All sorts of colourful & interesting rocks

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This gallery displays a selection of the most colourful and interesting rocks that have been featured in posts here at Jessica’s Nature Blog over the past couple of years. While I am out walking on beaches, I am always drawn to the colours of the rocks, sometimes bright and other times more subtle, and the many different patterns and textures. Initially it is the way that the rocks look that is so appealing. So much of what I see seems like amazing natural abstract art. I try to frame the composition so that it stands alone as an attractive image in its own right. But then I get curious and lots of questions come into my mind. I always want to know what kind of rock is it? What is it called? How old is it? What is it made of? How did it get to look like that? What happened while the rock was buried? What are the elements doing to it now that it is exposed?

As an amateur with a keen interest in geology, I start by looking at maps. I try to pinpoint the exact location where I photographed the rock. Then I try to get hold of the correct geology map. Geology maps have a lot of information about the age of the rock, the type, the period in which it was laid down or developed, as well as the distribution of the different rock types in the locality. Often there are references to special papers, memoirs and so forth that discuss the geology of the area. Sometimes these publications are available on-line. I do a lot of Googling. Sometimes a visit to the library is needed. Libraries and the internet don’t always have the information I am seeking so I buy books too. Sometimes books about a specific place, and sometimes more general textbooks. I need those too because it is quite difficult to understand everything. Geology is a complex subject with a great deal of specialist terminology.

Once I am fairly certain what the rocks are, I try to write a bit about them in a straightforward way so that anyone else who is truly interested will be able to understand. It is fascinating. Slowly I learn more about the rocks and can fit the pieces together into the bigger picture. Walking along shorelines becomes a whole new experience when you are able to visualise the former environments in which the bedrock originated, or the drift geology was created, when you begin to understand what has happened to the strata over the millions of years since they came into being, and when you first begin to grasp what processes are affecting them once they are exposed to air. I love it when I can recognise strata belonging to the same geological period in different parts of the world, and see their differences and similarities, whether in situ or in buildings, walls and other structures. I begin to feel an enormous sense of wonder and awe, as well as an enormous feeling of humility, at this hugely significant part of the natural environment, a part on which everything else in nature depends or by which it is affected.

19 Replies to “All sorts of colourful & interesting rocks”

  1. This is a wonderful blog post. Thank you for talking about your process. And the photographs! What a bonanza! And now I know the word for the interesting formation I first saw on Aoshima Island, in Japan: tafoni.

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  2. I always enjoy your wonderful posts, but these abstract rock designs are some of my favorites. What a treat to see them and read your interesting comments.

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  3. Stunning collection Jessica. And even though the rocks are beautiful, it takes a lot of thought on composition to get that to come across in a two dimensional photograph, which you always do. Even more amazing to get the scientific detail along with them. Definitely my favourite blog.

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  4. What a fantastic gallery of rocks – I love all the colours, textures, patterns. Like a sweet shop only more exciting! I can imagine how absorbing it is to research all the places where you took the photos. Thank you for sharing your findings with us!

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  5. Thank you very much, Jo. I like your sweet shop analogy. It’s something that I often say – that going out with my camera is like being let loose in a sweet shop! So many wonderful, interesting, and beautiful things to see and capture on film.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your lovely rocky gallery is a real gift for embroiderers and weavers, too! The colours and patterns are stunning. Thank you so much.

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