There are many shades of obsidian in nature. The Weekend Challenge from GC and SueW, and their monthly color challenge for June, is the color Obsidian.
By coincidence, I was out in the yard yesterday morning rearranging some of the obsidian I’ve collected at nearby Glass Buttes. Here in Bend, Oregon, we recently had a huge storm with high winds, rain, and hail. My rocks all had a nice bath. 😉
Here are few portraits of obsidian rocks in my garden.
A piece of black obsidian in with the ice plants. I like to pick up pieces that have interesting textures.
Here’s a larger piece of black obsidian tucked in under the mint plants.
Here are a trio of mahogany obsidian rocks.
Here are three smaller pieces beneath a cholla cactus. Spotted mahogany colored rocks, like the middle piece in the photo below, are called leopardskin obsidian. If that’s true, is the striped piece on the left tigerskin obsidian? I don’t think so!
Go to OreRockOn and look under the Obsidian & Knapping for Sale tab to see pictures of many varieties of obsidian.
This is green sheen obsidian. It has stripes of green color crossing the black.
This piece of silver sheen obsidian is being guarded by a prickly pear cactus. Silver sheen, and other types of obsidian, have a sparkly iridescence when you tilt them in the light.
This gunmetal obsidian, next to an Oregon sunshine plant, blends in with the color of the gravel. Gunmetal is solid gray in color.
These are just a few of the many shades of obsidian located an hour away from my house. Lucky me!
To see some of the obsidian I have collected at Glass Buttes over the years, see:
I like rocks! Includes other rocks in my collection.
Game of Thrones fans may know what dragonglass is but the rest of you may be going, “Huh?” The rock plays an important role in the story. Most people know it by the name obsidian. Like glass, obsidian fractures into pieces with sharp edges. It can be found in a wide variety of colors.
Obsidian forms when lava from a volcano cools rapidly with minimal crystal growth. Volcanic activity in Central Oregon is recent, in geological terms, so obsidian is fairly common in some areas. Lava flows covered hundreds of acres in this region. I have found obsidian in my yard between the sagebrush and bunchgrass. Isn’t this a cool piece?
I’m lucky because I live about an hour away from a place with TONS of obsidian called Glass Buttes. When you drive along the dirt roads there, the streets are literally paved in “gold” in the form of obsidian. You are advised to have good tires on your car because that stuff can pop a tire fast.
Recent research has found obsidian is so sharp it cuts more cleanly than a metal scalpel blade. http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/02/health/surgery-scalpels-obsidian/
The varieties of obsidian at Glass Buttes can be found in shades of black, silver, gold, mahogany, green, and rainbows of color. The obsidian is solid, striped, spotted, and clear. It sparkles and shines when the smallest ray of sunlight hits it. As you wander in the sagebrush covered hills at Glass Buttes, it’s like being a kid in a candy store.
In my guest room I keep a dish full of obsidian where most people might place a bowlful of candy. Guests might be temporarily disappointed until they take a closer look. It is amazing!
People have been collecting obsidian and making arrowheads, spear points, knife blades, and scrapers with it since the Stone Age. Items made from obsidian have been found hundreds of miles away from the source.
Here is a site where you can learn more about obsidian.
This site has obsidian for sale but I like going to it to see pictures of the many different varieties. You can also purchase a detailed guide about rockhounding in Oregon here.
See Glass Buttes Obsidian Field Trip for more details on this site full of dragonglass.