Obsidian, Mono Craters, California
I was sniffing around near Mono Lake, in the great string of twenty-one explosive, though lately dormant, volcanic cones known as the Mono Craters, late one chilly October afternoon. There I spied a promising bit of relatively clear obsidian in an outcropping about 200 vertical feet up a very steep, loose scree slope. After sliding back the better part of a foot for every one climbed, through the loose, volcanic debris, I reached the spot, upon which I could barely work, seated, without sliding away amidst a cloud of fine particles of volcanic glass. The subject is perhaps 18 inches in height, and you may notice that it is reflecting a sky full of clouds, the silhouettes of a pair of Jeffrey pines, the ground below and behind me, and a shaded area of the craters themselves in the distance, but not the photographer or the camera. Many people have mistakenly thought this was ice.