Rocks are such varied things. I still have memories of learning about the types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic) in grade six. We looked at examples of each type of rock on a tray and passed them around the class to examine and feel each one.
I have lost quite a bit of skin to rocks over the years. I have to admit that I haven’t been particularly concerned about whether a rock was sedimentary or metamorphic when I have smashed my knee into one while swimming in a lack or scraped off a layer of skin sliding down one.
Searching for the right rock
I do find rocks quite amazing though. When I have the time I like to return to my grade six lessons and examine rocks, consider their composition, texture and colours. The smoothness of rocks that have been polished in lakes and oceans, the roughness of a rock that has broken. The sparkles of crystals embedded in the rock and the possibility of finding a fossil in sedimentary rock.
We recently took a road trip through north eastern Ontario as a family and one thing you will see a lot of in north eastern Ontario is rock. Much of the territory we covered is part of the Canadian Shield. It is some of the oldest rock in the world – primarily igneous and metamorphic rock if you were wondering. Glaciers scraped away most of the top soil so the rock is visible along the side of roads, in the midst of cities and most impressively in the thousands of lakes and rivers that are so prevalent throughout the region.
The colours of the rock as you drive along the roads change depending on the area you are in. Some are almost entirely white, lots is grey, some is pink and red and occasionally the rock is streaked with rust where the iron content is high.
The right rock is magic
Sometimes whether you are looking for it or not, you find the right rock. It could be the right texture for a rock to carry in your pocket for a while. You might discover a rock with a beautiful combination of colours. Your kids might find the right rock to make a big splash when thrown into the water, or maybe just the right rock to skip across the surface of the lake.
Buckets of Rock
We found all of these rocks on our recent trip. My kids kept looking for rocks that we could try to skip (most were too small or too round). They collected buckets full or rocks, some of which have since been waxed to make them look wet and bring out their colours and are being given to friends as gifts. The right rock for me is one that I found that is purple and orange, a colour combination I haven’t really seen in a rock before, and is just the right size and texture to roll around in my hand as I walk along the shore of a lake or down the street.
It is the right rock to contain all of the memories of our summer road trip together.