Amber Hunting

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Beach Hiker, Oct 16, 2017.

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  1. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Got up early this morning and hiked to the beach (on the Polish Baltic).
    After making breakfast, I took a walk down the beach and saw the characteristic warm reddish glow of amber at the waters edge.
    20171016_080117.jpg
    Sometimes (and especially after storms) the conditions are good for amber hunting. This morning was pretty decent, but I only found tiny pieces.
    Here's the total from today:
    20171016_083850.jpg
    And from a few years of hunting:
    20171016_102250.jpg
    This is what the beach looks like:
    20171016_080746.jpg

    I'm still hunting for some really big pieces. .. someday!
     
  2. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    Very nice finds! We look for agates along Lake Superior here.
     
  3. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  4. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Nice finds! I too love to hunt agates and fossils along Lake Superior's shore.
     
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  5. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    Most of these are agates with a couple beach glass pieces. DSC00767.JPG DSC00766.JPG 146.JPG

    Also a picture of Michigan's state gemstone "Greenstone" or Chlorastrolite found on Isle Royale and the Keweenaw peninsula.
     
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  6. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It would be so cool to find a piece of amber with an insect inside...
     
  7. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello,
    @MrFixIt that thought did occur to me too. :D LOL
    Regards
    David
     
  8. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm always looking!
     
  9. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Interesting. Is there a large offshore deposit of Amber that gets stirred up when conditions are right? Knowing most amber is hardened/fossilized tree sap, does that mean there is the remains of an ancient forest off your shores?

    Too bad it wasn’t this type of “amber”, though it’s reportedly not as valuable as it once was.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambergris
     
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  10. Broke

    Broke I found my hat! Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    Very cool! Lovely beach, reminds me I haven't been to one in several years, need to remedy that.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Adam G
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
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  11. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    @HeadyBrew
    To be honest I don't really know. I have read that the Baltic is an ancient sea. They say it's much older than the Mediterranean.
    The salt content of the Baltic is also higher than the Atlantic (which it joins).
    Still today it is ringed by pine trees, on the Southern side and the Northern. So I'm guessing ancient trees buried deep in the depths.
     
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  12. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    @HeadyBrew
    According to Wikipedia it is 44 million years old! Now that is sort of warping my mind.
    So... this morning I picked up more pieces... and I'm kind of in awe to think they are 44 million years old.
     
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  13. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hey look...
    @Broke has a new profile pic.
    Very nice Monsieur!
     
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  14. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    That is some pricey whale poop. :eek:
     
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  15. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sorry but ambergris and amber have pretty much nothing in common... except for being flammable.
     
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  16. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Now that is cool looking!
     
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  17. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sad to report that I didn't find a single piece of amber today. .. not even a shard.
     
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  18. JasonJ

    JasonJ Supporter Supporter

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    It's OK, just go look every day.. you never know when it will be "the day" that you find a giant piece with a preserved scorpion inside or something; waiting 40,000,000 years for you to pick it up. Too cool.
     
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  19. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Another day, another 0.
     
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  20. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    You need a big storm to rile things up.
     
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  21. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Location:
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    Big waves rolled in this afternoon and flooded the beach with flotsam and jetsam; shells, driftwood, litter, and... amber. Got a few nice pieces.
     
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  22. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Update. ..
    Back at the seaside this week.
    Hiked through the woods to the beach. Cold... a few degrees below zero, but a beautiful day.
    Tried out my new slingshot and it broke on the third shot.
    Went to check the stove to see if the water was boiling and knocked it over... restart from scratch.
    When to the waters edge and a big wave caught me by surprise and soaked one leg up to the knee. Grumble.
    And then... I spotted the biggest piece of amber I have ever found. And there was more! I collected more than I ever have before.
    20171121_130019.jpg
    It was a great walk in the end.
     
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  23. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Location:
    On the farm and at the beach.
    The beach stretches for miles and miles. ...
    20171121_072848.jpg
    It's backed by a giant sand dune. The dune is covered in moss, lichen, trees and so on.
    You can see in this photo that some of it has collapsed:
    20171121_074317.jpg
    Sometimes the sea comes all the way up to the dune and attacks it.
    To get to the beach there are tunnels through the dune:
    20171121_074613.jpg
    To the West is Germany (about 500km away). To the East is the border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
     
  24. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Location:
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    The forest trails look like this:

    20171121_074909.jpg
    Sunrise from the top of the main dune:
    20171121_075309.jpg
    And some more of the forest...the sea is in the distance.
    20171121_110936.jpg
    Thanks for looking.
     
  25. JasonJ

    JasonJ Supporter Supporter

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    Appreciate the imagery. Beautiful views. It's amazing how pretty much all of that could be anywhere on the west coast of Michigan as well.. we have sand dunes galore in the northwest corner, and trails like that everywhere. It's wonderful.
     
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  26. LongAgoLEO

    LongAgoLEO Guide

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    Love the pictures. I visited a bunch of towns there back in the mid-70's, including Warsaw, but I remember Bielsko-Biała the most. Never got very far north.
     
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  27. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It certainly has changed since the 70s.... the fall of communism etc etc.
    The seaside (off season) is an unknown European jewel.
     
