Archive for the ‘cemetery knockers’ Category

Knocker 10

11 July 2012

Mountain View Cemetery has been clearing its upper reaches aggressively this year—so much so that a new knocker came into my ken the other week. This view is looking down at it from the brow of the maintenance area, sheltered by a clump of trees.

knocker 10

It appears to be the usual sandstone, although I didn’t inspect it closely. There is a good deal of poison oak around it, as there is near its neighbor, the “high knocker“:


Knocker 10 overlooks the new Golden Lotus Mountain section.

If you haven’t been up to the top of the cemetery lately, the view east is phenomenal with the eucalyptus trees gone.

A real old-timer

15 April 2012

Mountain View Cemetery is a fun place for geology. Not only are there the untouched hillsides and the knockers of local bedrock, but the monuments themselves are displays of fine stone from around the world. On my last visit, though, this one caught my eye.

morton gneiss

It’s an example of the oldest stone in the United States, the Morton Gneiss from southwestern Minnesota. I mentioned it a few weeks ago in a KQED Quest Science Blogs post before finding this specimen. Touching it will put you in contact with something 3,524 million years old, more than three-fourths of the planet’s age.

Let me take this opportunity to plug Michael Colbruno’s blog about the people in the cemetery. He calls it “Lives of the Dead: Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland,” but I still think of it by its original (non-SEO-friendly) name “Mountain View People.”

Knocker 1 revisited

10 April 2012

In my latest serious walk through Mountain View Cemetery, I passed the first bedrock knocker I documented here as “my secret chert.” It’s no longer secret.

knocker one

Click the photo for the big version. The cemetery managers have been removing eucalyptus for some time, which I thoroughly approve. Eucalyptus isn’t a good cemetery tree: it’s messy, lanky, disruptive and incompatible with turf. But Franciscan chert is a good cemetery rock: it’s strong, silent, dignified and unfazed by anything. Anyway, now knocker 1 gets to bask in the sun again, and maybe its new visibility will gain it new friends.


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