May 2014 - The Spirit of Mother Earth

Oh how I love to be out in nature! It always brings me back to center. I recently got to enjoy a
gorgeous weekend out in the pines in Payson, Arizona. The weather was perfect, we even got some
sprinkles on some of our expeditions. I went on a weekend rock-hunt. We were looking for quartz
crystal points, geodes, and fossils. We found all of them in abundance. As we were out at the sites, I
was paying special attention to my senses, from hearing the wind in the trees, to the sounds of the
birds calling to each other. Feeling the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair. We were down on
our hands and knees as we dug or looked for the stones and fossils. The rain had made the soil nice
and rich, I would close my eyes every so often and just breathe in so deeply, the smell was
intoxicating! I have always loved the smell of wet earth. I felt like I might just be in heaven! Every
little bug or critter I came upon I said "hi" to, and even got to hold and pet a horned-toad who I
happened upon. We are so blessed to have this Earth!!  I feel her spirit when I am in her woods, her
forests, her beaches, her beautiful and sacred places! My fingers were covered in dirt and it was caked
up under my fingernails, and it made me feel perfectly at home. The sun would glisten off of the
crystals that we found, it was like she was gifting us with these little treasures, and I thanked her
and Heavenly Father with each one that I found!
What a marvelously rich and beautiful gift our Father in Heaven has made for us and left in our care!

We also got a chance to visit the Shoofly Native American ruins, and as I walked through the
crumbling buildings and pathways, I felt such a peace! We hiked along the creek, we also got to visit
the Tonto Natural Arch, and it never ceases to amaze me the beauty that Heavenly Father has
created for us to behold and enjoy!  (You can see some photos from this trip in my gallery - both
under "My Gemstones" and "Photography" sections, as well as the main featured gallery.
Finally got to visit the Tonto Natural Bridge. Tucked in a tiny valley of forest and pines between Pine and Payson. It is
believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. Standing 183 feet high, over a 400 foot long tunnel that
measures 150 feet at its widest point. (if you look closely you can see the teeny tiny people down inside, to give you a size
reference).
My Dad and I with our digging picks. One of the two digging
sites we visited this weekend on a rock hunt expedition. We
found lots of quartz crystal points, quartz geodes and coral and
seashell fossils. We had a blast! Near Payson, Arizona.
These are just a sampling of the quartz geodes we found. There
were literally thousands of geodes at this site, (picture to the
left). It got kind of boring collecting them when they were so
abundant, haha. Plus I was more interested in the fossils and
crystal points we were looking for!
These are some of the coral fossils we found. It is still so amazing to me that we can find these
types of fossils in the middle of the forest/desert here in Arizona! It definitely used to be under
the ocean, but it is so hard imagining that!
Seashell fossils we found at both dig sites!
This is about half of the crystals we collected on our expeditions.
Most of them were laying right on top of the ground. There had been recent
rain so I think we ended up getting lucky with the amount we found as the
rain had exposed more from the dirt and soil. The sun would catch a tiny
sparkle and that is how we found each one.
(Thank heavens for the knee pads we brought - we were crawling around on all
fours as we searched for these crystals, I bet it was a funny sight to see, haha).
I love hoarned-toads, I think they are so cute!
This little guy surprised me as I was digging for crystals at one of
the dig sites. I had to hold him for a little bit, hehe. (ignore all
the dirt under my fingernails, we had been digging all morning).
We took a little hike along the creek, it was beautiful
scenery and beautiful weather all weekend long!
My Dad and I hiking around at the Tonto Natural
Bridge park! :)
At the bottom of the Tonto Natural Bridge. A tiny bit of water created
a huge spray on to everyone as it fell so far from the top.
Different view points of the Tonto Natural Bridge, pictures cannot do justice
to show just how giant this thing is. If you look really carefully, you can see
people on top of the rocks inside of the bottom of the arch.