Apatite is a general name for a group of very soft phosphate minerals that form big crystals that are fun to collect. This red and green double-terminated apatite crystal is 21 inches long! It was found on the Miller Property in Eganville, Ontario, Canada during a CCFMS (Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies) field trip in July 2002. For more photos and information, and a cute poem about collecting apatite, check out the website linked in the photo, http://www.rocksforkids.com/R&M/apatite.htm
UPDATE 2017/06/02: Rocksforkids.com reorganized their website and the apatite page is no longer there. So, here is the apatite poem.
A Poem about Rock Collecting – Digging for Apatites in Eganville, Ontario
The peaceful silence of the northern woods, interrupted by a wail,
A soaring screaming roar, louder than a stomped on tigers tail.
A cloud of dust obscures a man, how can he see to use that tool,
With nothing to cover his nose and ears, I think the man’s a fool.
Suddenly the screaming noise stops, I think I have gone deaf.
The dust cloud drifts on by, but I keep on holding my breath.
Out of this swirling maelstrom, staggered a large ghostly form,
Coughing and hacking, he lugged a saw that had caused this dusty storm.
I guess he had some trouble; his saw had broken down.
Behind the mask of dust, his face displayed a worried pasty frown.
I guess Nick was finished for the day; the Apatite can wait.
However, Elfi kept finding more crystals; and they were looking great
The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry.
Nick had brought that saw along and he just had to give it a try.
While he cut one out for his wife, the others were finding more.
Soon Nick had a full time job, I began to hate that rock saws roar.
Crystals of Apatite, some of exceptional size, like something from a dream.
They cleared off a Calcite vein they looked like salmon going up a stream.
Now there is a quandary, do we go or do we stay,
The planned trip was interrupted, they stayed another day.
Part of us stayed to the plans, we took the scheduled trip.
More than half went back to the trenches, old Frank near had a fit.
Two more days of pounding, another broken saw,
More large crystals were being located, there ought to be a law.
Well this trip is finally over and we missed a place or two,
I cannot say it wasn’t interesting and I’m really not too blue.
Nick’s planning went out the window, next year will be better I am told,
I hope your appetite for Apatite is sated Elfi, next time pick on gold.
by Dick Stata Aug. 24th. Thinking back on the 2002 CCFMS summer trip.