Sunday, January 18, 2015

Almaden Quicksilver Hike and Sketch

Rotary Furnace for turning ore into Mercury
Jenny and I had a wonderful hike in Almaden Quicksilver Park last Wednesday. What an interesting place that is! There is still a lot of machinery and some buildings remaining from its old mining days and the park authorities have done a good job of putting up informative boards to tell you all about it. Jenny had discovered this wonderful furnace building with its rusted metal pipes and knew that I would want to paint it.
The furnace part is the long pipe on the right. Originally it had a building around it. Crushed ore was fed into the furnace and heated. The gases were condensed using the pipes on the left behind the little white shed, and liquid mercury was the end product.  It must have been horrendous working there with such toxic substances.
On the ground near the furnace I found the skeleton of what must have been a deer - sure proof that the warning signs about mountain lions should be heeded!
Chimney at Church Hill
This lovely fireplace and chimney are all that remain of an old building on Church Hill.  It looked so incongruous amongst the trees.  Of course it was surrounded by a fence, but the joy of painting is that you can leave out boring stuff like that!

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