HAHAH! I just love this and had to share.. this is SO me… and I bet a lot of you as well out there 🙂
Where did YOU find your best crystal?
I love winter for many reason… mind you, I’m not overly fond of the length of time it sticks around up here in Northern Ontario. But it’s still a stunning time of the year with incredible beauty – and NO biting bugs! (YAH!)
One of my favorite things to do is having a fire. Tucking up in a warm outfit with your feet nestled up by the coals while watching the beauty of the flames, is just awesome.
With that in mind, I bring to you my favorite top 10 list of Fireplace Desktop Wallpaper!
Each image below is one that I found (and loved!) and have used from time to time on my own computer desktop. They make me feel so much better during the cold dreary days when a fire might pick up my mood.
You should be able to click directly to view the images on the hosts sites. I decided to make this list so you could have quick access to some awesome and beautiful fireplace images that are high quality and great to look at.
(P.S.) At the time of posting this I personally checked ALL the images and the links worked correctly and lead directly to the image.
Learning how to read your Tea Leaves
A while back I had my first experience in learning how to read tea leaves. It was a lot of fun and I thought I’d share that with you here. In this posting, I’m going to show you how to read Tea Leaves and let you see right into my cup as you follow along here.
Things you will need to do this:
The first thing you will need, of course, is tea. If you are really really suck and can’t locate any loose tea, you could try breaking open a bag of tea – but sometimes the uniformity of the leaves make it harder to get shapes out of the leaf patterns.
Here’s a few other tips on teas:
If you do a bit of research on teas, you’ll probably find that there are certain types of tea you can use for various readings. As I did a reading on my future business, I decided to use a Lemon tea – a blend of citrus tea is good for fortune and business readings.
Before you begin, you can follow any regular practices you have for relaxation as well as creating a sacred space you work in.
Heat your water to boiling temperature and then let it cool slightly before beginning.
Put your dry tea leaves on to your tea saucer ( use a nice amount – several teaspoons). Use your finger or your spoon and swirl the dry leaves around the plate three times. Okay why do I do this? It’s just to connect yourself to the tea leaves. If you are reading this and thinking that this sounds silly, this is just a part of aligning yourself to universal energies. If the number three does not resonate with you personally and you have a favorite one? Swirl the leaves around “that” many times instead. Make the process yours.
Take your spoon and add three scoops of the tea leaves from your plate into the cup. Do this slowly while taking the time to relax and quiet your mind. Remove the leftover dry leaves from your plate and get a cloth (or paper towel) ready.
Pour hot water over your tea and allow to steep for a few minutes. About 3/4 full of water works best as you have to remove the water from the cup.
Slide your finger over the lip of your cup in a clockwise motion three times (or the number you have chosen to work with) and think about the question or thought in your mind you are hoping to find answers for. This is a time to think about the problems or issues you want to resolve so really think about what it is you want to discover. When I did my leaf reading, I asked what the next few months would be like for my business.
Take several slow sips of your tea. You can either go directly to the next steps of the reading or you can add your own personal verbal connection to the tea with a prayer, blessing or affirmation. If you are stuck? You can use something like this and or change it to whoever you wish:
Swirl the herbs and set the tea
Clear and true this reading be
Reveal your secrets unto me
Again, this is a way of attuning yourself with what you are working with to make it personal.
While the cup is in your hand, put the paper towel or cloth on your saucer. I read several variations on this next step but I decided to use this one: Gently swirl (or spin) the cup in a circular motion three times (or the number you chose). What this does is allows the leaves inside the water move around in your cup. Very gently, dump out the tea water into your saucer and onto the paper towel.
Wait a few seconds and then turn your cup back over. You are ready to read your tea leaves!
Okay, now I’ll be honest, I turned my cup over and went “umph.. okkkaaayyyy…” and scrunched my eyes up pretty good. I did not see anything helpful in the first little while and I admit, I was getting frustrated. I had to take a step back and relax and realize that reading tea leaves is not as simple as turning Tarot cards and interpreting obvious symbols. Tea leaf reading is an art and very individual as each person may see an object in another way. What may be a flower to you? Could be a flying bird to another. (Consider the ink blot tests – this is what tea leaf reading is akin to).
Begin at the top of your cup – this is the area in your life that is most present or going to happen relatively soon. In the top of my cup I saw a face and flying birds. I used a chart to cross reference the shapes to their meaning.. birds mean that information may be arriving soon. The face symbol can mean “introspection” which makes perfect sense to me as I’m always worrying about this move or should I go there, or what do I do next – almost to a fault and then running out of time to do the things I meant to do.
