Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kidnapping Husband for a day

Last Wednesday I talked my husband Matt into taking the day off so we could explore an area we had been in the weekend prior. I wanted to see if I could find more samples like the one I had found previously (and had never seen before) in hopes it would help in identification. I found quite a few, some with a bit of an oil/tar residue, and some more along the lines of my original find- which looked to be comprised of organics.

When I brought these new pieces home the oil residue was all but impossible to wash off. No matter how much I washed, the water remained as dirty as the first time I washed it.
In addition, the residue left on your hands after handling (wet or dry) was very sticky and oily. The outer exterior of these pieces mostly had what appeared to be a woody texture, but it would be rash for me to conclude they were of comprised of one particular piece (verses a mass of organics/organics+sediment).

Except for a few that I would be willing to say were quite probable one piece of a larger structure. I would need to cut a section for definitive proof though- as I have had egg on my face before when being too quick to rush to a conclusion, hence I am much more careful about concluding anything anymore without enough background research/advice/etc to jump to a conclusion about a specimen I am unfamiliar with.

Thus far, a lot of what my searching  has yielded (in regards to the initial sample I found) is along the lines of coal balls, although none of what I have matches the true definition of such- the environment and certain parameters match. While I don't think any of the pieces are lignified, I am not entirely sure they aren't. Vague as that comment is, the reason behind it is due to the aspect that the tar-like coating really prevents a good view and I haven't as of yet scraped at it to see how solidified the outer structure on some of them are. I am wont to destroy such beautiful textures- but when I get a moment I will see about finding an area that I'm willing to deface.

All in all, I have made little progress in discovering what my initial sample is, and actually came out with more questions than when I began. But it was a fantastic afternoon, despite the rain. -I learned early on in geology that weather is rarely a determining factor on if you go out into the field or not. Had it been a quest purely for the fun of it, I suppose a day when the sun was out would have been more pleasurable. But when my mind is whirling with questions to the point of distraction- rain or shine, I was going out. :) We had a few moments of sun though, so hubby didn't complain too much.


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