Monday, 17 November 2014



Pine Tree Press | Rec & Leisure Page

Last Sunday, amateur miner, treasure hunter, and all round Rockhound - Unkey Al and his assistant Auntie Amber came to the Place Under The Pine with a mystery rock. A chunk of what looked like regular old limestone. The kind you could find near the lake, or on a road cut, or even if you just dig three feet down. But, this rock was from a special quarry - a quarry that mines diamonds, gold, and other shiny things.
The kids were told that if they smashed this rock up there was a good chance they would find some valuable gems. They quickly gathered around and started picking up the tools of the trade.

For Oskie - a strainer (the least dangerous thing)

For E - a sharp rock hammer (the most dangerous thing)

For Lolli - the sledgehammer

Chisels, brushes and knee pads are part of the job too.

Once everyone had on their safety goggles the smashing began.
Using a chisel and a hammer Lolli bashed away at the rock. E had many swings as well. However, the rock would just not break. This hard old rock needed the power of a professional - Uncle Al had to use his mighty swing to bust the rock.

Don't miss Lolli!

After what would have seemed like a lifetime to someone with a headache, the really loud banging stopped and the fine work of extracting the shiny stuff started. This tedious, but interesting work, captured the minds of the children and they worked away without complaint looking for hidden treasures.

In the end, two containers of high quality gems were collected, making the Place Under the Pine that much richer.

Once the gems were locked away in the safe, and the smashed rock bits were cleaned up, Uncle Al brought out his rock collection. Now we know that many young citizens of the PUTP have their own rock collections - bits of gravel they have picked up along the road, but, Uncle Al's was different. His collection was full of colourful rocks, crystally looking rocks, pieces of metals like copper, fossils, and even some gold dust! The children were captivated. They wanted to know the names and histories of every piece. They wanted to hold and inspect every inch of every rock. Their enthusiasm for geology was surprising, but, not unexpected.

One of many containers full of rocks.

Oskie was just as interested as the other children.

The light up magnifying glass was well used.
According to Uncle Al the mystery rock did not yield as many gems as usual. It was suggested that another rock be found and the rock smashing be tried again. So, there may be more treasure hunting in the future.

Kingston | 12:12:12


  1. How fun! My little man would have love this!

    We have picked up the little rocks at the nature store, that you have to smash and chisel to find the gems, but it is a much smaller scale than this. This he would have loved!

    1. Ya, I am lucky to have a Brother in Law who knows rocks - funny enough he works with them all day laying cement and tile, then goes rock hunting on the weekends. So, along with the fun of smashing rocks the kids learned a lot from him.