Move down to the middle of your cup – this area is for things to happen in a few days or more. There were quite a few straight lines in my cup which can mean travel – straight lines mean progress so that’s a good sign for my question. I also saw many little flying things like fairy, butterfly and dragonfly. This can mean new experiences and happy feelings on the way.
The bottom section of your tea cup is for the root of your question or the future of this current issue. Remember, every day your future changes with the things you do, so don’t take what you see in one reading as the end result. In my cup I saw a crown which means that the hard work I’m doing will be recognized (I liked that!) I also saw many small dots or circles which mean success if they are full circle shapes. There was also a house (which means comfort and home) and a lot less lines – which to me, suggests that I will be working from home a lot in my future.
I have to say, I have a whole new respect and love for this type of divination and I am anxious to try this in my near future again.
Okay now I’m happy with this experience and if you would like to try it? Feel free to post your results below. I’d love to hear what you came up with your reading.
Here’s a handy list for you to use to help you read your leaves:
List of Possible Tea Cup Interpretations
ACORN – a very strong and fortunate symbol indicating happiness and contentment; at the top = financial success; at the bottom = good health.
AIRCRAFT – journey; travel.
ALLIGATOR or CROCODILE — beware of false friendship lurking in your professional life.
ANCHOR – at top = stability, constancy in love or business; at bottom or broken = instability, inconstancy; can also symbolize an unpleasant situation or burden you should sail away from.
ANGEL – good news; protection.
ANT — hard work or busy phase will end productively.
APPLE – life; creative or artistic achievement; abundance.
ARCH — positive opening or opportunity (look to nearby symbols for added meaning).
ARM — pointing up = new directions; down = you need to motivate yourself; horizontal = help others or receive help from others.
ARROW – up = good direction, yes; down = wrong direction, no; horizontal = no change. Note where pointing.
AXE – you have the power to overcome difficulties.
BABY – new life; possible pregnancy; small worries.
BOUQUET – romantic interest; validation for your work or talents.
BAG – a trap; if open = escape.
BALL – desire to travel.
BALLOON – busy social life; inability to settle down if near handle.
BARREL – abundance in laughter.
BASKET – harvest, abundance; material gain; possibly a new baby.
BAT (the animal) – a productive busy phase.
BAT or CLUB – situation calling for alert caution.
BEACON or LIGHTHOUSE – situation calling for your leadership and/or inspiration.
BEAR – a grouchy and difficult person; strength, courage and endurance; if teddy bear = children or childhood.
BED – sleep on it before establishing a close love or business relationship
BEE – fruitful hard work.
BEETLE – renewal; progress; need for foresight.
BELL – unexpected good news in love or business; call to attention
BICYCLE – individuality; choose your own path.
BIRD – good news or message; standing bird = delay; flying bird = good news; good news coming soon; flock of birds = profound or exciting news; goose= successful financial venture; peacock = pride and display; eagle = power and transcendence; crow/raven = ill omen, warning, time to relax; parrot = beware of idle gossip; chicken/hen = happy homelife and childhood comfort; dove = peace and love; owl = wisdom, knowledge and learning; rooster = a boastful person or wake up and seize the moment; swan = romance or someone graceful and beautiful; vulture = lay low and beware of enemies; swallow = love and new beginnings.
BOAT – worthwhile journey; your ship is coming in.
BONES – situation calling for innerstrength and spiritual fortitude.
BOWL – invitations, money or generosity .
BOOK – if open = an answer to a question; if closed a question to be investigated.
BOTTLE – explosive atmosphere requiring caution; do not overindulge.
BOW – fortunate symbol meaning gift or celebration of achievement.
BOX – you are about to receive a gift.
BREAD (loaf) – nourishment; care for your health.
BRIDGE – a life-changing event or person. Look for nearby symbols.
BROOM – new home; new era in your life.
BRUSH – need for improvements and/or beautification.
BUBBLES – floating on surface of tea or coffee means money coming.
BUGS – distractions; fractured concentration; need for relaxed focus
BUSH – an obstacle to new opportunities; branches signify choices.
BUTTERFLY – overdue happiness.
CAKE – a wish fulfilled; celebration.
CAMEL – you will overcome burden and pressure to reach oasis.
CANDLE -there will be light upon an uncertain path; help from friends.
CAR – if clear = travel; if broken = mechanical trouble.
CARPETS – true friends and happy social engagements.
CASTLE – expand your horizons; open up a little.
CAT – deceit; an untrustworthy friend.
