Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Mineral Collecting


After I posted my avatar several people wondered about the “thing” I was holding.  It’s a large partial crystal of mica, probably the phlogopite variety. As of last count, there are about 50 varieties of mica. It comes in assorted colours, white, pink, rose, lavender, yellow, gold, brown and black. Those of you who have traveled along the highways in northern Ontario, through the Canadian Shield have seen the enormous outcrops of […]

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When we are not out in the woods collecting rocks and minerals, Reiner and I work on the mineral collection and also volunteer our efforts to an online database.  If you are interested in minerals in any way, and you haven’t learned about Mindat yet, I urge you to pay the site a visit. Reiner is currently organizing Ontario mineral localities in the database. Google Earth is one of the […]

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You Know You’re a Rockhound When …

You know you’re a rockhound when cries of “Froodite! I’ve got froodite” are heard echoing from the rafters.  And before you step back in alarm, it’s not contagious… it’s the name of a mineral. My husband Reiner and I are mineral collectors.  Reiner has been involved in the hobby since he was a young man, almost 50 years now.  Some collectors try to assemble one of each species from a […]

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The Best Laid Plans

In my several online posts regarding the trip to Lake Superior, I hesitated to write “Batchawana or Bust” for fear of invoking Murphy and his Law.  Turns out my efforts were in vain.  The trip has been cancelled. While he made one final inbox check, hubby caught the email from his boss requesting a meet this coming week. While that certainly qualifies as the glitchiest, it wasn’t the only setback. […]

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Mamainse Bound

This week’s focus is gearing up for the trip to Mamainse on Lake Superior.  Among the usual items one would expect in a mineral collector’s kit, such as hammer, chisel, gloves, and the like, we outfit ourselves with some stuff that you might want to consider for your next tromp to the mine dumps. Kitty litter buckets are perfect for several reasons.  The square shape allows for efficient use of […]

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Lake Superior Road Trip

Word has it that the Lake Superior water levels are low… that means only one thing: ROAD TRIP!  We are off to Mamainse in August to revisist the shoreline with our metal detectors.  And litter buckets, of course.   My first trip to Mamainse was August 2008.  This was a trip of firsts – first time that far north, my first time collecting with a metal detector, and my first black-fly […]

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