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Quartz collecting outings in South Africa
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2014 10:21    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Don Lum wrote:
Pierre,

I like the "moonshot" and picture of Riana holding up the boulder.

Don


Hi Don, thank you. Best regards!

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chris
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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2014 11:42    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Hi Pierre,

Thanks for the photos. You are a great SA's ambassador. Not too many problems with snakes when you dig this way under these boulders ?

Cheers

Christophe
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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2014 12:05    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

chris wrote:
Hi Pierre,

Thanks for the photos. You are a great SA's ambassador. Not too many problems with snakes when you dig this way under these boulders ?

Cheers

Christophe


Hi Chris, Thank you, The diversity and beauty of SA do not need an ambassador, but I will take the compliment:-) My experience is that snakes know well to keep themselves out of your way, so they are seldom seen. The puff-adder is not the most poisonous from our area, but certainly the vilest. The most deadly from our area is the Cape Cobra, with a deadly neurotoxic venom that does not leave one with too much time to get help. Fortunately they are not aggressive and will only strike when there is no escape. I do not enjoy walking in the mountains at night with a torch as this is the worst time to encounter adders. Saying this, I have often walked in the mountains at night.

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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2014 19:38    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

I feel like packing my bags and flying over, the pictures are wonderful. The Quartz specimen are beautiful, thanks for sharing.
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PostPosted: Oct 07, 2014 01:04    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

steven calamuci wrote:
I feel like packing my bags and flying over, the pictures are wonderful. The Quartz specimen are beautiful, thanks for sharing.


Thank you Steven. Should you or any other FMF members want to visit SA, I am more than willing to assist with advice on where to stay and where to go. As the Rand is very weak, travelling in SA is fairly cheap. Regards.

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PostPosted: Dec 26, 2014 11:08    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

I sent a quartz sample to Cesar Menor-Salvan, who was kind enough to photograph and confirm that the small green balls in the quartz are indeed clinochlore. The photo is courtesy of Cesar.


Clinochlore.jpg
 Mineral: Clinochlore in quartz
 Dimensions: F.O.V. a few mm
 Description:
 Viewed:  15452 Time(s)

Clinochlore.jpg



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PostPosted: Dec 29, 2014 04:24    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Here is an account of a recent trip I had to a quartz location:
I left early on Friday (the 19Th Dec.) and drove the 80 km to a private farm where I
discovered crystal deposits about 30 years ago. I parked my car on a
neighboring farm and walked about 8 km up a gorge with a 4x4 track. It
was not that hot, but I realized now more than ever, I will not be able
to do this for many more years. The body is protesting. I will have to
buy a 4x4. Once I reached my destination; a large rock overhang (I
suppose one could call it a cave), I rested for a good while and then
headed to my favourite crystal spot. I resumed digging where I last
left, and quickly my attention was drawn to an interesting spot very
close to where I last removed some really nice clusters. I used the
chisels and hammer and before long had a number of clusters out that lay
loose in the pocket. Most of the pockets have sand in them and in some
cases, clay. I spent a few more hours digging in a pile of broken rock
and found a number of nice single points and small clusters. I left
before sunset and had a nice swim in the river. I had an uncomfortable
nights' sleep as all I had as padding was 3 knee pillows. It was hot,
so the sleeping bag was, for most of the night, unnecessary.

After breakfast the next morning, I walked upstream attempting to catch rainbow trout,
but, I am afraid I have not seen any since a major flood there a few
years ago. It is worrying and I will ask the farmers if we can restock
the river sometime soon. After this fruitless exercise, I had another
swim and then proceeded to the same spot as the previous day. I worked
in the rubble of loose rock, hoping to find a pocket. I did find some
traces of small pockets with some interesting crystals. The evening, as
I got to the overhang, I saw a Cape cobra of about 4 Foot long, with a
lovely yellow colour, sail in front of me and go under a bush and rocks
about 6 m from where I was sleeping. I prodded the bush, hoping for it
to come out so that I could take a photo, but that was not to be. I had
a better nights' sleep. The overhang/cave has a small deep cavity in
the corner where Gennets (a wild cat) stay. They have been there for
many years. They are inclined to steal your food. I hoped to see them
but did not, probably due to the fact that a strong wind was blowing.

I took it easy on Sunday and late morning I moved lower down in the Gorge to sleep at another place and to also visit another crystal area. I had some good success here also and after a, not so comfortable nights sleep, headed down the gorge with a very heavy rucksack. I arrived at my car at about 10 am. Monday morning (22nd Dec.), made my coutesy calls at the farmers and headed home. All in all it was a very pleasant trip with the days not to warm. I saw lots of baby rockrabbits (Dassie), baboons and heard some buck. Nature is VERY rewarding! Thank You Lord!!!



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PostPosted: Dec 29, 2014 04:33    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

A few more photos from this trip. I have only lightly washed some of the specimens and hope to show a few cleaned specimens later.


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PostPosted: Dec 29, 2014 11:08    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Another great trip report Pierre. Looks like you did well with the quartz crystal collecting, they look very nice and I can't wait to see them fully cleaned!
The gorge in the mountains looks very scenic and the stream looks clean and inviting. Is the stream there at all times of the year or will it dry up sometimes?
The overhang looks like an excellent spot to camp. Glad to hear the Cape Cobra didn't put you off your night's sleep - I'm not sure I would have slept as soundly!
Regards, Mike :-)

Oh by the way, thanks for the photo from Cesar Menor-Salvan, of the little green balls in the quartz. Was the id of the mineral (clinochlore) visual or instrumental?

