Thursday, May 5, 2011

"What the...?" Part 1

Once upon a time, I started to write a blog post that went like this:

Recently I went to, according my zero research, the world's largest antique fair(!!!) in Round Top, TX.  Fried pickles, fried mushrooms, funnel cake, fresh fried pork rinds, and popcorn may or may not have been devoured ravenously.

We may or may not have found the perfect vintage accessories.
While in town, in a pine forest, I also happened upon a cut in the soil that showed the native clay a few inches below. It had weird yellow veins going through it.  The veins were very fine grained, like a flour-fine powder.  I dug deeper to see if they thinned out, but after several inches of digging through dry clay, the veins were still there.  Can you see them below?

You don't see the yellow veins?  Let's try again, with "magnification."
"What the...?" I was being SoilDuck's good kind of stupid: stupid yet curious.
Internet research was boring, so I checked in with my fellow twits, to see what they thought.  Here were some ideas:
 I forgot to mention that there was something else interesting too: a white crystalline crust on the outer surface of the clay.

Here is your first official look at the '"mystery of nature" observed under a stereoscope.
See? It is right there, under the stereoscope.
(Thank you, young scientist, Manuel Lopez for taking this picture.
Thank you Mr. Moldyenhaur for setting up the learning apparatus.
Thank you Eastside Memorial HS for hosting this scientific inquiry.)
Actually, were looking at the white crystalline crust here, not the yellow vein powder. Our computer screen is showing a blurry version of it.

But then I hit a stopping point.  I hit Publish anyway.  I hope this post finds you well, and if we don't chat sooner, Happy Mother's Day!  Thank you to both Granny Sharon and Mother Earth.

Join us next time, in "What the...?" Part 2, How do you identify a mystery substance?


  1. There appear to be some roots in the yellow on the right side. Is it some sort of weird plant root anomaly?

  2. Hmmm. Where? This pic is taken from right beneath the forest floor. So some pine needles have fallen down and stuck to the sides of the cut. Also, I see two black vertical cracks. Are you talking about the lower right corner? That looks like a root, I am not sure what it is... maybe a root...Sigh, now I have to go back, Goneferal!! Good question. I don't know. (But I figured out what the yellow stuff isn't: crystals. They were round under my dinky scope.)

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Those can be roots...did you checked out with some close lens. Not sure but if the image would have been more zoomed would have analyzed.