Field Collecting Projects
We are still finding good specimens at Powers farm. So far, this year I've only dug there five of six days but they were successful days. Please be aware that the land owner, Bower Powers, Jr., has posted a sign stating that no collecting is allowed along the "River". This is Leonard Brook and no digging, even in the tailings, should be done there.
Several of us have collaborated and published the first definitive work on this world-famous location. Although I have not spent any extended periods of time digging at the farm over the past couple of years, I have managed to collect there several times a year. It remains the finest collecting locality in St. Lawrence County, bar none!
The summer of 2013 found me spending much of my time at this favorite haunt, Powers farm, looking for tourmaline. Since my last entry regarding this locality the tourmaline species has been reclassified and now is called dravite instead of uvite. Nothing changed regarding the mineral itself, this name change is simply due to a reorganization of the tourmaline family by the International Mineralogical Association (I.M.A.). More than 30 New York State tourmaline localities have been effected by this I.M.A. reorganization so be aware of the proper mineral species names for both amphiboles and tourmalines in New York. Also, just so everyone is aware, I will not change any of my previous posting names or labels on specimens tagged prior to this revision.
Jay Walter collecting tourmaline
In June we took a scouting trip, which for us is a planned dig of several days, to Powers farm. The goal was to work the northwestern edge of the classic hill top site to find amphiboles and pseudomorphs not well represented in my St. Lawrence County collection. We were surprised on the very first day of work to find an undiscovered calcite vein below a two foot thick cap of very soft schist. The vein appeared weathered to an extended depth like many of the classic vein in this area of the property. It has been a couple of decades since anyone has discovered one of these on the hill top so you can imagine our surprise in finding this one so quickly. We immediately decided to set up operations and mine the vein thoroughly.
In total I put in 38 days of collecting and my father contributed 10 to 15. The going was not difficult due to soft rock and deep weathering. These factors contributed to most of the crystals that were discovered being of poor quality. However, there were noteworthy exceptions with some dravites of exceptional quality being produced and some of the finest uralite crystals and crystal clusters that I have ever seen being found. Oddities like magnetite crystals and a wide variety of quartz forms were also occasionally encountered.
I am still cleaning some of the dravites but it is likely that I should have three or four exceptional specimens to offer. They probably will never make it to my on-line updates and be sold privately so if you are interested in one of these tourmaline or uralite specimens you should contact me by e-mail.