Getting to know Virginia – Westmoreland Park

We are experiencing unseasonably pleasant weather for late August, so I took a trip to Westmoreland Park yesterday, located in Montross, VA, about an hour and a half northeast of Richmond. It is on the Potomac River and separates VA from Maryland.

I want to go back after school starts, on a weekday, when its less crowded and hunt for stuff. I didn’t make it to the other side of the park this time, but they have a beach called “Fossil Beach” where combers have found ancient shark teeth (hence why I have to go back)!!

I did find some sea glass though (again, I need to go back)!

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The drive is mostly through farmland, but there are some antique stores and restaurants that look intriguing.

The drive into the park is heavily wooded and would probably look really pretty in the fall.

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When you enter the park, you are up on the cliffs overlooking the river. It is so expansive, it almost looks like an ocean.

 

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The land on the other side is Maryland – about seven miles away.

The park itself is very well maintained with lots of picnic benches, a pool, and a “snack shack.”

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Unfortunately there are jellyfish in the water. But after a quick search, I believe these are moon jellyfish and the stings are minor.

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A fish carcass.

I think this is an osprey.

The park also has cabins throughout the park that you can rent.

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All in all, it was a lovely day, with a lovely drive, and a destination I definitely will return to!

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The Great (Richmond) Eclipse of 2017

As much as I wanted to see The Great American Eclipse from a city that would experience totality, I live a little too far away from the closest city, so I had to settle for our 88% of coverage.

Thanks to Mom, who is ALWAYS thinking of me, she ordered a solar lens for my camera months ago before all of the hype was…hyped!

I came down with a cold this weekend and stayed home from work, but I wasn’t sick enough to not throw on some flip flops and walk outside every 15 minutes to snap photos of the journey.

My camera records the time of day with each photo, but unfortunately the time was about 30 minutes off, so the times are my best recollection of the time I took them.

1:10pm just before the start!

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1:15pm

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1:45pm

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Same time, with some foliage for perspective

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2:00pm

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2:15pm

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2:40pm (roughly during the fullest coverage we received)

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3:00pm

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3:30pm

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4:00pm

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Richmond didn’t get to see the ring around the sun, or experience the sunset at two in the afternoon, but I did feel a significant drop in temperature (more like humidity). I also noticed a drop in ambient light in the living room, but not when I was outside, which I found interesting.

It looks like the next total solar eclipse in the US will be April 8, 2024. Never to early to start planning a trip!

 

Gem Mining – Take IV

I returned to Lucky Lake last weekend to pick up the cut amethyst. As a reminder, this was the before, in raw form.

This is the after.

 And of course couldn’t resist digging into another small bucket!

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Picked up a lot of what I already had, more palm sized sodalite, another amethyst, and citrine. I did manage to get some obsidian and dalmatian jasper! They were little tiny pieces, but something new nonetheless.

Some sort of jasper

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Garnets

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Smokey Quartz. The guy said these were the best kinds to have cut, better than the more clear ones.

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Obsidian

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Dalmatian jasper

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The way back to Richmond.

I think this is tobacco.

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The collection…

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Gem Mining – Take III

Take three for Dad and I visiting Lucky Lake! We found a few new gems and four or five palm-sized ones!

The last time we were there, I found a very dark-colored amethyst, and I brought it with me to have cut. This is the before and I will post the after when I go back in a few weeks to get it.

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Blood Jasper – as legend has it, named because it was the stone underneath Jesus as he was nailed to the cross.

Giant rose quartz

Giant amethyst

I think this is picture jasper…but jasper nonetheless.

Spider jasper – some look like they have hieroglyphics on them. One of these does, but its hard to capture in a picture.

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Rubies and Garnets (I think I know which is which, but without being certain I lumped them together).

Fluorite

Twix decided he wanted to help.

Smokey quartz. The larger one has a piece of mica growing out of it!

Citrine

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The whole catch!

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