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:
- But the location (deep) and orientation (horizontal) look wrong.
- But sulfur precipitates as gypsum, and gypsum is white (ahem, it can actually come in different colors).
- But the powder goes preeeeeetty deep into the cracks...
- Microscope it!
- Oh yeah, and I work at a high school, so this is feasible...
- Do you know the series?
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.Actually, were looking at the white crystalline crust here, not the yellow vein powder. Our computer screen is showing a blurry version of it.
|See? It is right there, under the stereoscope.|
(Thank you, young scientist, Manuel Lopez for taking this picture.
Thank you Mr. Mold
Thank you Eastside Memorial HS for hosting this scientific inquiry.)
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?