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PostPosted: Dec 29, 2014 13:17    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Mike Wood wrote:
Another great trip report Pierre. Looks like you did well with the quartz crystal collecting, they look very nice and I can't wait to see them fully cleaned!
The gorge in the mountains looks very scenic and the stream looks clean and inviting. Is the stream there at all times of the year or will it dry up sometimes?
The overhang looks like an excellent spot to camp. Glad to hear the Cape Cobra didn't put you off your night's sleep - I'm not sure I would have slept as soundly!
Regards, Mike :-)

Oh by the way, thanks for the photo from Cesar Menor-Salvan, of the little green balls in the quartz. Was the id of the mineral (clinochlore) visual or instrumental?


Hi Mike. Thank you. Yes, the stream flows all year round. The gorge is prone to serious flooding. Fortunately I have never been there when it happened. Even though the Cape Cobra is deadly poisonous, I do not fear it as I know it's habits very well. They will only strike when there is no other alternative.
The clinochlore is visually obvious, but very small. The photo of Cesar was taken with a microscope (I think). I hope you recover quickly so we can have one of your exciting trip reports also. Best regards.

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PostPosted: Dec 30, 2014 08:33    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Here are 4 specimens from this last trip. I still have a lot of cleaning to do!


P1410044.JPG
 Mineral: Quartz
 Dimensions: Hands for size.
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 Mineral: Quartz
 Dimensions: Hands for size.
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P1410055.JPG
 Mineral: Quartz
 Locality:
Ceres, Warmbokkeveld Valley, Witzenberg, Cape Winelands, Western Cape Province, South Africa
 Dimensions: Hands for size.
 Description:
 Viewed:  15044 Time(s)

P1410055.JPG



P1410061.JPG
 Mineral: Quartz
 Locality:
Ceres, Warmbokkeveld Valley, Witzenberg, Cape Winelands, Western Cape Province, South Africa
 Dimensions: Hands for size.
 Description:
 Viewed:  15060 Time(s)

P1410061.JPG



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PostPosted: Dec 30, 2014 11:24    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Hello Pierre,

I also liked your clinochlore in quartz.

Looks like you had a successful hunt. Thanks for taking us with you on your trip.

Hi to Riana.

Happy New Year !!

Regards,

Don

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PostPosted: Dec 30, 2014 12:24    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Don Lum wrote:
Hello Pierre,

I also liked your clinochlore in quartz.

Looks like you had a successful hunt. Thanks for taking us with you on your trip.

Hi to Riana.

Happy New Year !!

Regards,

Don


Thank you Don. I love feedback, so I appreciate your comments. The joy of experiencing a trip like this is very satisfying; being able to share it with others is even better! Best regards, also to Gwen.

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PostPosted: Dec 30, 2014 14:58    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Hello Pierre!

Thank you for this nice report. I like your quartz specimens - cleaned and also with mud. ;)
In my opinion, these specimens are aesthetical.

Martin

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PostPosted: Dec 30, 2014 15:14    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Martin Rich wrote:
Hello Pierre!

Thank you for this nice report. I like your quartz specimens - cleaned and also with mud. ;)
In my opinion, these specimens are aesthetical.

Martin


Thank you Martin. I have a lot of cleaning to do, but that will have to wait for a while. The truth is I have a plastic crate full of uncleaned quartz specimens from the last few years waiting for me:-) Best regards!

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PostPosted: Dec 30, 2014 20:27    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Thanks Pierre for sharing your report. It's interesting how they clean up quite well. Seems like a pretty remote area to collect in. Perhaps not many collectors know of this spot?
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PostPosted: Dec 31, 2014 03:06    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Vitaliy wrote:
Thanks Pierre for sharing your report. It's interesting how they clean up quite well. Seems like a pretty remote area to collect in. Perhaps not many collectors know of this spot?


Hi Vitaliy. Thank you for your comments. Sharing photos of quartz places that I have discovered is risky. Taking people with can be even more risky. Fortunately I have only had a few bad experiences through the years. I have built up a good reputation with the farmers, so that helps a lot if there is a hick-up. I first wash the specimens with a good blast with a hose, then I leave them in a Oxalic acid solution for a few days in the sun. I repeat the hose and the Oxalic acid bath treatment till I have a satisfactory result. I often use a toothbrush and a thin sharp stick for the more resistant dirt. Regards.

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PostPosted: Dec 31, 2014 06:41    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Hi Pierre,

I enjoy your report, too! Nice to see collectors taking such trips and also taking the time to document the single steps from digging in the ground until finally holding a cleaned specimen in their hands.

Thank you for your effort of sharing this adventure with us :-)

Tobi
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PostPosted: Dec 31, 2014 06:56    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

Tobi wrote:
Hi Pierre,

I enjoy your report, too! Nice to see collectors taking such trips and also taking the time to document the single steps from digging in the ground until finally holding a cleaned specimen in their hands.

Thank you for your effort of sharing this adventure with us :-)

Tobi


Thank you Tobi. I wish FMF members will do that more often. Regards and a fantastisch 2015!

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PostPosted: Dec 31, 2014 08:00    Post subject: Re: Quartz collecting outings in South Africa  

I agree with Tobi, I always enjoy the coverage of the field work folks do. Pierre, you certainly have spent your share of time out standing in your field. And hiking and fishing and camping and collecting and breathing in the wonder around you. Thanks for your reports and I trust they will continue. This site seems an ideal format for photo journalistic postings and articles like Pierre's. The collection section and the show reports allow room to spread out in a coherent way. Thanks to Jordi and the team.
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