Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for OBSIDIAN

     As the wife of a geology professor, I have seen my share of rocks and minerals. There's malachite on my desk, kyanite in the bathroom, and a wedge-shaped specimen of rock gypsum on the buffet. These are my personal favorites. To my unscientific eye, these museum-quality rocks and minerals get to come inside because they look, um...pretty.
    Then there's obsidian. Though it's not as colorful as the garnets, fluorites or sulfur, its transformation from magma to glass is fascinating. You see, obsidian is formed when lava cools super-quick on the earth's surface. It's glossy black and sharp-edged, which made it ideal to fashion into arrowheads and other weapons by ancient people. Pliny the Elder referred to obsidian in his Natural History, and said it was named for its discoverer, Obsius, who first found it in Ethiopia.
    I have a few chunks of obsidian in a rock border outside. When it rains, the water sits on the non-porous surface and evaporates quickly when the sun comes out. It reminds me of licorice.

12 comments:

  1. It does look like a big chunk of licorice!! Lol.

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  2. Mmm, black licorice...I absolutely love rocks. I collected them when I was a kid, I landscape with them as an adult, my boys had to move them from place to place, even big boulders around our pond. When we lived in Illinois we had some geods (not sure that's how you spell it) and somehow in our move west they fell by the wayside. I still wish I had them.

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    1. I think about moving all of these and I shudder. I worried at one time about moving the books, but the rocks we've accumulated...that's a different story!

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  3. This is great and another great "O" word. The rock itself is beutiful it reminds me of something you would expect on the moon. Great post

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  4. I love rocks, stones, minerals, crystals, what have you! At one point I had an online business selling them. Guess what? I have a ton of them left after 'closing' the business. But that is okay because I love, love, love them.!!

    Stopping by as part of the A to Z Challenge!!

    Giggle, Laugh, Cry

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  5. It looks like a very pure black. I bet the picture doesn't do it justice.

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  6. Wow, what a beautiful rock! Amazing what time can do to add to the beauty of nature, isn't it?
    Dawn

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  7. Obsidian - a favorite of mine!

    You have a great site! (A-Z challenge visitor)

    Kathy
    http://kathleenmoulton.com

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen, and thank you for stopping by!

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  8. Stopping by from A-Z. Great job with the Challenge so far.

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    1. Hi there, Tim! Thanks, and for the follow, too!

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  9. I really like your blog! I just keep reading more and more. A couple of years ago I did a post about The Big Obsidian Flow in Newberry Crater, Central Oregon that you and your husband might enjoy. If this won't let me link, you can probably just copy and paste the address in your browser: http://oregongiftsofcomfortandjoy.blogspot.com/2010/08/big-obsidian-flow-tour-newberry-caldera.html

    Take care,

    Kathy M.

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