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Rock Hunting in New Mexico
This album contains photos taken in November 2007 in New Mexico.  We attended a mineral symposium in Sucorro, went rock hunting in various locations, and went jewelry hunting in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Date(s): November 12, 2007. Album by Judy Miller. 1 - 112 of 112 Total. 7122 Visits.
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Please enlarge these first bird photos to see the magnificent displays.  These are snow geese in the background taking off.

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This photo is from the car, thus the black in the corner.  This was an incredible display of snowgeese.

We are at the Basque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, just outside of Socorro New Mexico.  Which is just and hour south of Albuequerque.

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Here are the snow geese in full flight.  If you click on this image you can see the birds.

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These are the snow geese in the field.  They landed here after the showy display.  They are pretty far from us, but you can hear them from here.

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This is what all the shouting is about.  These are Sand Hill Cranes in the field.  The 2nd week in November is the cause for celebration "20th Annual Festival of the Cranes 2007".  Birders from all over come to see this influx of the cranes.

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They are really large birds.  I was surprised, because all I have ever seen of them, is waaaaay up in the sky.  You can hear them, even though they are hundred of feet above.

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I am sooooo not a birder, but this preserve has tons of them.  Not just the cranes and snow geese.  People who are into the birds and beasts will love this place...it is teeming with wild life.

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This is a photo taken in the lobby of the building on the campus of New Mexico Tech, where the mineral symposium was held.  It is just like our conventions, but with rocks and scientists, not jewels and jewelry dealers.

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These folks are professors, consultants, scientists and other intellegentsia.  They know words I've never heard of.  They don't just hunt rock....they want to know exactly what it is made of.  The chemical composition.

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Glen is having a ball talking to old buddies and re-living rock hunts with them.

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He loves to take photos of mineral specimens.  And I noticed that many of these rockhounds do the same.

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One of the hunters showed Glen how to hold the flashlight and point it at the rock in the case while taking the photos.

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The last day they hold an auction.  Silent.  You buy a table for 20.00 which goes toward the Mineral Museum on campus.  Then you set out your wares with little auction slips there.  People come and put their names and bid ammounts on the slips.

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George in the foreground and Glen at out table with a flashlight to illuminate the specimens.  They have only a limited time to place bids.  They close three tables at a time.  They draw table numbers to determine who is closed.

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Here is a bidder.  All the money goes to the seller.

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My first jewel buy here in New Mexico.  This is a sterling and turquoise frog, about 2" head to toe.  I think he' perfect.  Glen bought him for me at the gift shop out at the bird refuge.  Lots of great jools in that shop.

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I bought these from a street seller on the square in Santa Fe.  They do match the frog, but the light here at home was better for photos than the light in our trailer.

The three holes in the earrings are the signature of the artist, the holes are only shown on the backs of the earrings.

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These are some of the mineral specimens we bought at the motel sales on Friday night.  This one is azurite concretions.  Click on the image to see the little bumps.

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This one is chrysocolla with druzy on it.  This speciman is about 5" across.

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Closeup of the druzy part.  That's the part that is crystaly.

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I loved this one.  I know nothing about the minerals....I just know when they are pretty.  This one is about 3 inches long and is kayanite from Brazil.

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This one is cool.  It is a ball of pyrite from Peru.  Usually, you see pyrite in cubes.  About 3" diameter.

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These are tiny.  What they call thumbnails.  They are Smithsonite from New Mexico.

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This is really a pretty one!  About 2 1/2" across, it is called Pyromorphite.

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Fluorite on galena.  Galena is LEAD!  We have a whole truckload of lead that we are hauling all over the southwest.

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The fluorite are the pretty blue cubes.  Why do they call it galena, if it is lead?

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This is a photo of the Morning Glory part of the Antique Connection in Albuquerque.  That is Glen on the far right talking to John Clarke.  Jane is behind him talking to her computer guru.  Don't we all wish we had that guy in our town!

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And here is where you will find this lady a lot of the time.  She is full of energy, and usually not far from the computer.  I think we are all versions of this.

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Here we are again.  That box on the top of the case contains my wish pile.  If you enlarge this photo, you might just be able to shop a bit.  :)  Sam and the computer guy in the background.

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This is a necklace that I just love.  It is by Ana Livingston, who is a Santa Fe resident.  When she isn't in Guadalahara, or Sweden.

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The beads are glass, brown resin, hand carved water buffalo bone, and carved cinnabar.

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The large bead is the buffalo bone.

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No clasp, but the necklace is 42" long, which is plenty long enough.  It really looks nice on.  The dark amber color glass beads on the side flip over, so it isn't one long line of the same bead, they point different directions sometimes.