CHAIN – if well-formed = fortunate undertaking or serious commitment; if broken = trouble, disruption.
CHAIR – a guest or new addition to the family.
CASTLE – expand your horizons
CHILD – new idea; family.
CIGAR – a new friend or business relationship.
CIRCLE – unbroken = success, completion; broken (like letter ‘c’)= a temporary offer will come, tentative offers without fruition.
CLOCK – warning against procrastination.
CLOUDS – small and fluffy = happy optimism; thick and dark = gloom; sadness.
CLOVER (four leaf)– good luck that you have worked hard to attain.
COFFEE POT OR TEA POT – a special visitor is coming, probably not romantic.
COIN – a lump sum of money is coming your way.
COMB – improve your self appearance.
COMET – brink of pivotal change or dramatic event in your life.
COW – abundance; prosperity; physical or creative fertility.
CRAB – admonition to be more direct or someone born under the zodiac sign Cancer.
CROSS – if like a ‘T’ = hard won success and happiness; if like a solid ‘X’ = warning (look for meaning with nearby symbols); if like a broken ‘X’ = obstacles and losses are ahead.
CROWN – honor and recognition for your talents.
CUP – be patient, this is not a time to assert yourself.
CUSHIONS OR PILLOWS – comfort; admonition against laziness and procrastination.
DAGGER – caution against sharp words or revealing personal information
DAISY – new love.
DASHES or DOTS – many short trips which may cause wasted time.
DEER – a shy, timid person; you should be more assertive to overcome shyness.
DIAMOND – gift or other surprise windfall coming you way.
DICE – destiny and change, go with the flow.
DISH – interpret as a circle unless containing food; contains food = domestic comfort.
DOG – good friend; if at bottom friend needs help; if barking, untrustworthy friend; or, someone born in Chinese Zodiac dog year.
DONKEY – stubbornness and stamina.
DOOR – be aware of opportunities.
DRAGON – scheming or flashy person; or, someone born in Chinese Zodiac dragon year.
DROPS – tears or sadness.
DRUM – a change; a call to action.
DUCK – devoted mate; money.
EAR – you will benefit from something you hear.
EGG – if whole = new life, successful new beginning; if cracked/broken = failed plans or financial problems which can be overcome by action.
ELEPHANT – be patient, you will be supported with kindness.
ENVELOPE – you will receive a long awaited letter or important paperwork.
EXCLAMATION MARK – pay attention; beware of impulsive actions.
EYE – a protective symbol; insight into a long standing problem.
FACE – look for nearby initials for identity of face; if near the rim or handle it is a warning against too much introspection; if facing another symbol indicates importance of that symbol.
FAN – a flirtation.
FEATHER – need for concentration.
FENCE – temporary and self-imposed limitations.
FINGER – emphasizes whatever symbol it is pointing; up = caution; down = stop.
FIRE – passion; hot emotion; sexual desire.
FISH – sharing of knowledge; a teacher; a person born under the Zodiac sign of Pisces (especially if there are two fish).
FLAG – danger, look to nearby symbols for added meaning.
FLEUR DE LYS or LILY – femininity; a loving woman.
FLOWER – praise and compliments are coming your way.
FLY – an annoying person.
FOOT – movement in love, career or location.
FORK – get advice from trusted friends before deciding.
FORKED LINE – a decision to be made.
FOUNTAIN – overflowing happiness.
FOX – a cunning person may be trying to trick you.
FRUIT – prosperity, fertility.
FROG – fertility; abundance; a disguised handsome/beautiful lover.
GATE – be aware of opportunities around you.
GLASS – celebrations, parties, social events.
GLOBE – long distance travel.
GOAT – your persistence will pay off, but take some time to recreate; or, a person born under the sign of Capricorn.
GRAPES – abundance and epicurean enjoyment.
GRASSHOPPER – summer delights.
GUN – danger; a bully.
HAMMER – an attempted persuasion.
HAND – if open = karma or destiny; if closed means an argument; look for added meaning where the hand is pointing.
HARE – unlike the shorter eared rabbit, the long eared hare represents something important brewing in your destiny in love or travel.
HARP – love; romance.
HAT – you will experience a change in roles; or business success.
HEART – love, friendship, romance.
HILLS – small challenges which will leave you improved.
HORSE – if galloping means good news; if just the head means a lover
HORSESHOE – good luck; very positive especially for travel.
HOURGLASS – a warning to be punctual.
HOUSE – comfort and home.
ICEBERG – danger.
