Wednesday, September 15, 2010

everyone has a different view...

What I've been staring at for the past week:

and other various such diagrams.

This, on the other hand, is what my dear boyfriend has had to stare at for the past week:

Ladies and gentlemen, the beautiful Nicaragua!

Someone tell me - how is this fair?!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Look at what digging in North Carolina will get you...

If you have been in my general vicinity within the last week, there's a likely chance that not only I have read this article to you but also shown you pictures of this find several times. You're probably tired of hearing about it, but I'm not yet tired of talking about it. HAVE YOU SEEN THE EMERALD THEY FOUND IN NORTH CAROLINA LAST YEAR? Take a gander. These things don't happen everyday.
What a gem!

So a man found this 310 carat emerald in Hiddenite, North Carolina last year. Can we say "HOLY COW"? According to CBS news, the lucky digger found this motherload on the farm belonging to a 90 year old man named W. Renn Adams, a native from Alexander County. Mr. Adams allows visitors to dig in his dirt for the price of $3 a day. I'd say that Terry Ledford, the 53 year old visitor who found this chunk got more than his money's worth when he reached into the ground on a lucky day in 2009 and unearthed the biggest emerald ever to be found not only in North Carolina, but NORTH AMERICA as we know it.

Here's what had to say about it:
While big, uncut crystals and even notable gem-quality emeralds have come from the community 50 miles northwest of Charlotte called Hiddenite, there has never been one so big it's worthy of an imperial treasury, Beesley said. 

"It is the largest cut emerald ever to be found in North America," Beesley said in a telephone interview from Myanmar, an Asian country rich in precious gems. 

The discovery is a rarity for emeralds found not in the rich veins of South America and Asia but in North America, said Robert Simon, owner of Windsor Jewelers in Winston-Salem. 

"Most of the stones that have come out have not been gem-quality that I would mount in jewelry," said Simon, who was part owner of a 7.85-carat, dime-sized emerald found in the same community in 1998 that has since been set in jewelry and sold to a private owner. 

Terry Ledford, 53, found the roughly 2-inch-square chunk rimmed with spots of iron a year ago on a 200-acre farm owned by business partner Renn Adams, 90, and his siblings. The rural community of Hiddenite is named for a paler stone that resembles emerald. 

"It was so dark in color that holding it up to the sun you couldn't even get the light to come through it," a quality that ensured an intense green hue once the stone was cut with facets that allowed light into the gem's core, Ledford said. 

The North Carolina stone was cut to imitate the royal emerald, Ledford said. A museum and some private collectors interested in buying the emerald have been in contact, Ledford said. 

Here's the actual article. You should read it to everyone you know.

More importantly.. can someone say road trip to Hiddenite? I think I might pitch that idea to the geology club and see if they're interested. While the chance of me digging up anything comparable to the "Carolina Emperor" is a rare chance at best, the mere proof that it's possible is enough for me to waste a few days digging. The only thing I was somewhat disappointed about was how they cut it. But then again, I am a geologist at heart - I would rather have a huge mangled chunk than a perfectly faceted gem. But I guess the princess cut gem is more market ready than what they originally found. Here's what it looked like when they were done...

Again, pretty to most. But seems like a waste of the other 245.17 carats to me. But what do I know? I'm just a mineral freak in general. 

Also, according to my dad, there was a small earthquake on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee last week. Look out for a blog on that later, after of course I've done some more research via the USGS website.

Until then, Happy Tuesday! And keep digging... You never know what you'll find.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

the animals were being really sweet today..

Nikki was smiling at me!

a little too curious of my camera..

this rarely happens, had to document how close they were.

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

the waving state.

So last Monday during my break in between lectures, I was sitting inside an empty classroom catching up on some good ol' quality textbook reading when I noticed several missed calls logged on my cell phone. Three calls to be exact - all from my father within minutes apart. From the look of these rampant calls, something seemed urgent. I started to panic. My father is not exactly the chatty type... And the fact that he had called several times in a row made me paranoid that there was some sort of family emergency I needed to be aware of. It took me no longer than sixty seconds to drop my books, grab my phone, and bounce down to the first floor of the building and to the front porch outside.

He answered within a few rings.

"Dad?" I said. I was trying not to act nervous. "Dad, I saw that you called. Is something wrong? What's going on?"

"Mo!" He responds in a carefree tone. I can immediately tell that the issues I have created in my mind are void of legitimacy. "Listen," he continues. "I was thinking about your blog, Mo... I've got a great idea for something you should write about."

Not only am I relieved at this point, I am quite flattered. My dad wasn't trying to tell me that our house had burned down or that mom was in the hospital, he was simply excited to share new ideas for this blog I just started to write. The mere fact that my dad takes time out of his days to read the rants of his youngest daughter is wonderful enough - but he is so invested in it now that he not only wants to be a passive member of my audience, but an active one.
Here's his idea. "I think you should write about how we live in a Waving State." This was a concept I didn't quite grasp at first. But after several seconds of explanation, I, too, thought this was a great idea for an article.

This one's for you daddy...
My father is a yankee. Born and raised around the Baltimore area, my immediate family full of southern women lovingly refer to my father as a "Balti-moron". He transplanted to the South in 1968 when he enrolled at Tennessee Tech. After graduation, my father found his first job as an auditor for Springs Mills in a small town called Lancaster, South Carolina. This was the town where he would meet my southern belle mother. After they were married, they moved around to Charlotte, then southern Virginia, and back to southern North Carolina where they still live today. Long story short - my father has been a southerner at heart ever since that chance year, never returning to his northern roots. I often think of what my father felt when he stepped foot onto the campus at Tennessee Tech that year. Or even what he thought when he first heard my mother's southern draw.

My father has made this observation: we live in a waving state. We wave at everyone who passes by. Whether you're simply walking by someone on a parallel sidewalk, driving by someone's front yard, or sitting next to someone at a football game - we constantly wave and greet all around us. It is uncoothe and considered rude to pass someone coldly with no eye contact, hand motion, or even a silently mouthed "hello". 

Now clearly, this doesn't happen everywhere. For the Southeastern region of the U.S. that we live in (lovingly referred to as the Bible Belt) is a unique culture all our own. We like going barefoot, drinking sweet tea, and basking in the hot sun on a humid summer day. Beyond that our women are gossip queens, our children drink Cheerwine, and our men have farmer's tans. Not to mention, we all try to beat each other to the best restaurant in town on early Sunday afternoons after the last church bell has rung. Love us or hate us, we're going to wave at you when you walk by.

I'm sure this is bizarre to newcomers. I picture my father as a twenty something year old on his first day in the south. Did he, too, think it was odd that everyone who passed greeted him? Had he ever heard the word "Ya'll"? What did he think when he ordered "ice tea" and got a mouthful of sweet nectar on his first sip? Whatever these impressions were, it seemed to really grab my dad, not turn him off.

My father, although born in what my family considers "the North", is a changed man. He has converted over to "Southern-dom". He'll probably be a southerner for the rest of his life. The waving states kidnapped my dad... And he looks pretty happy about it to me.