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  28. LongAgoLEO

    LongAgoLEO Guide

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    I was touring, playing my horn. Our border crossings were excruciatingly long; sometimes having to sit there for 14-hours after they'd taken our passports & visas. Waiting us out to see if we'd opt to not enter. Spent weeks behind the iron curtain in East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Spent more time in Belgium, West Germany and Holland. We were on several invitations, including the NATO base at Grafenwöhr, W. Germany where we entertained the troops with a U.S. bicentennial celebration program (1976).

    I also thought Poland was spectacular. The economy was bad and the state of the people was disheartening, but EVERYONE was so friendly, unassuming and accommodating... and all the young ladies were stunning. And that was before make-up, shaving and other now-common practices were acceptable. (I was in my late teens...) My bucket list still includes revisiting Poland (and Holland).
     
  29. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Let me know if you head this way....
    I'd be happy to show you around. .. and you can stay at the seaside place.
     
  30. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    Years ago I rented a cabin for the family on the Western shore of Lake Michigan . The fellow that rented it to us was the son of Polish immigrants .
    They lived in Chicago but bought the lakefront property cheap years ago because it reminded them of the Baltic Sea he told us .
    It was a few acres of lake front which is no doubt worth millions nowadays.
    Fascinating hobbies but whatever gives you an excuse to get out in the woods or beach would work .
    Makes me want to make the two hour trip up to Lake Michigan.
     
  31. LongAgoLEO

    LongAgoLEO Guide

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    Thank you. Noted! Heck, I even have a pile of złotys, both paper denominations and those lightweight coins (whatever they were made of). Feels like aluminum. Also a nice collection of items I had to buy to meet my visa mandate of $10 U.S. per day. Hand carved chess sets, clothing, walking sticks, book covers, etc. Anything I could find. Gave away a lot of złotys on the last day I was there. It didn't occur to me that I'd need receipts at the border. So, I gave even more away there. LOL
     
  32. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Those are great souvenirs. .. still available at 10 000 times the price...
     
  33. LongAgoLEO

    LongAgoLEO Guide

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    Funny you mention that. That was the dilemma; spending $10 U.S. per day when you're only passing through. The exchange rate at the time was just odd. One of the chess sets, entirely hand carved, cost essentially 9-cents in US currency. One place had a military style shirt (olive drab, epaulets, etc.) that fit me. I bought them all, including the next size smaller. Gave them all away, except one.
     
  34. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    in us dollar terms. ..
    For ages the "average salary" was 20 US dollars A MONTH.
     
  35. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Location:
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    "...in leaves no step had trodden black."
    20171123_082123.jpg

    Mist rising up to the top of the high dune, at sunrise:

    20171123_080526.jpg

    The amber is found amongst the stuff that washes up on shore. Likely deposits appear here and there, easy to spot from a distance. 20171121_073426.jpg
     
  36. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Photo of the small town on the edge of the forest. On the other side of the forest is the beach and sea. ..
    20171123_094319.jpg
     
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  37. Ron

    Ron Guide

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    Wait. What? You're in Poland @Beach Hiker ??

    As for the amber; you win some loose some. The slingshot and wet pants were the price to pay...
     
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  38. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Yeah. Normally in a small farm village about 50km south of Warsaw. But about once a month I get some bush time at the seaside...
     
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  39. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I love the pictures and good luck in your hunt for amber.
     
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  40. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thank you for the pictures; lovely countryside.

    Regards,

    ezra
     
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  41. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Today's find... slim pickings. But a great hike and breakfast cooked on the beach. With coffee. 20171123_133901.jpg
     
  42. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Guide

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    Beautiful pictures. I like the coin and knife, too. The dog looks like a great hunting buddy. Thanks for sharing!! Looks like a beautiful place to live.
     
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  43. badglide9705

    badglide9705 Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    Oh yea, man! I have never given any thought to what Poland might look like. Beautiful country! And great photography! I very much enjoyed reading this thread. You just helped an old mans education. Thank you and I look forward to more from you. By the way, I`m also on Lake Michigan. The southern tip. Unfortunately if I go walk on the beach we don't have much forest or trails. Just big expensive houses and crabby people!
     
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  44. Headache

    Headache Scout Bushclass I

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    Found her! Y'all can stop looking for Amber now....

    [​IMG]
     
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  45. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Excellent thread, @Beach Hiker. Thanks for the photos and tour of your area. I enjoyed it very much.

    JohnP
     
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  46. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    Very nice area @Beach Hiker, thanks for the continued trip report!

    I'll trade you for some pretty agates for striking..

    Those are some pretty rocks there, do you tumble them?

    I grew up in Wareham, MA. I'm currently living the farthest I've ever lived from the ocean, it's painful sometimes. I need to hit the beach too..
     
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  47. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    Nope, Lake Superior does all the work. The rocks look better wet so I put the agates in small glass jars with water to bring out the beauty. It makes a nice cheap souvenir of great times along a beautiful lakeshore. They aren't worth money although the greenstones are worth something. Those are very hard to find now that picking them on Isle Royale is illegal. As far as trading all my agates are too small for good striking.
     
  48. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    S
    A mason's bit would see those tapped as beads, fair bit of trading for them in some places. Either that or you throw together some nice bracelets for the female relatives.. or.. Lake Superior Agate pace beads? :D put me on the list..

    For striking a quarter sized or better would get me going.
     
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  49. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I would give you one straight away and they would work great if you were a smurf, brownie or gnome. Most agates here are the size of those amber pieces lol. My largest one is about the size of a quarter. Most are dime sized or smaller.
     
  50. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    Well a boy can dream....
     
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