Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

White veins

with 22 comments


At California’s Muir Beach on November 1st of last year the white veins in some of the rocks intrigued me.


© 2017 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 28, 2017 at 5:00 AM

22 Responses

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  1. From my geologist friend…
    “Almost certainly Quartz veins.

    Lots of CA rocks are metamorphic, and these certainly look like it.

    The veins could be calcite, but that is more common in limestone or dolomitic bedrock, not metamorphics.”

    Jim Ruebush

    January 28, 2017 at 7:37 AM

  2. Look very beautiful, think I see them in limestone rocks in UK


    January 28, 2017 at 8:13 AM

    • That makes me want to go to the UK. All I’ve seen there is London (twice), but never the countryside or the coast.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 28, 2017 at 8:16 AM

      • You’ve certainly missed a lot then! I’ve been told that within such small distances there is a great variety of landscape. In Leicestershire are some of the oldest rocks and it’s easily missed when you pass by on the motorway to the north.


        January 28, 2017 at 12:15 PM

  3. Because quartz has a low meting point it often forms in cracks during metamorphosis.

    Sherry Felix

    January 28, 2017 at 8:18 AM

    • Thanks. I look forward to new information flowing into the cracks of my metamorphosing mind.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 28, 2017 at 8:24 AM

      • Under some circumstances the veins can form boudinage (French geologists term meaning sausages). Hope that doesn’t apply to your brain too 🙂

        Sherry Felix

        January 28, 2017 at 9:19 AM

  4. I have some beautifully smooth, rounded pebbles from the mouth of the Russian River, just up the coast, that have the same veins. It’s interesting to compare the apparent roughness of these rocks, and their fissures, with my pebbles. I suspect that nature had a hand in smoothing mine.


    January 28, 2017 at 8:20 AM

    • I’ll bet you’re right that your pebbles with the same sort of veins started out rougher and got smoothed by flowing water. We might even say that your pebbles had a reset with the Russian River.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 28, 2017 at 8:33 AM

      • I just laughed at myself for saying “I suspect” that nature played a role in their smoothing. Nature most certainly did: unless there was a little man with a rock tumbler working like mad at the mouth of the river.


        January 28, 2017 at 8:38 AM

        • And I was just reminded that on August 15th last year you mentioned your white-veined pebbles in response to a photograph showing a pebble-covered span of beach on Lake Michigan. Back then I hadn’t yet seen white-veined rocks like the ones from the California coast, but now I can relate to your comment.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 28, 2017 at 8:45 AM

          • And didn’t I laugh at the side discussion about campaniles and so on? Only four months later, I’d forgotten that discussion, even as I wrote about bells and change-ringing. I’m glad to be reminded of that, too.

            And that fossil is still sitting here, not an arm’s length away. I’ve found some others — I need to get with it. So many topics, so little time.


            January 28, 2017 at 8:52 AM

  5. They remind me of the Anasazi paintings, even though I know they are not man-made.


    January 28, 2017 at 10:28 AM

  6. They are very interesting Steve .. I see Jim has said quartz


    January 31, 2017 at 7:34 PM

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