Archive for the ‘cemetery knockers’ Category

Mountain View Cemetery knocker, the big one

10 April 2011

Since I featured what I called the big set of knockers (or in geology-speak, large competent blocks in Franciscan melange matrix) at Mountain View Cemetery, almost 3 years ago, the operators of the cemetery have opened a new premium section just below and removed most of the trees, unveiling the best rock on the hill. I visited it this evening. It’s still not much to look at unless you’re looking for it.


It’s mostly pale-green ribbon chert with some red chert. You might say the green rock has undergone a sea change. I’m not one of the experts in the Franciscan, but red rocks, which owe their color to trivalent iron (Fe3+), commonly turn greenish as the iron is reduced to divalent Fe2+, so I take it that this chert has undergone some challenging conditions in the ancient subduction zone that created the mixed-up melange. I find it harmonious.

green chert

Here’s a closeup. Click it for an 800-pixel version.


Stone like this doesn’t support a lot of life, being low in nutrients, but lichens have a foothold on it, especially where moisture can gather. The eastern, uphill side is like that, and the total impression, stone and sky and place and time, is most pleasing.


Again, click the photo for a big version. And visit the “cemetery knockers” category for the whole set.

Eastern knockers

31 January 2010

Recently I visited some of the knockers in the steep hillside east and south of Mountain View Cemetery. These three are chert of deep-sea origin; the middle photo best shows its typical “ribbon” bedding.




This area borders the steep gorge of Moraga Canyon and harbors a number of deer and turkeys, among other wildlife.

Knockers south

26 February 2009


Now is a good time to post this picture taken last June, if only to remind myself that summer will return. This is looking up from Moraga Road, near the Piedmont maintenance yard, at the open land south of Mountain View Cemetery, and of course we are looking once again at knockers.

It’s a scramble to reach those rocks, but they promise the peace of a well-earned private perch with a great view. One or two of the rocks on this slope are appreciated by the local youth, to judge by the paint and other signs. Having been such a youth myself, I can’t object.

Just up the road from this spot is a sweet, discreet trail connecting to Abbott Way.



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