Heavy Metal

Sue at A Word in Your Ear has posted a photo challenge this week on METALLIC.

I thought I’d share some metals I ran across recently while hiking in a place known as Copper Basin. (That should serve as your first hint to a metal.)

The Irony of Heavy Metal Rock:

Though there may be some copper mixed into this first photo (if you looked carefully enough), I don’t think you’ll miss its strong iron content. This area is known for both copper and iron mining of the past, and this particular photo was taken near an area known as Thunder Rock (probably named for the blasting done between mining, bringing a road through, and even some reformations of the river – which may have left some of the folks around here as deaf as standing in front of the speakers at a heavy metal concert).

metal rock

The Statue of Liberty is not Green with Envy:

There may be some copper present in the next outcropping. First, remember that copper exposed to the elements will turn green (think of the Statue of Liberty). When you look at this next photo, I’m not speaking of the green moss or lichen attached to the rocks. The best place to see the possible copper is towards the lower left side, where the rock looks as though it’s been splashed with white paint. Just at the edge of the photo, note the brighter green (that matches the Statue of Liberty’s shade).


(In truth, I wasn’t originally taking this image to capture the copper. I was fascinated by the pattern of diagonal folds where the rocks have been pushed upward during some ages-old collision.)

As for the man-made additions to the area, I like that, when they built the bridges over the competitive course of the Ocoee, they honored the metal mining tradition in their selected color scheme.

First, take a look at the larger bridge that passes over the river gorge. Note how its structure is made of iron, and its rails are painted in the exposed coppery color for which the basin is named and known.

iron bridge

Now take a look at one of the matching foot bridges. There’s something I don’t want you to miss in this photo. Look down from the bridge, towards the right corner of the photo. You should notice a rounded red rock tucked in the foreground that looks like the bridge structure – as if it’s rusting. That’s a sure giveaway of the presence of iron within it.

foot bridgeShort of a couple of rocks with traces of pyrite (fool’s gold, also an iron sulfide) that we picked up along the way, that was our extent of mining for metal on this excursion.


Maybe if I make the photo blurry & you squint, you’ll be fooled!

However, I will say – being escorted by two of my boys for Mother’s Day made my hike absolutely GOLDEN!


2 thoughts on “Heavy Metal

  1. I just love rocks! They hold so many secrets that really arent secrets at all if you know what to look for. That was a great entry…thanks for stopping by my site!

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