Like many other gardeners I've met, I collect rocks. I like having little pieces of other parts of the earth on a tabletop, in my garden or on a bookshelf. Some years ago, I asked a friend who was traveling to bring a rock or two back for me from her trip. Then I asked another and yet another ... now I don't even have to ask. My friends arrive at their destination and immediately go on the lookout for interesting or unusual rocks to bring me. My 50something memory being what it isn't ("what, you mean you were gone?"), I'm always happily surprised that they remembered.
The rocks above came from Vancouver, BC and Orcas Island; they were a gift from my wonderful friend Genny (whose oldest daughter brought me rocks from Santa Barbara earlier this year). Actually, two of those rocks are shells: the tiny one at the top and the funky one that looks like it has horns. Actually, that one kind of reminds me of an owl, which is fitting since Genny and I are both Rice grads. Merci mille fois, Genevieve!
The rocks below are some I picked up on my recent visit to Colorado. They're in a pot of Texas Betony that didn't get watered while I was away, which is why you don't see much of the Texas Betony! Drought tolerant as it is, it resents being totally ignored. I can understand that.
See, doesn't that shell on the left look like an owl?