in this dirt but I sure was surprised it was large enough to be picked up. When I would clean off the magnet it was as if I taken it across the floor of a metal working shop and picked up the metal shavings.

One time when I cleaned the iron shavings off the magnet there was a slightly larger piece that kept jumping back onto the magnet. It was kind of squarish in shape and looked like a small black pebble. Hummmm - was this just a large piece of iron or a meteorite. I like to think it is a meteorite. But who knows. Above is a photo of the 'meteorite' stuck to a one inch round magnet, sitting on a small post-it note pad. I have put my 'meteorite' in a small plastic jewelry bag for safekeeping. If it is or isn't a meteorite I had fun looking for it.

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