David K. Joyce

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

Here are some of the specimens that we found at the locality. After that, a look at the peculiar weathered granite boulders in the Dragoon Mountains.

 

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

We started finding botryoidal and sort of concentric, layered masses of what I would call translucent chalcedony. Some of the chalcedony has a more white phase that looks a lot like common opal. I'm calling it opal. This is a nice "flower" shaped formation of the chalcedony that Jinette found.

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

This is how the chalcedony/opal seems to occur. In vesicles and open seams in basalt. Odd how some of the chalcedony/opal is fluorescent and other parts not?!

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

Here is an interesting piece composed of botryoidal chalcedony and what I call opal, plus quartz crystals. The opal and chalcedony is fluorescent and the crystals are not.

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

Another example of the peculiar, sort of, flowing botryoidal chalcedony. This one doesn't seem to have the often associated opal.

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

This one has a larger area of the white botryoidal material that appears like common opal and, generally, fluoresces a brighter green than the chalcedony.

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

Interesting rock formation that sort of looks like a volcanic "neck", the core of an ancient volcano. Could it be?

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

Other interesting rock formations close by the collecting site.

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

The Morenci open pit mine was a shrrt drive from the Safford collecting area so over we went to have a look. We could not collect but just wanted to have a look at the huge, world-famous mining operation.

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

It is one heck of a big hole! You can see how they are dumping waste rock back into the pit at this end.

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

They move a lot of rock in this operation; 115,000 tons per day of ore plus waste! Here is a line-up of 200 ton trucks dumping waste (I think) rock.There HAS to be some interesting minerals somewhere in all that rock and waste!?

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

There is an area of the Dragoon Mountains where the granite has weathered in a peculiar way, causing formations of granite boulders that, often, appear to have been piled up on purpose!

Recent Activities -Safford, Arizona Trip, Page 2

I could do a whole photo-essay on these rocks alone! This was the last stop on what was a very full day.