We are smoked only, not incinerated. Thank all the fire crews (100s of men and women)that got the Nevada side of the fire under control, and the new fires that lit while they were here. Now they deployed up into Oregon to finish off the top half. This fire did burn all the way to the Long Draw fire from last month. It will go over 450,000 acres when it is all over and done I’m afraid. Quite a bit of “Sage Grouse habitat”, just got rehabilitated the way it worked forever. The folks around here figure it ruined around 20 ranches, the families will not be able to wait out the 3 years until they can put cows back on their allotments. The drought has the price of hay up so high, if you can find it, it is as expensive as gasoline. I have a fire sale on for 1/3 off in the show cases in town. It will end as soon as the fire does. It was a gesture to all them of appreciation for their hard work.
There is still smoke in the air from the other fires in Oregon and California which are up wind from here. The smoke is not so bad we are taking shelter with filters on yet. The Klamath Falls Rock and Gem club came out for a weekend at the gem opal mines. There were several nice pieces found but as always not enough…Color was found at my place if not greatness. The buckets from them have not been seen by me, so the might have a piece or two to cut like I found.
We were rained off my claim on Sunday by more thunder storms. In the afternoon it was better and I went back to get one I had been digging on when the rain started. It is almost impossible to leave color showing in the “wall” and leave. At least it did not start another fire. There was rain with this storm. This mine is where my current gem digging is going for the 100 a head fee, 2 person minimum.
End of the mining year so everybody who has a claim needs to make sure those little papers are filed everywhere on time with the fees (hope you don’t have to pay the lease fee of 140, but the law in writing says 100, but the BLM are wanting 189 or something each so don’t lose your claims because you sent a copy and not a small miners exemption with an original signature saying you are a small miner or …all your claims are gone if you don’t fix it just as they say.)
We are right to the left of the big burn in the center. Kinda busy. Still folks digging and opals coming out. The NWR is rounding up horses and mapping mining district boundries finally since 1975 act of congress. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/fires/main/usa/20120810-westernus.html
Cattle mutilation on Alder Cr Ranch this last week. Papers don’t report them anymore. Again with all the “mysterious” signs that rule out the known natural causes and point more and more to “aliens” grabbing some bovine delicacies than any predator or person.
What else is there to say? No, there are NOT people found that way are there? No, it has not affected finding opals in Virgin Valley at all. Been a real buzz in the bars. I saw some KILLER opals found by novices in the tailings this week. Oh, and if this needs discussing further…The aliens have not come in shooting yet, despite the obvious ability to win, so I think they are friendly and helpful like a bunch of Star Trek scientists from some other reality more in danger from us than us from them.
Hiya again from the high desert outside of Denio, NV.
They forecast snow and more snow tomorrow. Probably just evaporate, but not always. The weather was nice in Quartzsite, AZ this year. No ice, no horrible winds, even though we did get dusted badly and will have to completely reclean all the cases. This is the real reason deals are had at the end of the show; the prospect of cleaning everything so it can be taken inside somewhere, is daunting.
I did get to go walk around the show as I was again lucky and had great neighbors by my booth. Everything is in motion for next year again, lots won’t be coming back to sell or could not afford the space rent up front, and it is 20% higher for next year, town jacked the tax rate over 10% now too. I shuffled my space down the west side right next to Bill Carmona and out of under the power pole. I lose my sign posts but gain 45 feet to the dog walk and outhouses. There was more than one friend watching this years show from some hole in the ground somewhere. Most were able to get out and come if they had so desired, (I think they stayed home to catch some rockhound highgraders during this time of year) but a few were back filled and missed dearly.
In other news. I didn’t make enough cash to go invest it in future sales prospects in Tuscon. I wish the dealers there luck, but I heard their crowd was from the same being milked by the rulers economy ours was. Lot of competition from overseas and fewer buyers compared to tourists. Our neighbors at Sunstone Ridge got their stock of Faceted sunstones, beads, and rough, stolen from between shows. Know your sellers. I hate to be protectionist as I do business around the world and they are my friends too, but…this whole industry is fraught with scam artists and unscrupulous sellers who prey on the uniformed. If you are at an established venue, dealing with a mine outlet of distinct material or any artisans, who use the same materials, you should be assured of genuine articles and truthful information. This is where knowing your seller becomes the ethical way to support folks more than make an extra nickle. In this business it is cash and carry, so try to give the cash to those that carry the expenses. My cutters have more than one UGLY American that never paid them for their work.
Walking around I did see higher prices on the “new” no longer new Ethiopian opals, but there was some higher qualities available for that. I actually ran across Mr Massey (Shewa Opals; for the locals back during development.) looking at the display cases early on the morning I signed up again and got to say hello. I didn’t sell a single “close out” parcel to the few buyers i entertained. I do have faith folks will realize that gemstones are much better hard assets after food and home than money and start investing in Colored stones and jewelry that is NOT poised to collapse like the housing market. i.e. NO colored gem is stockpiled like diamonds. I’m putting rarer things away than diamonds because the chance they will ever appreciate is almost guaranteed by their scarcity. Not that I have any money outside of my holes in the ground, so I’m limited to the collection I find and create. LOL. Enough talk, here’s what I found for me this year. I have simple tastes if refined.