Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Rock hunting on the beach in Door County is endlessly fascinating because no two rocks are alike. They are as varied as the people on this Earth, and just as numerous.

I've gotten pretty good at spotting the particular kinds that interest me most. In this picture there are a couple (click any of these photos to see them larger):
There's a nice little piece of rosy quartz partly hidden in the upper center, a little to the left, and a piece of milky quartz in the lower center.
I look for quartz in particular because it's so pretty when it's polished. The piece on the left was wrapped in silver for me by bead-seller and jewelry-maker Szarka after I sent her some stones a couple of years ago.

Polishing requires patience, though. It takes about three weeks to polish a batch of Lake Michigan stones, and that's speedy. Most of the rough tumbling has already been done by the lake itself.

A big bowl of polished rocks is fun to run your hands through.
But many rocks can be candidates for my tumbler, not just quartz. I just have to see them when they're wet to know what they will look like with a permanent sheen. I like rocks that are plain or stripey, perfectly smooth and round or oddly shaped.
And I love finding rocks with holes all the way through them. They're rarer than you might think.
I keep an eye out for fossils, too. Here are a couple more pieces of honeycomb coral. I didn't keep them, though.
Finally, I always have my eyes open for the kind of rock that Mom collects.
Can you guess which one it is?


  1. The one with the hole is really neat. My kids are always bringing rocks home.

  2. Bingo, Manisha!

    Julie, maybe they're budding geologists!

  3. If you read Farmgirl Susan's blog, you know that she, like your mother, collects heart rocks.

  4. Beautiful finds.. very special to find the holey one..the naturally tumbled stones are gorgeous and lovely silver work from your friend :D

  5. nbm, I'm not familiar with Farmgirl Susan. I'll look for her.

    Thanks, Gina! I wish I could make a necklace out of that holey one, but I fear it would be too heavy.