Watch Your Step

When I was a kid they begged to be hurled about, piled into impressive fortresses, conquered by the soles of tennis shoes, but these days, except for the odd occasions when my wife’s landscaping projects require me to move one, I maintain a passive relationship with rocks. I can stroll beside a creek or pond without tossing a stone their way, and on mountain trails the notion of veering off-course to clamber across them (King of the hill!) unsettles my mature sensibilities. Or is it that long-ago memory of scrambling up and over a rocky ridge, and upon attaining the sunset view on the other side making a misstep on the downhill track and landing, knee first, on a wide, flat and especially hard example? 

Yet, for all their clichéd qualities—being rough, tough, formidable, and solid—rocks can be quite pretty (unless your name happens to be Rocky). Inside and out they reveal earth’s evolving history with a kaleidoscope’s array of colors and shapes. Ask any rock hound or geologist—or photographer.


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