John & Anne Wiley


Rock Concert

I love rocks. When we fly, I often take detours to look at rock formations and I have a gazillion photos of them. There’s something about the shapes, colors and textures. Especially nice from the air, because we have total freedom of movement to explore various angles and the pace of movement accentuates the 3D experience.

So are they interesting to you too? Do you hear music in bands of rocks? Does your mind dance with the sculpted and weathered shapes.

3489 Stone Slices

3489 Stone Slices

Do you imagine a snake sunning on the warm stone? Do you see an uplifted sedimentary slab and imagine finding fossils from the epoch when it was ocean floor?

3494 Slab of Seabed

3494 Slab of Seabed

How many years did it take for that sandstone to form, and how many more to lift it into the sky and tilt it at a crazy angle that weather left standing alone? What causes some sections to be hollowed out in circular shapes?

3501 Drilled Face

3501 Drilled Face



  1. When I was 11 years old in 1948, I went to Wyoming by train with my paternal grandmother. My grandpa’s sister was married to rancher in Osage. I thought I would see cows and horses if it was a ranch, but it was an oil field. My treasure trove was the vast area of beautiful scenery which looked so close, but was so far. But the strange round grayish rocks were in abundance. Never in Minnesota or Iowa had I seen rocks like this. Perhaps it was my great aunt who showed me the “treasures’ in these rocks. They shattered quite easily, even for a small eleven year old girl. Inside these rocks were beautiful crystals. And, oh, I collected and found many different types of rocks.

    I insisted that we box them to send back to Minnesota. No one else got excited about my rock collection and my mother relegated them to the attic. But my dad had helped me drywall an alcove for my private place (as other children seemed to be being born, quite against my will), so I had a private reading spot, a window to look at the stars and a place for my special collection. Only I appreciated it.

    I have often wondered what the new owner of that home thought of the “junk” that was left in our attic years later. My treasures may not have been understood. My brother had passed on the house to a new buyer with his no interest loan from my father. At a bargain price to boot. Maybe they did enjoy my rocks and the chests of clothes from the eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds. Who knows?

    I went back one time and they did let me come in to our family home and view the changes and additions they had made. Many were some my dad and I had made plans for the future. But we were far ahead of the times, but our plans were sensible and workable.

    We lived about a half mile from the Mississippi River in St. Paul and our area was built in the 1860’s.

    My pride and joy now, here in Baja, is a metal hand tooled fireplace mantel, almost identical to the one we had in Minnesota. My husband found it in a renovation project he was doing at Bonnymede.

    We still collect rocks and shells and animal bones.

    Comment by Marie Mancilla — 2010/11/28 @ 08:39

    • What a delightful comment, Marie! A nice companion to John’s musings RE rocks and the great rock formation photos that he’s posted. My family and I grew up in Santa Barbara and loved collecting both rocks and sea shells. On our family 2-week vacations to the Sierras each summer, we loved looking at the different rock formations… so John’s blog entries about the rocks brought back great memories for me, too.

      Comment by Carla — 2011/01/09 @ 02:59

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