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This is the Art Museum where I bought the Ana Livingston necklace.  In Santa Fe.

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This is sterling, and I think, Navajo.  It is old, but not from the 20's or 30's.  Probably the 50's or 60's.  I had a terrible time getting the color right.  The stones are either turquoise, gaspeite, or Chinese icky stuff.  :)

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The back of the bracelet.  The mark is WA.

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This one is Zuni I think, and it's also not an old one.  It doesn't have a signature, and it doesn't say sterling on it anywhere, but I'm sure it is.  All the little turquoises are on there, and it is in great condition.

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The back.  And showing the design on the sides.  If you know anything about this one, I'd love to hear it.  I'm trying to learn more about the Native American jewelry.

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A better view of the design.

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This shop is huge.  This is only one end of it.  To access the yard, you must go inside.  We are outside of Holbrook AZ here.

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Inside the shop, there are things such as this petrified wood table.  It is a slice of petrified wood, with wood around it.  It says please don't sit on the table.  :)

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Just a few of the specimens of petrified wood.

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Here is a larger part of the yard outside that shop.  2.00 per pound for this wood.

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Street sellers in Santa Fe.  They pay a fee to sell here.  They are regulated by the city.  They are to pay rent, and to sell only authentic merchandise.

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These are some sellers on the square in Santa Fe.  They are just taking a break here, to sell, they have to go back to the porch.

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These are street sellers at the square in Old Town Albuquerque.

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Ain't he cute?

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This is part of our rock hunt on the way to Albuquerque.  It is a huge dry wash that we drove into.

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I know you know that road hunting deer is against the law.  But not road hunting for rocks.  This is how Glen drives when we are rock hunting.  And we rock hunt every time we go through one of those cuts on the highway.

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He is one happy man!

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See?  I don't get out at every stop.  He will see a possiblity, and hop out of the car to investigate.  I get out when we land somewhere.

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This is my attempt to show you how Las Vegas has grown.  We are entering the town after Hoover Dam and the lighted area is just one small part of Vegas.  It is like a shallow bowl, with lights in the bottom of the bowl, and climbing up all sides of the bowl.  It is HUGE developement.

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This incredible scene is the lighted cactus garden at the Ethel M chocolate factory in Las Vegas.

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This is an ocotillo cactus.  It is as tall as Glen is and those little bitty lights are wound all around each branch.  Oooooch!

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If you click on this one, you can barely see Glen standing among the cacti.  I wanted to show how huge these cactus are.

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I'm in there but you will have to enlarge the photo to see me.  This garden is an amazing cactus garden, and it is incredible when it's all lit up for Christmas.  They said the people who do the lighting, don't wear gloves!

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The sign says, no pets please.  I was trying to show you how these lights are wound around the cactus.

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This cracks me up.  Vegas.  I took a couple of photos of our little house among the behemoths.  That's us in the middle.  Glen is standing by the door.

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Now we look even teenier!  See that one on the left?  His car matches his rig!

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The guy on the right arrived, and the first thing he did was plant a flag and a name plate in the front yard.:)

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This specimen is one we bought in Socorro at the mineral symposium during the hotel room sale event.  The following specimens were purchased at the same event.

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This mineral is lab grown.  Called Bismuth, when it is heated it forms this crystal.  The color also comes after the Bismuth is heated.

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This is the back or underside.

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This one is Calcite with Willemite.  It glows an entirely different color in the dark.

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A closeup of the Calcite with Willemite.

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This is the same rock as #64 and #65.  Shown under the black light.

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Looks a little different doesn't it?

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This one is from China.  It is Fluorite on Calcite.

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These specimens are not very large.  Most are 3 and 5 inches across.

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This is a dark purple fluorite on Quartz, and it came from the Blanchard Mine in New Mexico.  It is the mine where Glen dug after this event.

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Another view of the Fluorite.  It is about 5" by 2".

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Another fluorite, and I lost the ticket, so I'm not sure where it is from.

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This is one that I wanted.  It is Selenite, and Selinite is something that we find at our opal mine all the time.  Not like this though.

It is a pain in the "you know what" at the opal mine, because it sparkles like an opal, and you think you have found something.  Then it's only that dad gum Selenite.

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This one is called Rams Horn Selenite for obvious reasons.  Found in Mexico.

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This one is Willemite and glows under a black light.

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Close up of the Willemite.

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Enlarge photo 77
Willemite under the black light.  The color is hard to grab here, but that yellowish green color will knock your eyes out under the black light.

