If you are a rock hound, then being located in Michigan less than an hour from one of the Great Lakes is a pretty awesome place to be. Thanks to the glaciers, rock hunting along the shores of the Great Lakes contains a lot of variety. Though this is an activity that can be enjoyed year round, in the spring when the ice begins to melt it allows a special kind of pleasure. I have spent some very frosty hours at the beach lately hunting for rocks and fossils.
Rock hunting has become my newest obsession. There is something very relaxing about wandering a beach and looking at the rocks. Despite our modern ways and technology there is still a tremendous amount to be gained from enjoying the physical world. Being a part of the world around you is something that has the ability to refresh you. Even people like me who are NOT outdoorsy folks. The older that I get, the more I see this in myself. So much so that some of those corny sayings about getting out into nature are seeming less and less corny.
Rock hunting is a great way to bond with your children and introduce them to the natural world. Most children are naturally drawn to rocks. I have been digging them out of my washing machine for years. My oldest kid and I have gotten so much joy out of finding rocks to bring home and identify. Exercise, fresh air, family time, and rocks. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Oh wait! Yes it does! You can’t forget the beach. Even bundled up in 30 degrees, the beach has a beauty that is inspiring. In those temps it is not uncommon to be there by yourself. If you don’t find cool rocks to take home, then you will most likely find some photographic opportunities. I do love combining my hobbies!
There is a huge variety of rocks around the Great Lakes. I am still in the process of cleaning up some and photographing them. It is definitely time for me to get a light box! Not to mention identifying them! In addition to rocks, there are a lot of fossils that can be found, including Michigan’s state stone.
The Petoskey is a distinctive fossilized coral. It is older than the dinosaurs and can be found all over Michigan, though it tends to be more prevalent in the North. Most likely due to glacial movements. That being said, I have found several examples in the SW corner as well as the one above that was found on the SE side of Lake Huron. If you do not live in Michigan, do not worry! The Petoskey stone can be found in several other parts of the country and even in Europe and Asia.
Most of the fossils found in Michigan are coral fossils. They are quite beautiful. You can also find some trilobite fossils, but I have yet to find any of those.
I am all set to have many rocky adventures this spring and summer so stay tuned to see what I am up to! This is one of those subjects that can be so vast and detailed that it is hard to put into a single post. It is also a very appealing part of the draw for me. Facebook has really helped me connect with local Rock Hounds and has helped to increase my knowledge. It is another fun thing about rocks. The Rock Hounds that I have met are lovely people. A lot of people are rock hounds and it is so much fun to meet one!
Are you a Rock Hound? Share a pic of your favorite rock in the comments!