Preparing for the Date Festival
On January 17, 2015, a lively group of Shadow Mountain Gem and Mineral Society members and friends met at the home of Darlene Bjork and Marge Buxton to fill the Educational Rock Sample Bags. At break time we were served delicious donuts. When we had filled 912 bags, we had assorted pizza for lunch!
It was a time of good fellowship and camaraderie, while we were accomplishing something for the good of our Club! And fun, too!
Submitted by Barbara Catlin
Kramer Junction. By the time we arrived at the collection site, the sun decided to shine, at least for a while, and we spent several hours surface collecting and also digging this beautiful opalite, agate, palm and bog in a wild variety of colors!
The photos here do not do justice to the beautiful material! We did have some light rain on our return trip, which seemed to be no bother at all, except for the passengers in the little blue Jeep!
Several members missed this trip due to illness. We wish them a speedy recovery, and hope they will join us on our return trip to Kramer Junction!
Submitted by Barbara Catlin
MARY E. FLAGEL
Our beloved Lifetime Member, Mary E. Flagel, is pictured here on May 5, 2006, receiving an award for 25 years of service as Treasurer of The Shadow Mountain Gem and Mineral Society. Mary left this world on December 22, 2014, after a long illness. Those of us who were blessed to know Mary benefited from her vast knowledge of gems and minerals. She taught us many things, and shared her knowledge with us generously. Her displays in the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival always won the top prizes.
When Mary became ill, part of her wonderful collection became available to our Society, and we are still reaping the rewards from all those beautiful items.
Thank you, Mary, for being part of The Shadow Mountain Gem and Mineral Society, and part of our lives.
Submitted by Barbara Catlin, Recording Secretary and Historian, Shadow Mountain Gem and Mineral Society
Don’t believe everything you read. Several years ago, a friend passed along a Rockhounder article from 1972, describing an accidental find of apache tears in the “Borrego Sink.” After a couple fruitless attempts on my own, I proposed this potential to our scouting committee and a real search was in the works.
On the beautiful morning of December 20th, the top dogs of our club set off with 6 human rouckhounds armed with vague 40 year old directions. Along a 3 mile stretch of route 22 west of Salton City, where these obsidian nodules supposedly were “lying about by the hundreds”, we stopped everywhere there was room for 3 cars. Spending no less than 30 minutes at each stop, we fanned out in all directions scouring for even a shard of volcanic glass. After 4 stops we threw in the towel and the only evidence of tears were those of disappointment on my face. Fortunately, they dried quickly amid the stunning geologic scenery. I guess sometimes, Mother Nature sticks her tongue out at you.
Making lemonade from the lemons we were dealt in the morning, we headed down the road toward Ocotillo Wells for petrified wood. The first hour of collecting was meager for some of us, so we backtracked a bit. Within feet of our cars there were great specimens for the Date Festival bags! As always, never being too old to learn, there was a lively discussion around what appeared to be entire logs which were buried, but not ‘cooked’ long enough become petrified. Rather, there were fragile wood-like fragments, surrounded by powdery, yet colorful hematite, limonite or related iron compounds. Of course, specimens too large for the bags, had to go home with the finder.
On second thought, Mother Nature wasn’t taunting us, just pointing us to look further to the right! By the way, for us fluorescent collectors, the wood is a beautiful yellow-orange in shortwave UV!
Footnote to trip – The AM/PM at the corner of 22 and 86 is well worth a stop. From delicious carne asada tacos to banana splits big enough for two, they have what it takes to replenish a weary rockhounder!
Submitted by Bill Beecher
The third try was the charm for this trip after two cancellations due to high winds and blowing sands. Our happy and enthusiastic troop of 18 members met at 9 a.m. at the Motel 6. After being placed into 4 wheel drive trucks, we took off to Garnet Hill at approximately 9:15 a.m.
Taking the back way, we ran into some problems, water and mud on the trail. One truck got stuck but Mike Attard pulled him out with his red jeep.
Thank you Darlene.
I believe everyone in the group found something wonderful by noon and we went back to our meeting place for a break and refreshments before driving off in search of Wonderstone. Everyone found something to take home. It was a very successful trip and everyone was a happy camper.
Submitted by John Zedler, field trip leader.
Scouting Trip, October 23, 2014
This was the first trip for our newly established Scouting Committee. We chose the area of Kramer Junction to explore.
It took us about 2 ½ hours to get there, but we were not disappointed. The area is vast, and there seems to be an endless amount of opalite in a wide range of colors, and red and yellow moss, much of it showing inclusions of fossilized stems and roots.
The Committee has determined that this would be an excellent place for the Shadow Mountain Gem and Mineral Society to schedule a field trip very soon.
Submitted by: Barbara Catlin
The passing of Richard Catlin 5/19/2014
As I write this I am very saddened to have to report the passing of Richard Catlin. We have all lost a very loved member of the club. Richard has been a member for more than 40 years. He has held many positions. Board member, news letter editor, trip leader and joke teller, sometimes telling a joke more than once but always getting a laugh. In all the years I have known him, I never heard him ever say anything bad about anyone. He was a kind and gentle soul, loved by all.
A few days ago when I spoke to Barbara, who is being very strong at this time, she told me she had a talk with Richard after his passing and told him she was mad at him for leaving before her. She explained she married him because he was younger and she wanted to go first! Well Richard i’m mad at you too.
We will all miss you and your sense of humor, jokes and words of wisdom. so i will close with these words.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good!
May god put you in charge of joke telling and if you are on the board of directors in heaven, save me a seat.
A celebration of life gathering is going to be on June 17th, Richards birthday, at Dar and Marge's house, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Any questions please call me at 760-219-4388.
President, Shadow Mountain Gem & Mineral Society.