We set up camp, had to work quickly as it was getting dark.Not a great picture, it was taken the following afternoon, can just make out my DS lounging on one of the chairs.
The river is very picturesque although it's not as beautiful as it once was, some development nearby has pushed trees across the river.
That's DH in the blue, checking out a dig site.
Sieving for sapphires is hard work, DS and I had our own spot while DH worked away at triple our speed.
Firstly you shovel the river gravel into a set of sieves, we use 3 sieves. The top sieve collects the large river rocks, we never find anything significant in this sieve but one always hopes.
The second sieve collects rocks bigger than 8 mm and the 3rd sieve collects anything smaller.
After a shovel load of gravel is put in the sieves you wash them through in the waterYou look through the top two sieves to see if your fortunate to have a good find, then the third one you wash through some more, there's a real technique to this because when it's finished and it's up ended onto a dry area it looks like this
All the heavier stones have fallen to the bottom and when it's tipped over they end up on top. The black stones are spinel, large ones of these can be used in jewellery and are also good for putting in rock tumblers to help polish rocks. The sapphires, topaz, zircon and quartz are heavy too and can be found amongst these. The blue ones really stand out on a sunny day.The job then is to find them with tweezers.
Here's what DS and I found, DH had heaps compared to us but I can't find where he's hidden them so I could take a photo.They're not all gem quality but they look very pretty in glass bottles. The big dark one under the 5cent piece is a good sapphire although the photo doesn't show it.
DS also tried to find them using goggles and snorkel, no luck but he had fun.
DH also had a go and came face to face with an eel!
One of our walks back to the campsite we spotted this little fellow rummaging around the forest floor, an echidna.
I get very excited when I see native animals in their own habitat, haven't seen a Tassie devil but we've heard them. There were possums around our campsite at night that upset my dog, she slept in the tent and growled whenever she heard them. I didn't see any snakes! Tassie has 3 snakes and they're all venemous, we usually see one but thankfully they stayed away.
There was a total fire ban in the North East of Tasmania which meant no campfires, so we used the gas cooker for meals. The sky was clouded over at night which meant I couldn't count Satellites or wish on a shooting star. We had a lovely time away from the gadgets and the TV. I did a little sewing but not much.
It was sad to come home and hear all the news about fires and floods. One of my PIF ladies, Ann, has asked me to donate the PIF article I was to send her to the Bushfire Relief. Ann and I have decided I'll make up a bag of sewing goodies and send it to a representative of the Victoria's Quilting Guild to find a person in need of such items. Thank-you Ann for suggesting this, it's a very generous offer! I'm feeling very warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about how we've all come together over such a terrible event to help out, the world feels so much smaller now!
Hugs to all!