It’s raining today in “sunny” Sequim – pretty much a downhill slide into autumn. All things considered, the summer has been glorious for us: high temperatures mostly in the 70s and no smoke from wildfires.
The Sunday soup is simmering as I consider a theme for this fading summer. And really, there is only one thing that I’ve been utterly devoted to…
Until we moved here, I didn’t know how much I love rocks. I mean, I’ve always picked up a pretty stone here and there. But now after visits to beaches and rivers, my pockets are so heavy with rocks that our walks have doubled as weight training. Rialto Beach in the west, has the flat round basalt rocks that are perfect for stacking and drawing upon. It is also the place where I collect delightful orbicular jasper pieces.
The northern beaches on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, have chalcedony (I think) in the form of agate, quartz and carnelian. We also just discovered bizarre concretions that sometimes have fossils.
I have “hag” stones and “wishing” stones, round rocks and flat rocks. Every surface is covered with rocks from one outing or another.
To be honest, I don’t really have a grasp on rock types, other than the 3 classes: sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous. What I DO know is that rocks are really, really old – like hundreds of thousands of years, and older! And I don’t know why I never thought about it before, but they are bits and pieces and cross sections of the Earth!
So, back to this summer’s theme…
On June 2nd, my first beloved rock tumbler arrived! It has been steadily tumbling rocks ALL SUMMER LONG!
We are fortunate to have a shed (with electricity) in the backyard, which is perfect for a tumbler. It has 2 rubber drums, which reduce the noise, but still, I’m glad we have a shed.
[Side note: I share the shed with a bachelor bat. He hangs out (literally!) during the day despite the rumble of the tumbler. At first I was a little creeped out, but now I accept our co-existence.]
Like I wrote earlier, I’m not sure what most of the rocks ARE. I do a little reading about how to identify them. Mostly, I simply admire them, hold them, and contemplate their ancient origins. I might try my hand at wire wrapping to make a pendant or two.
Here is a little video of the tumbling process. It documents the first week in a 4-week process.