July 22, 2001

Hello All:

At this point everyone may be receiving two different missives each day. Cal writes one as well. So no doubt everyone will be well informed of the events going on around in this part of the world. If this is a pain, just notify one of us and we will fix the problem for you.

Today is a very English day. Overcast, with spots of sunshine. A bit breezy and a bit wet. Clifford the shepherd says "He wished the weather would be a bit less english like." Here is everyone's lesson in words today. The word Pet. Everyone has pets, but where did this word or term come from? Apparently in the North here, any young animal rejected or orphaned by its mother is taken to bottle, and becomes a pet. So something or someone to be taken under ones wing is a pet. For instance the young lamb that visits me was a pet. Apparently he was a triplet. He is such a runt, that the mother rejected him. They put him on a bottle, and then when old enough, they put him in the field. Then he found me. When I asked about him, Clifford kept saying "your pet", meaning the pet that keeps coming down to you, is ..... I kept getting confused, because it isn't my pet. Anyway, Wallace is a pet. The confusing world that gives us chuckles.

On the mineral front Cal and I are tearing through the stuff in the garage. There is a great deal of stuff that makes you stop and go geeeeee. I'm going to attach a pretty picture today of one of the greens. I apologize for the color. The coin is a pound coin. They are an inch across. Gives better dimensions. Byron is digging right along. We can't keep enough tubs available to him. He can't pack minerals fast enough. So everyone is helping where they can. We have even taken to shanghaiing visitors. I need to correct one bit of information. Ayla, speaking of on the job, is actually from Pennsylvania. For some reason I was convinced she was from California. Oh well. But I am looking forward to her arrival. I think she will really enjoy this adventure. Back to the mining information.

Byron was scratching at the door to get to work yesterday. He was out of tubs though, and the tunnel was full. He had also blasted to the west of the Black Sheep Pocket. So was anxious to get in to see the results of that blast. But the one that really had him was the beginning of a watercourse in the back of the Birthday Pocket in the East tunnel. He said that he could put his whole arm in and with the digging tool (3ft) get good specimens out of the back. He was anxious to see if the Birthday Pocket is going into the watercourse or if ???? Yesterday he opened the watercourse, and it appears that it is going to continue to give us Height's Quarry quality materials. When Cal left yesterday, Byron was sitting at the entrance of the watercourse, with his legs dangling in to the hole. By last night it was quite a bit bigger (Byron the Badger strikes again) and was showing all appearances of continuing. Now to top everything off, the hole across from the Black Sheep is popping out unusual Aragonite covered stalactites with some green fluorites. Going to be another interesting zone. Meanwhile, the Solstice Pocket is still going. And there are any number of other things happening. Dave and Lofty are scrambling around mucking, timbering and generally wearing themselves out. Next week they are probably going to learn to mineral collect. Meanwhile we continue to enjoy the sight of good minerals.

We are off to the Sparbox exhibition at Killhope and then to the mine again.


Jonina and Byron

Part Two:

Greetings from the Pennines,

Today was a very pleasant day with the exception of a few early morning showers prior to 9:00 a.m., temperatures to about 65, scattered clouds and a light breeze.

The Greenbanks left about 10:30 a.m. for Killhope to see the spar box exhibition and I took off for the Rogerley mine in hopes of packing up a few of the many specimens lining the new tunnel. By the time I had opened and unlocked everything it was after 11:30 and I found no loose plastic packing bins and scrounged around till I fould a small one and spent about an hour and a half digging in the Black Sheep extension on the other side of the rails which was started late last week. I came up with a number of attractive to truly ugly stalagtitic aragonites associated with fluorite, sadly we no longer have a short wave or long wave black light here so I cannot check to see if the aragonites fluoresce; if they do it will make great two color combinations under the black light.

I packed my spoils and headed back to Burnbrae to pick up Kerith and go up to Little Allercleugh where we spent the afternoon packing flats and watergunning and doing some ultrasonicing of some of the bags of muddy thumbnails fluorite bits and pieces Byron had been sorting out the past couple of weeks. Most of the things Byron recognized as fluorite are totally undistinguishable to any but a very trained eye from your average run of the mill mine mudball suitable only for slinging as far as possible over the mine dump. Kerith check her watch and we found that it was after 6:30 p.m. This far north the sun is out till well after 10:00 p.m. and true dark is only about 5 hours a night - if that.

We scooted down the hill and I saw that Byron was still at the Golden Lion so I joined him for a pint of Black Sheep beer and he kindly opened the trunk of the Puegot to show me a plate out of the water course that bisects the Birthday Pocket. About 14"x 8" in size and coverd on two sides with some very lustrous gem twins to about 3/4", a very nice - but large - piece. I asked if we had some more mangeable pieces and he showed me several plates covered with glassy gem to gemmy twins up to nearly an 1". Tomorrow I plan on going back and see what new is lining the tunnel and see how much farther he has gotten down the ancient watercourse.

That is it from this wonderful place somewhere way north of Lake Woebegone. Cal

Some of the recent produce.

Go Back