Posts from the ‘News’ Category

The German Uglies (Not So . . .)

I must admit, there are a few locations in Germany that I have  called ‘ugly’ in the past – Albaum, for instance, which seems a dreary flawed soup of brownish agate in an anonymous matrix – about as unexciting a thunderegg as you could ever hope to (not) find . . . but that has to be said with an awareness of my strong tendency to support the underdog.  Locations that are perfect – or rather a little bit closer to perfection – tend to bore me.  Locations like Albaum itch!  I want to find more – give them the chance to show what they can do – get to know them . . . and then, eventually, they always do.

The following is a little Albaum thunderegg that I polished just today.  Still a bit flawed but very cute, with a good shape to it.  The agate is edged in deep dusky pink moss.

albaum01This single specimen represents the only Albaum I have yet found that I would call a ‘nice’ stone – but it has fired me up to see more of them.  Hopefully my quest will eventually get deeper into the heart of this quiet little rock.

Another location I often thought of as ugly is Altersbach – a generally random rip in a uniform granular matrix, with amorphous blobs of red like dodgy fungal growths inside it.  No shape – no flow – no elegance . . . I never even bothered to get one in the flesh to be honest.

Altersbach01Until now . . . Altersbach03These two stones strike me as stunning, especially in the complex details.  And they leave me muttering darkly about ebay scraps.  The moral of this story is that one should never give up on anything – and if a location frustrates you, then this only means you need to look harder!

One last stone here, and this is a taster for the future.  This is a Wingeshausen thunderegg – a location so obscure that I had never even heard of it until a contact suddenly came up with some.  Actually that should be locationS, since I have specimens from 4 beds awaiting polishing.

Thunderegg488The curious thing about these stones is that the cores are usually far removed from straightforward agate.  Some are laced with iron and other minerals beyond my basic skills to analyse.  I will work on these over the next few days/weeks and then there  will be a proper update on the gallery outlining the different beds.  That’s my next task . . . one of them anyway!

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Roll-Out of the New Eibonvale Gallery

Ok folks – I am rolling out the new version of my gallery. There is still a lot of work to do in terms of adding new material (I STILL don’t have that scanner!) and I will also be slowly updating some of the oldcamera images with high-quality scans whenever I get time. There’s a simple search engine on there now that I HOPE will do the job. I will also be trickling on some basic updates of stones over the next several days as well – just basic backlog stuff for now. The exciting stuff will happen when my scanner arrives! 🙂

I am quite sure that there are still a load of faults and blunders and spelling mistakes in the site, which I will slowly fix as I find them. Any thoughts, opinions, criticisms would be very gratefully received!

Changes and Developments

Naches Bed 1 Thunderegg

It’s maybe a good thing I don’t believe in karma, otherwise I might be tempted to start going on guilt trips, trying to work out what I did wrong to deserve the rather strange quagmire that seems to have overtaken me lately.  Let’s just say that this is turning into a few weeks of ‘anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’ and right now, I am getting to the stage of wanting to punch Murphy on the nose!

Most of this is not thunderegg related – a printer I needed seeming no longer to exist, a large cheque being paid into my bank . . . but with the decimal point shifted two spaces to the left leaving me flat broke, a new internet connection as intermittent as an unreliable girlfriend, a ‘mystery pain’ that means I can barely move like a normal human . . . but crucially, after waiting several weeks for the dispatch of the new scanner I need in order to continue presenting these stones (the queue that has built up over the last few months), the tracking info seems to suggest that it has vanished into the great beyond and I have NO IDEA where it has been delivered save that it most certainly ain’t here.

So yes – I am feeling a bit fed up at the moment and in need of a bit of whinging!  For once, the site is in limbo for reasons other than my own laziness!  New locations to be published in the near or middling future include Mirador (Argentina), Wycarbah (Aus), Baden Baden (Germany), Fern Meadow (USA), some Ethiopian specimens, an utterly superb Black Queen (USA), a Cerro El Grillo reverse sceptre amethyst thunderegg (Mex), Eddy’s Bed (USA), Richardson bed 6 (USA), Yadrino (Russia) . . . quite a long list.  Just bear with me a bit longer, dear and patient people!

I have been trying to make the best use of this extra time though.  I have been ‘amusing’ myself by preparing a massive upgrade of the site, which I think will be a great improvement over the barely controlled muddle that existed before. Quite frankly, this gallery has proved so popular lately and is getting so many hits that the old web-design it still had was getting embarrassing!  Of course, Murphy is still sitting in the middle of it all sniggering at me – there is a sort of quasi-malicious irrational chaos about web design. The sort of thing that has me spending hours struggling with any of the hundreds of different tools and controls simply to find out (or work around) why this one tiny element is just refusing to do what I am telling it to do.  Come on little image, pleeeeeese?  Just place yourself at the top of this box, which incidentally is what this button should make you do!  And the image just says nope!  With my fraying temper, this has proved an interesting few days but the end results should be good.  There will be a whole new graphic environment and proper navigation for the first time.  I have also tidied up some old pages that urgently needed it, such as Australia and Mexico.  There will be a new Non-Thundereggs section as well, simply including any odd rock-based things that happened to catch my interest, including Dulcote Agates, a lovely Keokuk geode, my polished Kent Flints and eventually some of the famous Folkstone fossils.

As a curious aside, fiddling with Dreamweaver’s search features and hunting down certain specific fragments of code has finally allowed me to get a reasonably accurate count of the number of stones featured on the site, which I never managed to figure out before.  There are 873 different thunderegg specimens (including a very few non-thundereggs) – not bad!

Finally – I can’t do a post here without some kind of illustration.  I can’t share any of the new ones yet, so I will calm myself down with one of my all-time favourite thundereggs – this beauty from Naches River Bed 1.  Unusually intact, beautiful crystal, amazing colours and tilt lines!  I just love it.

Naches Bed 1 Thunderegg

Aaaaaaaahhhhhh – that’s better!

Advance Notice – Lierbachtal Thundereggs for Sale

Just to let people know that I have a new box of stones on their way into the shop soon – Lierbachtal thundereggs from Germany.  These are among the most beautiful thundereggs in Europe and even in the world, in my opinion, characterised by their free-form shape and pale colours.  If anyone is interested in these, keep an eye out or drop me an email!  I will publish a showcase gallery here on the blog as well.

The above not for sale!!  The above stone is one of my own greatest treasures and one of the most remarkable thundereggs I have ever seen.  I am really excited to be seeing some more of this location, as it has not been that well represented in my gallery until now.