Connections to Nature

April Nurse
July 2, 2023

As the weather turns hot, that lush vegetation from heavy winter storms is drying up and drying out. We are heading to beaches, lakes and rivers or retreating to air-conditioned havens. It’s easy to miss the growing bond that spring plants fuel. There are a couple options for restoring that bond using minerals. 

Flower agate is a beautiful option. It’s fairly new to the gem scene but already incredibly popular. This translucent agate is interrupted by bursts of semi-opaque chalcedony that often resemble impressionist flowers. The inclusions can occur both in the agate and the chalcedony. These flowers can be muted reds, pinks, sagey greens and purples. Some of these minerals are so much like paintings that could be hung on the wall as art. 

Tree agate and moss agate radiate with spring energy. They’re dense with green and white inclusions resembling creeping moss. Tree agate refers to the opaque (often white) chalcedony and moss agate to the translucent variety. They’re both beautiful. These slabs capture a cool spring morning in the big trees with a little added sparkle. 

Dendritic Opal lends itself well to tree energy. This milky opal contains manganese oxide and other inclusions that permeate the structure in dendritic patterns, giving the mineral its name. It’s pretty common for these pieces to have washes of blues and yellows. Well-cut cabochons resemble trees branches against a dusky sky. Often confused with dendritic agate, it’s hard to tell the difference. Usually the clearer pieces are the agate (technically chalcedony), but they are equally beautiful. 

Rainforest Jasper looks like tropical vegetation. It’s an amalgamation of agate, jasper, chalcedony, opal, and other minerals that often results in varying shades of deep greens, startling blues, calming brown and subdued orange. The telltale sign of rainforest jasper or rainforest rhyolite are the spherical orbs of color dotted throughout. These minerals formed after volcanic eruptions, filling in the spaces made hollow by trapped gas. They’re not the easiest pieces to find on the market, but they’re worth it if you want a little tropical energy in your home year-round. These minerals make the best spheres. It’s the best way to experience the wild mix of textures and enjoy the canopy-like rainforest effect. 

It’s fairly easy to stay connected to earth, even as summer heat turns up. Nature is the most awe-inspiring artist ever known. I hope this encouraged you to keep studying her work. It’s so easy to become disconnected in our stressful world, but you don’t have to stay in that space. Pick up a rock and get to know your home a little better.