The topic for this month’s Wedge was “What do you regret leaving behind at a geological locality?”
I’m sure there are many rocks I wish I’d picked up, certainly rocks I wish I’d taken larger samples of, and (especially now that I’m moving out of my office) more than a few I wish I’d taken better field notes about. And like many of the others who made the deadline, I greatly regret not taking many more photos (particularly since the dawn of the age of digital photography). For most of these regrets, though, there is a silver lining – a reason to go back and revisit the localities and collect more, and photograph more, and learn even more about the geology.
But when it comes right down to it, the thing that I genuinely miss the most, because I left it behind in the field, is my very first Estwing Rock Hammer. I didn’t mean to leave it behind, of course. Sadly, I don’t think I even have it’s picture to share with you. I got this hammer at the beginning of Colgate’s 6-week geology summer field camp as part of our standard field gear (along with an acid bottle, orange field book, and Silva Ranger compass). It served me well for the six weeks of camp, exposing the fresh innards of rocks and the cold innards of beer cans alike. And it came with me to Giant Mountain in the Adirondacks where I participated in my first geological field work for research, helping me liberate samples of the Roaring Brook intrusion breccia from the glacially polished banks of that cold mountain stream. But alas, somewhere in the bushes alongside that babbling brook it slipped out of my improvised rope belt and made itself a permanent resident of the Adirondacks. I suppose I can take a modicum of comfort knowing it will rust out its final days in the field, along with some of the nicest companions Nature has to offer.