Volcanic Bombs

An 18 cubic foot lava bomb on Wild Veil's new site in De Luz.
 
Here, undisturbed 9-10 million year old "young," red volcanic basalt (Santa Rosa lava bombs) and accompanying white tuff meets giant dinosaur egg-shaped Granodiorite spheroidal boulders from the Cretaceous period. Our spot straddles the line between two geologic events, separated by 65 million years and producing a geologic record that is still clearly visible on the earth's surface.
 
Internal volcanic activity 150-75 million years ago resulted in the rounded batholiths that dot the local hillsides to this day. Cozily nested in the chaparral, these monstrous eggs are sometimes called "moonlit rocks" because they glow pink at sunset and white on a clear night. Unlike extrusive rock, these plutonic rocks were formed by magma within the earth's crust. Although they appear smooth from a great distance, up close one can see they are coarse grained, or phaneritic.
 
Much later, 9-10 million years ago, external volcanic explosions caused the formation of pockmarked vesicular volcanic bombs within a much smaller 200 square mile area: the Santa Rosa Basalt. These lava bombs can be identified by the large, round vesicles covering their surface, the marks left by molten air bubbles. Even though they look rough, they are actually aphanitic, or "invisibly grained." In contrast, 145 million year old Jurassic basalt from nearby Santiago Peak has a pitted appearance. These pits in Santiago volcanic rock are rectangular and were the result of the weathering away of surface crystals.
 
In the approximately 8 million years since the Santa Rosa event, more than 97% of the basalt has been eroded. In less than 0.3 million years this unique rock will have completely pulverized into the soil.
 
At present, this soil supports the Santa Rosa Basalt Brodiaea (Brodiaea santarosae), the most endangered and rare of southern California's Brodiaea which requires these ancient basalt soils to survive. There are currently only 5 documented populations of Brodiaea santarosae, occupying 30 square miles. It is an unassuming but beautiful species that I caught flowering on our property last week. A wild plateau speckled with thousands of Santa Rosa Basalt lava bombs, previous prospective buyers had rejected the parcel as "too rocky." We call it our rough diamond in the rough. Who needs a thousand plateaus when you can have a singular example?
 
In honor of the singular mixture of two types of volcanic rock-- both ancient intrusive (magma) and younger extrusive (lava) on Wild Veil's new site in De Luz-- I am having a VOLCANO EARTH FLASH SALE. Smoky, earthy, amber, petrichor, geosmin, sandy, and soil rich scents are 25% OFF when you enter VOLCANO25 at checkout.
 
© 2022, Abby Hinsman for Wild Veil Perfume.