Rocks, rocks, and more rocks…

We’re not talking about the rocks in my head.  Let’s talk rocks, real rocks.  Okay, so I was one of the few who enjoyed Earth Science when I was in high school.  Like my love for history, I just like to know how stuff happens or where stuff comes from.

Rocks abound at the lake as they do around the fictitious Quarry Lake.  Where did they come from?  I’ve known for a long time that this area of upstate New York was once the bottom of a glacial lake.  What I just learned is just how extensive that lake was.  It covered an area roughly from Glens Falls to Newburgh (north to south), 160 miles, and west of Schenectady to mid-Rensselaer County (west to east).  Since the shore or “beach” area was in Rensselaer County, it stands to reason there are a large number of sand and gravel deposits there.

Also interesting to me was the discovery of metamorphic rock scattered around the lake.  While I could remember how sedimentary and igneous rock formed, I was at a loss for metamorphic.  I consulted with retired Earth Science teacher Roberta Rice who refreshed my memory by explaining the crash of the continents (Africa into North America) thus creating much of the granite and marble in the New England states.  Other rock types, such as gneiss, were created in this manner as well and exist in New York state.

Enough about the research mumbo jumbo.  Rocks are great for mystery.  Think about it.  People’s heads can be bashed in by rocks, people can hide behind rocks, people can throw (or “chunk”) rocks.  Rocks can break loose and fall, or be pushed.  Poor Piggy in Lord of the Flies met his fate in that manner.  Moss grows on rocks, fossils are found in rocks, rocks under tremendous pressure become diamonds.  So it’s easy to see why rocks fit well into a mystery story.

I happen to like rocks and collect them.  Gemstones are nice too but my collection of those is small thus far.  Each time I visit the lake I select several pieces for skipping across the lake.  My shoulder doesn’t work correctly anymore so I can’t quite skip them as proficiently as I once did but can still do it.   And I still get the same joy from it.

Stay tuned to see how rocks are worked into my mystery.

About thequarryschild

A self-described forensic junkie, Beth Anderson spends her days shaping young minds to ask critical questions and wonder “whodunit.” Beth resides in the Capital District of New York and spends her free time reading and solving the great mysteries. Her love of swimming, tennis and sports provides the basis for one of the lead characters in her new book The Quarry’s Child. Beth is one of the founding members of the Upper Hudson Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime (aka Mavens of Mayhem), a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a survivor of a visit to an active aircraft carrier while it was at sea, and a published poet in Soundings, a literary journal. Beth continues to instill a love for mystery fiction in her students as she has for over twenty years. Photo credit: Quinn Mulvey
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2 Responses to Rocks, rocks, and more rocks…

  1. Betsy Bitner says:

    Great blog, Beth. You have fun, easy to read voice that manages to make the mini-refresher course in Earth Science enjoyable. Keep up the good work!

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