*Chrysocolla heart cut by Gary Wilson
*Turquoise and abalone beads
*Sterling setting, beads, findings and earrings
*Necklace is signed, numbered, dated

Length: 19"-24.5" (48 cm - 62 cm) Shown on model at shortest length
Centerpiece: 1" x 1.125" (2.5 cm x 3 cm)
Weight: 1.1 oz (30.5 gm)

Earring drop length: 7/8" (2 cm)
Earring weight: 2.3 gm ea (a nickel weighs about 5 gm)

Item #653 - Sold

Green Flash Necklace and Earrings

Green Flash Necklace
Green Flash Necklace Detail
Green Flash Necklace on model
Green Flash Earrings
Green Flash Necklace
Hover to zoom, Click to expand

For a completely different take on Chrysocolla, this stone puts us in a mossy glen as the sun sinks below the horizon when, overjoyed, we observe the brilliant green flash. One evening I was paddling my sea kayak with a small group of highly competitive paddlers on one of our "casual" Tuesday evening paddles. We were waiting as a group until it was safe to scurry across the channel between aircraft carriers, tug boats, cruise ships and the like to reach our coffee stop on Coronado. The sun was sinking and somebody said that maybe we'd see the green flash. Somebody else said, "nah, not from here." I'm normally very quiet but for some reason I said, "Yes we will." And almost immediately, there it was! What a magical world this is!

If you don't believe in magic, Bowditch's The American Practical Navigator offers a very clear explanation of how the green flash phenomenon occurs. Bowditch's encyclopedic work was first published in 1802 and it continues to be updated now by the US Government. It is still carried on board every US Navy ship even in these days of GPS navigation. Which reminds me of a story about navigating in the desert: I'm a slow hiker. Make that a very slow hiker. My fabulously flexible ankles will dump me in the dirt at the least provocation, so I don't have much choice except to pick my way very carefully. You may know that most every desert canyon looks identical to the next one over, so in the desert you have to be exceedingly careful to keep track of where you are, even on hikes you have done many times and even when you are lost, you must know where you are. Anyway, I was sitting on a rock after a scramble up a steep rock fall to a high, wide desert garden area that I love between two large drainages. It was pretty hot. Two men came along, unusual as not many people hike there, both staring at their GPS devices and walking right past the side trail they should have taken out of the wash had they been planning to hike the loop I was planning to hike. They didn't ask me for directions, they barely noticed I was there. They were in their own little electronic world where this beautiful desert was reduced to some points on a tiny screen. I've found lost hikers in the desert and in the mountains, people take off and even if they have a map they don't have a compass and they start wandering around aimlessly which, needless to say, can be life threatening. I've even had to argue with people about which direction was north after I showed them my compass. But not these guys! They had GPS! They disappeared quickly toward the east and I resumed my hike taking the trail to the south. Now desert trails aren't necessarily terribly well marked. This one was visible, if you looked carefully, and wanders through rocky areas so you have to watch for the ducks to be sure you stay headed in generally the right direction until you can pick up a reference point across the next canyon. Miles later, I sat under a mesquite, cooling off after a tricky climb down a steep, rocky hill and then a long slog up a canyon wash to another saddle where you can cross back over into the canyon you started in. Even the easiest desert hike is rugged. Proper hydration is essential as is cooling down a bit when you find shade. I nibbled on some lunch and communed with the lizards. The zebra-tailed lizards were about which signifies to me that the rattlers are also about, so I was hoping that by late afternoon I would see one. In those canyons I've seen many of our own handsome red rattlers (C. ruber ruber) which occur only here in San Diego County and down into Baja a little ways. They vary from an almost mahogany red in our mountains to a peachy color to match the desert varnish here in the desert, all with their distinctive black and white banded tails. For some reason I've never come across a sidewinder in this particular area, but there are Southern Pacifics; also our sweet Rosy Boas, and even the occasional Chuckwalla! At Palm Desert Chuckwallas are everywhere, down here you don't see them often so it is thrilling to find one. At any rate, when I was about ready to leave, here came the two GPS guys, much younger and faster hikers than I, trudging up canyon toward me, looking bedraggled, red-faced and exhausted. There are few easy ways down into that canyon, and it appeared they hadn't found one. The desert is unforgiving. One must never, ever drop down into an area you can't climb back out of, for obvious reasons. But they were strong and lucky and made it to the canyon floor. As they went by, one said to me, "I guess there's something to be said for dead reckoning, eh?" ROTFL!

To return to our topic after that thrilling adventure: whether you're at sea or in the desert, whether you've seen the green flash yet or not, maybe wearing this lovely heart will remind you to stop a moment in the crack between the worlds and watch the sky for wonders.