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This rock and the previous one is the same as the photos #75 and #76....the difference is the black light photo.

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A purchased specimen.  It is Linarite on Galena.  Also from New Mexico.  The Sunshine #1.

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Close up of the previous.

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Now, we get into the stuff that Glen dug.  This is part of the inside of his "opalarium".  The new name for his shop.

The stuff on the table is a part of the fluorite that he collected in New Mexico.

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Here is one of his.  Not cleaned yet.  He will wash these specimens, and then put them in acid. It should make the blue fluorite "pop".

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More.  This is the stuff that is on a matrix of galena (lead).  One reason that the trailer was waaaaay weighted down.

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Here is a pile of petrified wood that we found.  Glen has it out on the ramp of the shop to hose it off before he cuts it.

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Here is a photo of the inside of one of Glen's saws.  It cuts the biggies.  You can see the slice in the left foreground, and the hunk that it came off of, is at the top center.

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The yukky stuff is oil.  And the wood is what causes the red color.

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After he slices the wood, (petrified wood) it goes into a kitty litter box to absorb the oil.

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This is a "Judy road".  You can see in the upper left a "Glen road."  Actually, that Glen road isn't too bad.  Usually, they go straight up a mountain, and the passenger side of the vehicle is hanging over the cliff.

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More photos of a "Glen Road" and some of the view you get to see when you rock hunt.

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This is more of the route to the dig that Glen did outside of Socorro New Mexico, the week that we were there for the mineral symposium.

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How about that view!  In the left center, is the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was detonated.  

Two days, Glen dug alone on the mountain, but one of the days there was a group led by the mine owner into the mine.

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This is the portal.  And Glen is the photographer.

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Ooooooch!  He is going inside.

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And this lady knows what she is doing.  She has her pack and a bucket for the goodies that she will haul out of the mine.  There is a light strapped to her head.

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Oooh goodie....they found something.

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A Fluorite pocket.

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These are some of the rocks that are directly responsible for the bruises all over Glen.  He looked like a leopard after three days of digging flourite.

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The teeny speck is the car.  To get to these rocks, one has to scramble over and under.

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We visited the Painted Desert shown here.

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Just around the corner from the Painted desert, is the Petrified Forest.  Don't pick up any of this wood....heavy fines, imprisonment...and a bad back!

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Look at the colors in that piece of wood!

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This puppy is just teetering here.

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Skipping now to Hoover Dam.  Here we are driving in the traffic to the dam. Not our trailer...we are behind it.  Up ahead is the construction of the new bridge.  They don't want people to drive onto Hover dam...they are afraid of explosives.  So they are constructing a whole new route, including this bridge.

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This is part of the soon to be new road to the new bridge.

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Here is some more of that road in progress.

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Here we are at Hoover Dam, a total surprise to me.  I thought it might be boring....but it was really fun.

The photo is taken from the Nevada side from the parking garage.  Note the highway with cars making their way across to dam to Arizona.  The visitor center is in the center of the photo.

See the little pokie up houses on this side of the actual dam?  Guess what's in there?......The firt one is a men's room, and the last one is the ladies room!

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And here shows just what that dam does.  It produces power and there it goes....look at the way that tower leans....it is actually holding up the power lines in a straight line..

The new bridge in on the right.

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Ta daaaa.  Here is the dam.

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These are wonderful!  The dam was built in the 1930's and these figures are bronze winged victories.  

Someone said it was luck to rub the feet of the victories, and that is what the man is doing.  Look how the feet shine, and the rest of the victory is all patina.

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This is the Colorado river.  Note that new bridge on the right.  It will be a suspension bridge, and just looking at it gives me the willies.  Supposed to be finished in 2008.

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This is a view from the Arizona side of the dam.  The visitor center is on the right, and the parking garage is just to it's left.

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Here is the lake side.  See the white water line?  We have a resevoir here in Redding, Lake Shasta, and a tourist was overheard saying "I wish they would re plant the sides...they look so barren."

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Gooood Job !
See you real soon - ... !
Frank Vee | http://www.fmvigneri.com, Fri, 12 Nov 2010 1:52PM
Thanks for the great photos. I am leaving tomorrow to visit my daughter in Santa Fe and was looking for places to look for rocks and found your site. Your photos were almost as good as going to the big Rock & Mineral show in Detroit. I am a member of MMS but not too active the last few years. I don't have any more space to store things so I mostly look and leave for the next guy.I may do a little polishing this winter. Thanks again and if you think of any roads to take near Santa Fe let me know.I will appreciate any help in locating interesting spots.
Ellen DeLater, Wed, 10 Nov 2010 10:56PM
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