INSECT – distractions; fractured concentration; need for relaxed focus
IVY – this is not a good time to be too independent; trust friends to help you.
JEWELS – material success; you will receive a valuable gift.
KANGAROO – travel; a journey.
KETTLE – a special visitor is coming, probably not romantic.
KITE – your wish will be granted.
KNIFE – caution against sharp words or revealing personal information.
LADDER – promotion; an improvement in your business life.
LAMP – at the top means a feast; at the side means secrets revealed; at the bottom
LEAF – the turning over of a new leaf; inevitable changes with the passage of time.
LETTER – you will receive a long awaited letter or important paperwork.
LIGHTENING – startling events; sudden insights.
LINES – journey on a road; if straight = progress; if wavy = uncertain path; if many = many short trips.
LION – male lion represents a powerful contact or important man; the lioness represents a strong family; or, may represent a person born under the zodiac sign of Leo.
LOCK – there are obstacles in your way.
LOOP – if well-formed = fortunate undertaking or serious commitment; if broken = trouble, disruption.
MAN – a visitor of either gender; if near handle = someone close to you.
MASK – a secret to be kept.
MOUNTAIN – a difficult, but possible, goal.
MOUSE – be cautious of credit deals.
MUSHROOM – rapid growth, success or fertility.
NAIL – an unfair assault.
NECKLACE – complete = personal relationship stability; broken = instability in a personal relationship.
NEEDLE – painful repair.
OAK – long life characterized by good health.
OCTOPUS – warning.
OYSTER – passion and desire.
PALM TREE – wealth; beach vacation.
PARASOL – protection from harm or loss.
PIG – a greedy or jealous person.
PISTOL – warning of danger.
PURSE – money.
QUESTION MARK – reconsider your plans; be aware of an important question you should ask yourself.
RABBIT – fertility in family or business; someone born in the Chinese Zodiac year of the rabbit.
RAINBOW – your wish will come true; similar to an arch, it links represents the path between today and your destiny.
RAKE – you are at a crossroad and your destiny is determined by hard work.
RECTANGLE OR SQUARE – you will face a challenge or difficulty (look to nearby symbols, especially symbols within the shape, for added meaning.
RING – represents marriage but usually interpreted as a circle; unbroken = success, completion; broken (like letter ‘c’)= a temporary offer will come, tentative offers without fruition.
ROSE – new romance; deepening of love.
RUG – go with your instincts in distinguishing from a rectangle or square; represents joyful social events and true friendship.
SAW – something should be removed.
SCALE – a legal matter; if balanced = justice will prevail; if unbalanced = unjust result; a person born under the zodiac sign of Libra.
SCISSORS – it may be time to remove yourself from a situation or relationship.
SHEEP – a calm and peaceful person; an admonition to control impulses.
SHELL – you will find a simple treasure.
SHIP – worthwhile journey; your ship is coming in.
SHOE – you are on the correct path; be wary of advice to change.
SNAKE – someone who does not deserve your trust.
SPIDER – a small reward or win.
SPIDER WEB – potent symbol of fate; beware of traps.
SPOON – you will be comforted by someone’s generosity.
STAR – success, recognition and praise.
STAIR – your position will improve.
SUN – a new beginning.
SWORD – caution against sharp words or revealing personal information.
TABLE – a happy social interlude.
TENT – travel may help you foster your spiritual health.
THIMBLE – focus on fostering your home life.
TORNADO OR WHIRLWIND – prepare for turbulent weather.
TORTOISE OR TURTLE – lasting success through slow, determined and patient efforts.
TOWER – risk of disappointment.
TREE – alone = family, roots, heritage; leafless = family conflict; many leaves = family contentment; group of trees = family unity; evergreen = enduring relationships; palm = wealth or beach vacation.
TRIANGLE – you are involved in a three way relationship; if wedge shaped = one person is getting in the way of your relationship with the other person.
UMBRELLA – protection from harm or loss.
URN – be aware of the distinction between material and spiritual success.
VASE – a secret being kept from you; be aware of the distinction between material and spiritual success.
VIOLIN – allow your feelings to surface.
VOLCANO – there is an obstruction in your life that must be dealt with before it explodes.
WAGON – childhood; simple pleasures.
WASP – danger of small harm.
WATERFALL – wealth and prosperity.
WHEEL – events outside your control will change the direction of your life.
WINGS – do not box yourself in or limit yourself unnecessarily.
WOLF – you will be challenged or betrayed by someone.
YOKE – domination or control you should not allow.
ZEBRA – be more flexible and adventurous in your travel plans.
