This is the Vulcan Materials quarry at Brooksville. It’s main product is ‘aggregate’ for concrete: they make the big rocks into little ones and grade those into uniform sizes. Groups of visitors can make an appointment to take a tour, hunt for rocks and keep anything they find! After all, at the end of the day it all goes into the crusher. The company, in it’s hubris, surrounds the place with idealized country views. These are so trash-free they are obviously artificial. This is where you have to come to see a pleasant country lane with a hedgerow, a blooming Wather’s Vibrunum and no old refrigerator. But Paulie, a landscape photographer at heart, found the quarry fascinating.
I spotted some well equipped diggers and wasted no time finding out what they were up to. I asked a guy if he was a rockhound and he said “No, I’m a shark guy”. Seeing me glance around warily he explained he specialized in hunting up fossilized shark’s teeth and he showed me one. The dusty guy with all the tools (main gallery) was digging for clear calcite, sometimes finding exquisite landscapes of crystals.
I went on to spend an hour with a seven year old boy who was chatting me up. I’m usually bad at guessing anyone’s age but on this day I made extra points by telling him I thought he was eight. With his help I quickly learned to spot the organic shapes of shells and an urchin-like creature. He laid out his morning’s find for me to photograph. Here is the way to my gallery.