Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rock Me Like a Rock: Pinnacles West Side

Well, I have a hiking friend who likes to hug trees, particularly fragrant pines, and I discovered on Wednesday that I now like to hug rocks.  There's just something about geology....
This is the rock...let's see what we can find out about it.

And, the setting, the lovely west side of The Pinnacles National Park.
Now, usually, I focus on wildflowers and they were blooming in proliferation on the west side of Pinnacles NP in mid-March 2015.  So, maybe one shot....

Some variety of Sedum aka "stonecrop".....likes to grow directly on rocks.  
OK, back to "The Rock"....
What do you notice first?
Well, first off, this rock is on the floor of the west side on Juniper Canyon Trail, not up in the Pinnacles proper.  So, probably an important question is whether it is part of the Pacific Plate which was wrenched off of SoCal and, through plate tectonics, moved the Pinnacles formation north 195 miles from its volcanic origin.
Then you might notice that this rock is mighty white and covered with plants like lichen and moss.

Irregular cracks and fissures.  

Small crystals show in the hand lens and macro mode photo.

 Here's mention of volcanic tuff from the Geology Cafe Pinnacles fieldtrip; perhaps my rock is tuff????   Can I find out about it's composition?

Mosses and vascular plants find homes on this rock and speed the breakdown started by lichens.  

On to the Balconies

Here's more about Pinnacles National Park.

And the GeoCafe Pinnacles FieldTrip.

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