Collecting at the Long Lake Zinc Mine, Parham, Ontario



We had been collecting in Canada for about 5 or 6 days without much sleep. Late one afternoon, we arrived in Parham, Ontario, which is so small it's barely a town. We turned left and drove north through the countryside until we located the abandoned Long Lake Zinc Mine.   The sky finally got dark and we got our first look at the large rock piles called mine dumps. Under short-wave ultraviolet the ordinary looking rocks were wonderfully colorful, glowing in fantastic combinations of red, yellow and blue. Sometimes there was white and a few other colors mixed in.


Fluorescent specimens I discovered at the Long Lake Zinc Mine near Parham, Ontario

Click on the minerals to see full-size.


 Diopside (blue), Calcite (red), Chondrodite (yellow)

 Diopside (blue), Calcite (red), Chondrodite (yellow)



 Diopside (blue) and Chondrodite (yellow)

Closeup view of a zinc mine specimen



Diopside (blue), Calcite (red), Chondrodite (yellow). This specimen has other colors and is in an aesthetic class by itself.  

 Extreme closeup view of a zinc mine specimen, Ontario, Canada


Aurora Borealis Over The Mine




It had been an extremely good night - what more could a fluorescent mineral collector want? Well, just as were leaving, I spotted the aurora borealis! It was very faint though. It looked like my computer re-creation above. It was definitely the aurora because of the way it zipped across the sky. Plus I'd seen a similar aurora in Alaska. That night was the high point of the Canada just couldn't have been better! The next day we went back to get a better look at the mine. But we didn't see anything more than the big piles of fluorescent rocks. I'm not sure what I was doing in this picture but I seem to be both tired and reluctant to leave!



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