Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Greetings from Weardale.

The weather so far this week has been pretty typical for the North Pennines, cool, cloudy, and occasionally rainy. The rain has been somewhat minimal, but fortunately enough to wash off the leavings of some avian resident from the hire car. If we had been hoping to observe yesterday’s transit of Venus across the face of the sun, we would have been quite disappointed. I understand that little of the event was visible from this part of the world, anyway, so no one had their telescopes out just in case. The sun was shining about an hour ago when I first awoke but has now given way to heavy cloud. Still dry, however, but this too will change.

Cal and Kerith arrived on Sunday afternoon, a day earlier than expected. Perhaps news of the new pocket lured then North in an expedited manner. As a result, Cal, Ian and I had Monday to attack what remained of the pocket as a team. First thing, we had Dave put a series of drill holes into the rock over the cavity, and we proceeded to split it away using the new feather and wedge sets Cal had sent over before we opened up this season. After much swinging of a five-pound hammer we gained access to the back of the pocket and harvested much of what was remaining. After realizing that much of the effort in collecting this pocket was actually spent carefully scraping the sticky mud out of the middle, I’ve named it the “Mud Ball Pocket.” By the end of the day the pocket appeared to be finished, though Ian managed to get out another plate almost as big as the one we got last Saturday. Much more of this and it will be time for to get out the diamond chain saw.

With the pocket finished, we spent yesterday cleaning up the mess we had made at the face, installing some cross-bracing for the closest timber set, and drilling for the next shot. The seam of green fluorite that was running westward across the face from the pocket makes us hopeful that there are other pockets behind. The shot was fired at the end of the day, so I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Today will be spent mucking and timbering, after-which the collecting team will descend on the face, once again, like a hoard of hungry locusts. It is green, after all!

For your bit of green, today’s photo is of the quarry seen from the mine landing.

More soon,


Jesse, Ian, Cal & Kerith

The quarry seen from the mine landing.

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