Saturday, February 16, 2008

Weird Science!

Calcium Chloride is used for all kinds of things. Literally hundreds of uses from controlling dust to an ingredient in Cadbury Chocolates! But who knew it looked so pretty in the afternoon sun?

Bristol Dry Lake is near Amboy, CA in the Mojave Desert. As Thor and I drove past the enormous beds I was impressed with the extremely bright sparkle of the pre-processed mineral. It shown like glittery new fallen snow. The photos truly do not show the view we had.

The basic process is this: Find or create a flat level surface on the land. Flood said parcel with a good dose of plain ol' water and wait. After a bit of time the calcium chloride will rise to the top, crystallize and then it's scraped off and taken to the plant for processing and diversification. There are specific plains that have been squared off and made more efficient for the processing equipment. The day we drove through they were recognizable, but dwarfed in beauty by what Nature did all by herself.

Seriously, this landscape was absolutely gorgeous! It went on for miles and miles! It was especially grand because we caught the whole lake bed directly after the latest storm and the whole of it was soaked! Crystals covered the bed for as far as the eye could see, and shimmered in the sun with a bright white against the ice blue of the water and the deep blue sky.

The fragile crust flaked and chipped, and also had veins here and there. Along the edges of the lake,near the mountains and roadsides, where the land rises just enough, the gravel and grit keep the water and crystals from working their magic.

However, Nature finds a way to keep beautifying herself and even in the pebbles of an arid desert road grow sweet delicate flowers!

add to sk*rt


Red said...

one of the pics kinda looks like snow!

Adán said...

Hey, this is really cool. How neat that you got to be there to take some pics right in time. Thanks for sharing.

S'mee said...

Red, the whole lake just shimmered and sparkled like snow! It was beautiful.

Adan, we were really blessed! Thanks.

Rynell said...

So lovely....I just love your photos! Goodness, this makes me want to head westward to the coast.

S'mee said...

Rynell, You're too nice! If you ever do head out here you better give me a heads up so I can meet you someplace for a soda!