Rock Stories


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A photo of Steve DautI’m a geologist by training. I spent some time in the oil industry until the last bust, then worked in environmental, but I never liked environmental geology all that much. My whole reason for going into geology in the first place was to give me a good excuse to be outside and because I liked rocks. The environmental work I was doing kept me in the office more than the field, and there was nary a decent rock in sight. So I cut loose and got into the nonprofit arena.

But I still like rocks, and our new house has a bunch of really cool big ones. I’m not saying that’s why I wanted to buy the place, although that’s one of the things Sue likes to tell our friends. Well, it’s possible they might have had some influence on me.

I’m not sure if the boulder-sized rocks actually came from the property or if someone brought them in, but a lot of them are boulder-sized (for example, Rock Number 1, below), so it would have taken a pretty hefty piece of equipment to move them.

Rock number 1 is boulder sized

They actually could have come from the property, because we back up to a hill that was probably a medial moraine when this area was glaciated. Glaciers act like big bulldozers, and a medial moraine is basically the pile of rubble that gets left between two of them bulldozing their way along. Because of this dozing action, the rubble can range in size from sand grains to the largest boulders.

What I like about rocks is that they tell stories, revealing something about their history by what you can see. For instance, Rock Number 2 is basalt (the darker part in most of the rock), which was intruded by granite (the light part on the right side).

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