And my last little business blurb for the day – you can find crystals and gemstones to carry with you and help you to grow and strengthen your psychic and divination skills by visiting my website by clicking here and visiting Wicked Stones.
Have an awesome day and enjoy your readings! 🙂
P.S. Some of the photos in this blog posting were taken by me at a Tea Leaf reading gathering a few years back.
Root Chakra or Muladhara
You are centered – You feel strong – You ARE!
Today I’d like to ramble on about the Root Chakra and how it effects your daily life.
If you are new to dealing with Chakra Energy, it can be overwhelming when you first start because there is a lot of information to gather to help you to understand how it all works.
Here’s a basic quick run down on what a Chakra is:
A chakra is like a center of energy that swirls around and corresponds to particular nerve center of our bodies. These are a part of our major organs as well as our emotional, spiritual and psychological make ups. There are seven major sections you can work with but in this posting, I’m going to address just the Root Area.
So now you have an idea of what the Chakra are – this is what they do.
Everything in the world changes, moves and flows – as do our Chakra. But sometimes these areas get blocked and like a sink drain, clog up and cause problems. The worst scenario I can compare it to is when your plumbing gets clogged and you end up with a steaming mess to deal with (yuk!) So now take that visual and think about your energy centers. When a Chakra is open and flowing, so is your energy and so is your health and well being. Now as far as how you begin working with a Chakra and getting it to flow correctly, as you travel along this life’s journey, you are going to discover many avenues to achieve this goal. What I am going to write today may be only one way of many you could pick from – when it comes to healing the mind and body I always suggest that you learn and work with what works best with you, personally! And as always, never replace this type of healing with regular doctor visits – stay safe and healthy in all the ways you can. 🙂
So where is your Root Chakra and tell me more about it.
This particular Chakra is often called the Base Chakra (or Root and Muladhara). It is located between your legs (coccyx) at the base (or root) of your spine.
I have seen it represented in a variety of colours – Red, dark browns and blacks. Personally? I have used all three colours when working with this Chakra to see if they resonate with my healing and each of them work for me. But if you feel more strongly pulled to one of these colours? Please do work with them as you should listen to your inner voice.
This area is the grounding force that connects us to the Earth’s energy and helps to empower who we are. The Root Chakra helps us to deal with the tasks given to us and it gives you the ability to stand up for yourself and feel secure. This Chakra is our sense of survival and our right to exist. It is the rock of our on which your entire Chakra system and all the energy in your body rely upon.
Okay, now for my personal experiences – life sometimes gives me too much to handle and I begin to feel overwhelmed and when that happens? I start feeling sad, which then turns to exhaustion, which THEN turns into something even more annoying – depression. I start getting thoughts like: “Bahhhhhhh, I can’t deal with this.. this stinks.. I don’t want to get up and go to work.. baaahhhhhh.. I should just stay in bed, what does it matter if I go anywhere… who cares.. bah bah bah…” Um hum, that‘s healthy!! (NOT!) I’m a high energy person, I know how to get things done and when this mood hits me? I know I have a blockage in my emotional plumbing somewhere. (Yes that IS me in the photo up there.)
Here’s a bit more detailed info for you to gnaw on:
An imbalance in the Root Chakra can show up in many ways.
(check! Check! CHECK!) Yes I get this a lot…
How to use the stones to work with my Chakra
Okay, check! I have my stone! Now what? If you are sitting there holding a gem going “um okay.. am I fixed yet?”, you still have some work to do. You are going to discover that there are multitudes of ways you can use – no way is the best way and no way is the worst – you should try a few out and see what works best for you. If you dealing with some of those symptoms, you should also look at mundane physical reasons as well and not just rely on what I’m writing here. So here is how I work with the stones to achieve my goals and you can take this info and see if it works for you.
First, I find something to help me to find a focus point to work with this Chakra. That’s where the gemstones come into play. I also want to point out that for most of my clients, working with Chakra healing, balancing and opening, is not an instant fix. You can’t just put on a piece of jewelry and expect sudden results – you use the stones with your intentions and focus of energy to achieve these goals.
The above photo is a very simple healing stone pendant that is made of Red Jasper. These designs are really wonderful because the simplicity of the stones allow almost all of the surface of the gem to touch your skin.
When it comes to the Root Chakra, this involves how you are connected to the Earth itself. You could carry a gem that corresponds to this area in your pocket or wear it as a piece of jewelry and get your hands in the earth and garden. Pottery making and pulling weeds, also helps in it’s own way, to connect you to what is below you and keeping you solid on the ground. As you are working, relax, breath and allow negative energy to flow from your fingertips and back to the earth below. This helps to lower your tension levels and release some of the negative bobojees you may have inside of you stop blocking this area.
