Joaquin Miller serpentinite

Joaquin Miller Park has its own nursery, run by the Friends of Sausal Creek. The east side of the nursery is cut into a hillside of pure serpentinite. That probably keeps the weeds down, but nothing can be grown in it either.

serpentinite

Volunteer there, and you can experience California’s state rock yourself at close range. Or join the Butters Canyon Conservancy and see some there.

I just got back from a week in New York. They have a little serpentinite in the state, on Staten Island mostly, but where I was the land is limestone, sandstone and black shale in broad, level beds. Some of it is a little bluish. But this stuff, with its unearthly color, tectonic significance and weird habitat, is pure California to me.

Earth Science Week starts tomorrow. Take a closer look at and underneath your land.

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