Who among us hasn’t cleaned our camp pots with some local
variety of Scouring-Rush, also know as Horsetail? Widely abundant in wet
areas, Equisetum hyemale incorporates silica (among other abrasive
minerals, such as gold—prospectors used to eyeball this plant for the
tell-tale signs of a motherlode) within its tissues. Perhaps this thwarts
herbivores from consuming it. Young, peeled shoots are edible to humans,
I want to share with you some simple sanders and grinders
one can make with natural resources.
While I was exploring the Baking-Hot-Pit-of-Mojave-Desert-Death, I
stumbled across some fine black sand. It proved to be almost as
abrasive as red garnet-rich sand that Jeff Gottlieb sent me from New
York. Under a microscope, one can see wondrous gems that cover
nearly the whole spectrum of rainbow colors!