If you can, lay or sit down on the ground and use your focal stone on the area in question – if you can’t do this outside? You can meditate and relax anywhere you need to.
Even if you are at work in the office, find a quiet location and try this:
Take slow relaxing breaths and allow yourself to connect more fully to the ground below. Visualization is an excellent tool here so begin imagining this chakra (as a spiral of energy), being clear and flowing. Ask yourself what you need to release in order to feel better – is it stress over a job you didn’t complete? Is it bills or finances that are out of your control? Can you find a way to understand that you can worry about these things and then allow the thoughts to move through you and be released while STILL understanding their importance, but NOT lingering on the emotional baggage they create? If it’s important, you do not need to let go of a problem or issue but you can allow the energy to flow through you and “RELEASE” instead of clogging up in your thoughts and causing physical burdens.
This is where good meditation practices come in to play. If you work with yoga practices, try these techniques.
If you don’t feel you can meditate successfully, put on headphones and allow the soothing sounds to wash over you and help you to stop gritting your teeth and feeling the strain. Relax in other ways that work for you, could it be exercise or jogging? Going for a walk? Every step you take, you are connected to the earth below and you CAN allow negative energy and blockages to leave you. Allow your body to release the toxins back into the ground (where it will be washed clean by the rains) and begin to feel the strength of the earth connect to you and give you the strength to deal with what IS and what MAY come.
With this Chakra open and balanced, you have the power inside of you to be exactly who you are with strength and power.
Much light to you and thank you for reading!
Here’s a little blast from our past – on the elusive Superior Agate Hunt!
This is a posting from one of my older blogs that I’ll tweak a bit to make some changes.. I noticed it wasn’t here on my new blog so I decided to add some important information to this posting and re blog.
We’re back!! We had the most wonderful weekend trekking about the forest north of Sault St. Marie and I’ve decided to post some of our adventure photos here. (This rock hunting adventure was in 2007 and it covers areas along highway 17 from Sudbury to north of Lake Superior)
(That’s me, sitting on the rocks out front of our cabin in Montreal River that we stayed in for our weekend adventure).
We decided (after talking to an old friend prior to this trip) that staying in a cabin on the mouth of a river that ends in Lake Superior would be a great place to begin our adventures of the weekend. This was a gorgeous location and we love staying here. Here’s the link if you might like to check Twilight Lodge out.
Our cabin was located on the right hand side (if you are looking out on the water). I had decided this would be an interesting place to stay as I’d been told that you might find an Agate here while walking along the shore. Due to the water colour staining the rocks, I really couldn’t see much – you can see from the background that there is still ice and snow on parts of the shoreline so it was quite early in the year.)
Our adventure beings on Friday – I managed to get “just about everything” we could possibly need packed on Thursday (with a lot of effort) and into the back of the truck. It was a bit crazy as Rob had just gotten back from out of town and we had about a zillion things to do before we left.
The book you see in the picture is one of the publications we decided to use on this trip. It’s called Geology and Scenery of the North Shore of Lake Huron Region. This book is like a travel guide that talks about some fabulous side trips you can take as well as the local mineralogy and old mines that are in the area. It’s in a series of books – and not easily found… I spent a LOT of time with my nose in the pages reading off information to Rob as we drove west from Sudbury towards Sault St. Marie (there are a LOT of cool things to learn that I didn’t know about!)
I found this book at the Sudbury Gem and Mineral show quite a few years back and it’s become one of a set we never travel without now when rock hounding. There are quite a few that were made that cover a lot of Ontario old highway locations. If you are interested in the titles of the other books, please comment below and I’ll post a listing of what we have.
Once leaving Sudbury, one of our first stops was at Rydal Bank – this is a small town that is about 8 miles north of Bruce Mines. It’s very quaint and worth checking out. We were on the hunt for Pudding Stone! If you look around the area you will see many homes that show off larger boulder with the beautiful red pock marks easily visible even from the road. A bit of info on the area: In this area there is a prominent ridge that marks an outcropping of the Lorrain Formation and you can find what is called “Pudding Stone” – this is a quartz jasper pebble conglomerate (or mixture).
This is a really pretty rock that is an off-white cream colour with beautiful dashes of red. Here’s a picture of a boulder I found (and left) so you could see how interesting it is. The red marks are the Jasper.
