35mm x 24mm

35.5mm x 23mm

It was a wet September of 2016, when I came across this oddity in a well-trod location. Located high up in the beach shingle, it was only because of the rain that I saw it at all, and immediately, I recognised its rarity. 

 

As has been mentioned elsewhere, stalactitic agates at Usan are very unusual, and when encountered, usually exhibit the corresponding vertical formations at the edge of a nodule containing mainly fortification or onyx banding, almost akin to an afterthought. 

This then, is the only PURELY stalactitic agate I have seen from the area. The stalactites are very intricate and irregular in form, coming to tapering points and being surrounded periodically by unidentified mineral detritus. They are distinct to the area, and agates of the same variety, from the north at St Cyrus and Kinneff, and the south at Lunan are easily differentiated by eye. The stalactitic agates from Ferryden, and Scurdie Ness, are closest in resemblance to this piece, however they do not exhibit the same intricacies of pattern as this Usan stone, and their interior formations are thicker, less elegant and more crude in aspect.  

 

Ideally, the meadow-yellow and  woodsmoke-grey-blue shades might be pleasingly replaced with the Munchian reds, pumpkin oranges, and golden yellows seen in other agates from the area, but then, therein lies the clincher, dear reader. Somewhere, out there, is an intricate, purely stalactitic and richly COLOURED agate, and I intend to find it. 

 

In any case, those particular colours and formations bring a certain atmosphere to mind, that would not exist if it were executed in brighter hues. 

 

I won't go into that here. 

 

Well, maybe sometime, but hell, who's going to read it?