Something Older Than Me

In the summer of 2000 I found something on the ground in an open field east of where I live in northern Colorado. I picked it up and brought it home.

in hand

I have always picked up interesting rocks and some of them I polish in a tumbler. But this looked more like a bone than a rock and I was intrigued by the veins of crystal.


In January of 2002 I contacted a professor of Geology at the University of Northern Colorado. He tested my find by dropping some sort of acid on it and since there was no reaction he was able to tell me it was not bone, but in fact a nice chunk of petrified wood.


He also told me that the silica that is laced around and in my piece dates it to the tertiary period which is between two million and sixty million years old!


Sometimes I hold this wood and try to feel theΒ years that have passed in its time. Mostly I just feel the weight of my piece and the dumb luck involved in finding something so cool.


84 thoughts on “Something Older Than Me

      • My best guess is that it was trucked there with a load of dirt, at some point. That is the only explanation I have as it really was not buried at all. Hell, I could have tripped over it.


      • Sounds about right…. Did it look like there might have been any other fill-dirt out there…? Or maybe some 10 yo kid got pissed at his older brother who used it as a paper-weight, stole it, and chucked it out there….saying “That’ll teach him!” πŸ™‚


      • The area could have certainly have had some fill dirt dumped at some point, and that rock/wood was in it and simply sat there for who knows how long, sunning itself and waiting for someone who looks for unusual things, like me.


  1. Oh, boy! What a great find. It is amazing what one stumbles upon when going about in the world in a passively aware mode. Your rock does have an organic appearance. And quite large, too. I hope you come across that desired meteorite. I go out to look at the Perseid showers every year and often wonder if the flying fragments turn up somewhere in the world for a lucky person to pick up.


    • It would be enormously gratifying for me to find a meteorite. Someone in my town found one a few years back that was just sitting in his front yard, waiting to be found.
      Yes, my piece does look organic and it is shaped in such a way as to appear to be a bone, with a rounded end like a socket for another bone to fit into. I actually met with two professors and the first also thought it was a bone but didn’t know for sure and gave me the phone number for his colleague who did the testing for me.
      Thanks for your comment.


  2. Some Native American thoughts on petrified wood connect with healing properties – restoring physical energy, and in removing obstacles in life in order to achieve goals. Does that sound like you? πŸ˜€


    • Truthfully….I have never been about goals. But I am about things spiritual and that would certainly include natural sources of energy, so in that sense yes, it does sound like me, and would explain all the time I spend holding rocks in general.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great find Mike πŸ™‚ Speaking about finds, a couple of years ago I came across an animal skull in the forest. It was as clean as a specimen from a museum. I think it once belonged to a cat. But still, no other bones around it, nothing, just a white skull lying on the ground. I still have it. As good as new πŸ˜‰


  4. This is great piece dear Mike, if it were able to talk, I can’t magine how it would be amazing to listen to all these years…. Great find and experience, you did good by asking for analyze… Makes me exciting this kind of things. Thank you, love, nia


    • I think if it could talk it might start by crying for an extended piece of time, especially once it recognizes what a mess our world is, both environmentally, and politically as well. Thanks Nia.

      Liked by 1 person

      • yessssssss I always look from my side πŸ™‚ You are right dear Mike, Thank you and Welcome, by the way, I wonder now, how was your lovely dog’s reaction about this piece? Did he interest with it? Love, nia


  5. WOW… I mean WOW! When I was first looking at it, it reminded me of burned skin /scar tissue. Then, it looked like caramel, drizzled and hardened on a scone.

    But, petrified wood 60 million years old? Where do you put that, would a museum want?


    • It sits on my desk, near other rocks that I have found. I have the name of someone at the Denver Museum of Natural History who can give me additional info about it but my best guess is they have many such specimens and more. But I could be wrong. Maybe this person will go gaga and write me a huge check on the spot. But I’m thinking not.
      As to the caramel drizzled on a scone, that I really like. Nice image, good thought. Thanks.


  6. Awesome, I have two bowls full of pebbles, shells and rocks I’ve found on my travels. Friends have added to it for me, a small pebble is a great personal souvenir. I have a bone I’m convinced is a dinosaur (Greek so probably a humble 20 century goat) a stone with a hole I’m convinced is ancient but was probably drilled by an electrician for wiring! I’ll keep looking and hope to get such an awesome find. I always wonder how Time Team know terracotta is mid 14 century or similar, when I find a bit I assume it’s a broken plant pot thrown away by neighbours.


    • A very funny comment. I have stones from everywhere and it seems I can’t return home from a walk without several. There is a beach in Crescent City, California, with an abundance of rocks that have been freshly deposited by the surf. These are all rounded, with brilliant colors, and perfect for tumbling to a shine. When last we were there we returned home with bags full of them.
      The level of commentary about my rock/wood is a great surprise for me and makes me feel all the luckier for having found it. Your great comment is part of that, so thank you.


  7. An interesting find Mike.
    Have you been back to that field and asked around? Where you find one bit you will find more. I speak from the experience of growing up with a father who was obsessed with searching for gemstones and then cutting and polishing them. You may be surprised by what is inside if you know someone with a diamond saw to cut an end off it. My father ended up an opal miner and found pieces of opalised dinosaur bone, the best was a tooth the size of a large mans thumb. A friend of his dug out a whole flying Plesiosaur skeleton opalised. Sounds like you have the bug with your chalcedony stones from California, so get that saw and away you go!!


    • I have recently considered having my piece cut in two as I do know the potential for great beauty inside.
      Your father sounds sounds like an interesting man who could teach me a bit about it all.
      I have been back to that field and alas, nothing but dirt. No matter, the world is full of fields, all made for me to walk on. Thanks Denis.


      • Hi Mike , interesting is an understatement for my father. He was opal mining until 94, climbing 12 meters down a shaft and jackhammering away until he had a slight stroke. His Doctor banned mining and the police took his driving licence away. This made him depressed, (in his words) so he has reverted to gardening, poking around , reading etc . He celebrates his 99th in a few weeks. Maybe you need to dig down a bit in the field?


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