We took a walk in the creek where we admired treasure troves of river-rubbed obsidian, much of it the size of a fist, some rather larger. We got really excited about some of the larger stones, grapefruit-sized.
Only ones that fit in a pocket followed us home:
Then, as it was Sunday, we decided to go to church. For us, this involves no pastors, but maybe pastures…
We went up and around new roads, over beautiful hills, along streams, through forests… and found the sources of all that obsidian.
Great bands of fat black glass sloped up through orange, yellow, white earth.
Some of it spilled onto the edges of the road, much of it clinging to the rockfaces.
Chunks the size of heads, boulders the size of steamer trunks. J remarked, “We hit the motherlode, baby, we hit the motherlode!”
I was so scamperingly excited to get pictures and samples that J was both cracking up and worrying slightly. When I was preparing to dash down a narrow stretch of road to get a shot, h e didn’t send me on and wait by the car… he grabbed my hand and led the way, saying, “If we’re going to get hit by a drunk driver, we’re going to get hit together. Come on, baby, let’s go.”
He met a carnivorous specimen which tried to bite off his finger when, trying to give me a more interesting shot, he reached out to touch it:
This piece has been hacked at by amateur geologists trying, and failing, to collect that enormous sample — well, trophy. J was just being friendly, but the edges are just as glassy-sharp as if he had had more hostile intentions.
It made our river-rubbed fist- and grapefruit-sized pieces look very small indeed — and very gentle!
The temperature dropped suddenly, 3 degrees in 2 minutes and falling. I turned from the rockface and took this picture of the lush region above the volcanic bed just as it did so:
J chased me into the car and ignored all my mindless “ooh, ooh!” noises and frantic pointing after that.
He has seen me, in a 70 degree (Fahrenheit) room, bundled up in a huge sweater and shaking with autonomic chill. When he knows what to look out for, he does a better job of taking care of me than I do. “If I had to drag you by the hair, I was gonna get you off that mountain. By your heel, your ass, whatever. It was getting too damn cold.”
I have to say, it feels good to have backup. I don’t take it for granted.
According to some theories, all this glorious obsidian might have something to do with why this one area of NoCal does not feel like it’s festering… but I’ll let the classical physicists, quantum physicists, wiccans and shamans argue about that. I’m just soaking up the joy of living practically on top of a fat pile of one of the coolest rocks in the world.