We traveled North of highway 17 West towards the dam area. Rydal Bank is located 10 km north of Bruce Mines. . The village of Rydal Bank is located at the junction of Ottertail Lake and the Thessalon River. We didn’t find a lot of stone near here but it’s worth a visit. There were only a few small pieces that looked like they had gone through a gravel machine to help maintain the area. It was really neat to look down and find these little goodies!
After exploring this part of the area we decided to take a side trip towards a high rock formation we could see from the truck. As we traveled, you could see a high ridge that we figured “might” have been the ridge the book was talking about where more Pudding stone could have been found.
You can see what we were looking at it in the picture – there is a white coloured ridge that is pretty high up on the hills. At this time we didn’t have a car with GPS maps so we were working with a lot of paper and cups of coffee. Along the way, we discovered a pretty good side road that goes to the left up towards the hill. Of course, we took it (checking first to make sure that there were no private signs posted – there were not). It was a good thing we were traveling with a large 3/4 ton pick up truck as many of the places we went would not stand up to a regular car. Our discoveries up quite a few roads and trails led us to a very hold Cemetery called “Humphries Cemetery”. This is a very old site crested high up on the hills looking over the scenery. This cemetery is located about 10 1/2 KM from highway 17 at Bruce Mines and up 2 km east of Rydal Bank on highway 638 off Nethery Road. This is a dead end road and you can see the gravel pit we also visited from there.
I took some very pretty pictures of some of the old headstones but I’m not going to post them here – these are very old families located up on the hill that date back to 1900 and earlier. For the sake of family privacy, I wont be posting photos. I did, however, discover a website that has photos of some of the headstones and if it’s still active, here is the link to it.
The Gravel Pit – Rydal Bank Area
It was pretty quiet in the area and no rock trucks or equipment could be found, so we felt okay about continuing the exploration of the area. We did a good check to ensure that there were no trespassing signs as well. As you can see by the picture of Rob standing near the white rocks (in the picture above) there was some blasting and removal of rock going on in this area. At the bottom of this hill was a large gravel pit – we didn’t find a lot of pudding stone here, just the odd piece here and there. We poked around here for a while to see what we could find but for the most part it was all white stones. Please note, you do need good shoes if you are going to walk around this area.
Back on the highway we went – and pushed our way through Sault St. Marie and beyond. We took a short side trip down Wolf Lake Road (around Batchwana Bay area) and did some exploring. It was more of a look around and not any serious rock hunting happening. Both of us found it FAR too busy with a lot of dirt bikes and fishermen everywhere – so we turned back on the highway to go further on.
We soon arrived at our cabin. This is the mouth of the Montreal River – usually this is underwater, but don’t be fooled if you are going to visit this place and walk around – this IS a mouth of a river and the water flow is controlled by several upstream dams – so if you are going to walk around, make sure to keep your ears open for the sound of the water flow changing. As the trip was in early spring, it was very quiet and peaceful.
We had a super relaxing night off – sitting by our campfire and eating pasta… watching the stars come out and playing with the dogs that lived just down the street from our cabin.
The Next Day – Mica Bay
On Saturday we got up early to head to Mica Bay – this area has what is called the Keweenawan volcanic rock formations in it. Here’s a bit of info: The Keweenawan are principally made up of lava flows of basic or basaltic composition with vesicles (gas cavities) that have been filled with minerals such as agate, amethystine quartz, calcite, chlorite, dataloite, epidote, prehnite, thomsite and zeolites. These are really pretty when you see them up close – as you drive past them on the highway they look kind of reddish and you don’t see the inclusions. As you pick up the stones in this area they are very interesting as you’ll discover treasures that are dotted inside of what look like tiny cavities. Just that alone is a lot of fun to check out.
You can see some of the calcite and quartz veins in the rock that I’m standing on in this picture.
Just a bit further down this beach we stumbled upon a fabulous find. I was walking towards the shoreline (thinking that I had spotted a REALLY big Lake Superior Agate winking at me near the edge of the rocks) I reached down, only to have the rock I was looking at roll and crush my thumb between it and another rock…(yeah sometimes the universe has a bad sense of humor). Okay this is a bad photo of me (Laughing here) but keep in mind I had been tromping around in the forest for hours and hours at this point so I wasn’t too concerned with my hair and outfit.)
I stood up quickly to nurse a bruised thumb only to trip and crash onto another pile of rocks right behind me. After I made a few nasty comments, I turned around to look at what had tripped me and found myself smack dab in the middle of a pile of Hematite and Jasper most recently had been underwater and not visible due to higher lake levels the fall before. (I will have to go out and snap a few pictures so you can see what they look like).
