Saturday, 30 June 2007

Art Spot: To The East...

A quick watercolour painting done tonight...

Basically from my head which is full of all sorts of things at the moment, although the tree (or at least, something approximating it) is one that I see when I am driving home from work each day. I've been meaning to turn it into a painting for a while...

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Mineral Spot: Smithsonite...

Smithsonite is a zinc carbonate mineral that occurs in the oxidised zone of lead-zinc ore deposits.

Good crystals of smithsonite are not that common and are often white or greyish in colour. It sometimes occurs as pale coloured crystals in various hues due to impurities.

This specimen is green due to copper and comes from Broken Hill in New South Wales. This particular specimen will be included in one of my auctions starting this coming Sunday...

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Cold Spot: Winter Rose...

A heavy frost this morning. This is one of our few remaining rose flowers (other than the carpet roses which seem to flower most of the year!). It had been in the early morning sun for a while, but the weak sun wasn't warm enough to melt the ice crystals...

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Sun Spot: The Shortest Day...

This week saw the shortest day here in the Southern Hemisphere. This photo was taken late afternoon near Zeehan in western Tasmania where I was working during the week...

Mineral Spot: Redwineite...

Something a bit different - KC4H5O6 - Potassium bitartrate...

Also known as cream of tartar, and produced as a by-product of wine making. There are a number of minerals that form as crystals but do not (or have not) occur in nature, and therefore are not recognised as a valid mineral species.

I've given this one a title of redwineite and was found in a wine vat at an unidentified winery in Victoria. It will soon be on its way to a New South Wales collector...

Monday, 18 June 2007

Sun Spot: Pot'o'Gold...

Heading back from the west coast of Tasmania a couple of weeks back, I came across this rainbow near the Collingwood River.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to look for the pot of gold...

I have to head off again tomorrow morning. It could be a challenge as there was snow falling tonight coming home from work!

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Mineral Spot: Azurite Roses...

'Rose' is a term used for a mineral habit where the mineral crystals look like a rose. A number of mineral species can form this way. As well as azurite, the minerals hematite, barite, and gypsum commonly form roses. This specimen is azurite from the Spring Creek mine, Wilmington, South Australia.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Cold Spot: The Ice Maiden Cometh...

Well it is Winter here in Tasmania!

Yesterday morning (Sunday), we woke to a medium frost. The grass was white, and the water containers for the dog, chickens and sheep were well iced over (see second pic).

Ice crystals were quite well-formed, particularly in sheltered spots.

In the first picture, the ice crystals have formed in quite unusual radial sprays. They have seeded on a piece of sheep's fleece caught up on the wire fence.

In case you didn't know, ice is a valid mineral species.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

New Issue of Mineral Collector Magazine!

The second issue of the Australian and New Zealand Mineral Collector magazine is now out. This issue includes articles on Thackaringa garnets; phosphates from Punchs Terror, Tasmania; the Avebury Nickel Mine, Tasmania; Epidote from the Harts Range; Bickers Quarry, New Zealand; and more.

It is full colour, 28 pages, and only $10US available from Lulu.

If you are going to order a copy directly, can I suggest that you use the 'Standard' option for shipping. It is by far the most economical, and usually arrives within a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Sun Spot: On a Gossamer Breeze...

Had to go to Tasmania's west coast for work for a couple of days. On the way over, mid-afternoon on a sunny Winter's day, I was amazed by the amount of gossamer on the paddocks, on trees, power poles, fences, in fact, on everything.

There must have been a zillion little spiders!

The ones draped over the grass in the paddocks reflected the suns rays and made a line heading off in the direction of the sun. Absolutely stunning! The photo doesn't do it justice.