Glitter stones

Panorama at Llano de los Jables

I went for a walk at Llano de los Jables, near to where I found the tiny, red plants just before Easter. The landscape was stunning, especially the cloud waterfall.

The cloud waterfall

But the most memorable thing I discovered was quite a large area where stars glimmered on the ground, like very, very thinly-spread glitter. And like glitter, the stars tended to wink on and off.

One of the stars glittering on the ground

Of course I investigated. I know some people prefer to keep such things a mystery, but to me these things are more fun when I understand them, not less. I found that some of the volcanic gravel is almost glassy, and when it’s at exactly the right angle, it reflects the sun. Eventually I managed to get two pictures of the same tiny stone. It was about 5mm long. Can anybody tell me what sort of rock it might be? I don’t think it’s obsidean or mica.

Catching the sun
Not catching the sun

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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