As I sat there in awe, watching the waves roll in near me (knowing that these stones were only recently hid by layers of ice and before that, many feet of water.. I got to thinking of Mishi Peshu – the great underwater lynx like creature who lives in the depths of Gitchigumi (Lake Superior). Re the photo below: This will give you an idea of how early in the year we were out hunting – that is right on the side of the Lake.
A bit of history on this: Mishi Peshu is the ultimate metaphor that represents the power, mystery and innate danger that comes from these sacred waters. With razor like spikes on his back, the face of a lynx or panther, and the body of a sea serpent, this creature demanded respect. The Anishinabe offered tobacco and prayer to the creature spirit before they embarked out onto the waters in their canoes. The calm waters of Lake Superior can be quickly transformed into raging squalls and huge waves from the northern, north-eastern, and north-western gales that often suddenly crop up. These gales sweep over the open water, quickly picking up momentum and causing huge waves, some up to 40 feet high.
A picture of Mishi Peshu is found at Agawa Bay, Lake Superior National Park, in northern Ontario, north of Sault Ste. Marie. If you are looking for more information on how to visit the park to see this in person? Check out this link that will take you to the Lake Superior Provincial Park site.
The Midewiwin Society claimed in 1850 that this pictograph was painted by an Anishinabe shaman, and represents a heroic 4 day crossing of Lake Superior by a war party of five canoes. The author is believed to be a tribal shaman named Myeengun which means “Wolf.” The images are painted using red ochre, a pigment made from the iron ore called hematite, mixed with clay minerals. This is the most famous rock art painting in Canada, according to National Collection Archive sources.
As I sat there nursing my sore thumb, I started to wonder about the Great Spirit in the lake and the wonderful treasures that had shown up where I least expected them to. Even Rob was in awe over this find. The stones I “stumbled upon” were the stones that were used (all those years ago) to paint these ancient cave paintings – it was crushed and the residue inside was used on the rocks). I spent hours with the red ocher colours on my fingers after picking some of these stones.
Gargantua Provincial park.
If you are able to visit this part, it is well worth the time it takes to go here. When you pull into the road, you’ll see a warning sign that lets you know that there are 14km of rough winding single lane roads ahead. Don’t take that lightly as the roads can be a challenge. Gargantua is one of the main access points for the Coastal Trail system. You will need to travel along this gravel road from Highway 17 leads to the access point (there’s a picture of the road below). If you are hiking this area, it is one of the most challenging and demanding trails in this park’s system. It will take you along high cliffs and rocky beaches of Lake Superior and extends from Agawa Bay, north to Chalfant Cove. A bit of history is that this area is a natural harbor and was a fishing and logging center in the early 1900s. It was its busiest time in the 30s and 40s and the only access was by boat.
Gargantua is AMAZING!! There are miles and miles and miles of the most beautiful and well hidden scenery on this part of the shore. It is a rough stop to get into so there were only a few folks there when we arrived (some were set up for camping on the shore). That’s Rob in the picture looking at the map of this area – you can walk for quite a long time from one end of the park to the other – he’s just looking at the Gargantua area.
The beach is beautiful with a mixture of sand and stones. Yes, that’s a picnic table buried under sand up there.
The rocks range from pebbles to large boulders in incredible colours, shapes and sizes. As this is an Ontario Provincial Park area, we did not collect any stones from this area. But we did spend hours and hours poking around here discovering things and enjoying the beautiful spring afternoon.
By the time we got back to Montreal River, we were both tired and ready for a good meal and a sleep. The very next morning, we packed the truck and took off back to Sudbury. Of course, we stopped along the way and spent time looking for more Pudding Stone near the shores of Bruce Mines and Georgian Bay. We did come home with a pocket full of samples that now live in our gardens.
Well… did Rob and I find any Agates this trip? I’m sorry to say… no, we didn’t.
This trip was all about the Hematite and the Jasper that kept being found under our shoes.
Now for a little business to go along with all this fun – I do have a section on Wicked Stones (that’s where I post some of the gems we actually find in person) on my site. There is a new section going up that’s dedicated to Canadian Gems and Minerals. You can visit by clicking here (oh and over there too). I actually do have some Ontario found Lakers (Superior Agates) that I will be posting up for sale at the end of the year (2016). They are tucked behind me waiting to be photographed and are from a collection that belonged to a friend that actually picked them a few decades ago during a family trip to this area.
So stay tuned! They will be up soon.
Cheers and thanks for reading! Be safe in your rock hound travels!