final collection: Washington


7 pieces, all likely from Miocene. Columbia Plateau Basalt Flow in vicinity of Sunnyside, Yakima, Vantage, and Saddle Mountain. Unless I’m certain it’s a particular location among those, I’ll call it Vantage vicinity. This area has been one of the most historically prolific areas for attractive, fractureless, petrified logs in an interesting range of genera, often beautifully mineralized. Native Americans often used fossil wood for knapping arrowheads. The early rockhounds had bountiful opportunities for collecting. Thousands of years of erosion laid the ancient trees bare. But once the good logs were collected from the surface, all that was left was hard digging through hard basalt, always in danger of fracturing the wood to smithereens.

1. Tree Fork. Vantage area. Elm. An unusually perfectly balanced pair of hearts in a full round slice. In Ancient Forests on page 237. 17 by 24 cm polished face; 13 mm thick; two pounds and three ounces.

2. Sunnyside Logjam. Sunnyside, Washington. It’s interesting to ponder how this happened. It’s likely that a pyroclastic mud flow came crashing through the area, crushing all before it. Four cuts, all of limb ends, all full round. The largest face appears to have divided into the smaller two and is compressed into the crosswise limb. Fascinating and unique piece. Clear coniferous tracheid ladders. Largest face is about 9 by 8 cm; overall will fit into a box 14 by 14 by 10 cm; five pounds and four ounces.

3. Vantage vicinity. Water cypress. Large, top grade, full round log with one natural end. China-like mineralization. No glue or filler. Polished face is 11 by 8 cm; 16 cm long; six pounds.

4. Cypress Root from Saddle Mountain, WA. Columbia River Basalt Flows, Miocene. Cut and polished on one end and otherwise natural. Full round with a broad and remarkably perfect polished face and a gnarled, interesting exterior. Solid glass. No filler – No glue. It has an old collector number on the back – number 1513. Polished face measures 18 by 11 cm; up to about 9 cm thick; six pounds and one ounce.

5. Saddle Mountain. Conifer with long ladder tracheids. Full round limb with one natural end. To my way of thinking, this is a perfect specimen for the vicinity. No glue or filler. I like everything about it. Polished face is 6.5 by 5 cm; 15.5 cm long; one pound and seven ounces.

6. Vantage vicinity. Probable cypress with beautifully preserved cell structures. Fine silica mineralization. Full round limb cut on both ends and polished on one. Fabulous looking inside and out. No glue or filler. Polished face is 4.5 by 4.5 cm; 14 cm long; one pound and six ounces.

7. Saddle Mountain. Cypress root is my best guess. Cut and polished on both ends. Beautiful reddish patina and creamy pastels interior. No glue or filler. Polished face is 32 by 40 mm; 9 cm long; seven ounces.


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