Meadowmom

Meadowmom

Posted on 07/23/2016


Photo taken on June 30, 2015


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Keywords

wildflowers
serpentine
Highway 3
Trinity Alps
ultramafic


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The Meadow That I am the Mom Of

The Meadow That I am the Mom Of
Serpentinite! There are so many of these rock outcroppings in my Northern California mountains I can hardly believe that it is rare in other parts of the world, and is used for jewelry and elegant carvings.

I know about the iron-red ultramafic soil that surrounds the serpentine outcrops...high in poisonous chromium and nickel, low in the usual soil nutrients. Many mountain plants refuse to grow in it.

But some plants have made it their niche, including fascinating endemics which grow nowhere else in the world. We have about a dozen of these very rare species in short walking distance of the meadow. Over the years I’ve found seven of them.

slgwv, tiabunna, Jean.pierre dalifard, Marie-claire Gallet and 2 other people have particularly liked this photo


12 comments - The latest ones
Pam J
Pam J
Love the stuff... !!

In the UK..the Lizard Peninsular is red and green Serpentine and I have worked it as jewelry. Its beautiful stuff.
16 months ago.
Sarah Paris
Sarah Paris
Love your comments, always learn something. Where is this?
16 months ago.
Meadowmom has replied to Sarah Paris
Highway 3 road cut south of Callahan, California.
15 months ago.
Sarah Paris has replied to Meadowmom
would love to explore that area some day, only been to Mt. Shasta once.
15 months ago.
William Sutherland
William Sutherland
Amazing capture!
16 months ago.
Marie-claire Gallet
Marie-claire Gallet
Stunning and wonderful capture, Laurie !!
16 months ago.
Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor
Amazing. Thanks for the information.
16 months ago.
tiabunna
tiabunna
Fascinating and isn't is amazing how life forms can adapt to all manner of unwelcoming environments.
15 months ago.
Clint
Clint
I don't know that I've ever seen serpentine in place. There are some places along the East Coast I could have seen it, but I never have. There's a church in the Pullman neighborhood on Chicago's South Side that's made of the stuff, though. It's a beautiful building.
15 months ago.
slgwv
slgwv
Lots of serpentinite in patches all along the Pacific coast, not too far inland. In the current interpretation, they're pieces of altered lower oceanic crust or even upper mantle that were scraped off and plastered onto the continental edge. Serpentine is a hydrous iron-magnesium silicate, with a few other elements stirred in, that represents hydrothermally altered olivine and enstatite; i.e., reacted with _very_ hot (supercritical) water. The relatively high Ni content means they're mined as nickel ores in some places--e.g., Cuba and New Caledonia, IIRC.

You cross a great big patch of serpentinite going into the Mt. Stuart Wilderness from the south along the Teanaway trail, in Washington state. I bored my family to tears raving about it. Lots of it has the original dark green color seen here, but here and there it's weathered orange, due to oxidation of the iron.

And putting on my Pedant's Hat: technically, "serpentine" is the mineral, "serpentinite" (stress the 2nd syllable) is a rock made largely of serpentine.
15 months ago. Edited 15 months ago.
Bram van Broekhoven
Bram van Broekhoven
Very nice shot and tones
15 months ago.