I Got Coal in My Stocking!

Remember when I mentioned geologists have an incentive to be naughty? I must have been very naughty indeed, because Santa (i.e., my mother) just sent me coal. Coal horses!

Wild Coal Horses

I have no idea where she found them. All she did, when she told me something was on its way, was snigger about how she’d found the perfect present for a coal miner’s daughter. And a horse fancier. And a geology buff.

You know what, she’s right. They’re awesome.

Wild Coal Horses II

Carved coal, people. So much more awesome than burned coal.

This is probably anthracite or cannel coal, either one of which can be used for carvings.

Wild Coal Horses Closeup

They squigged me out when I first took them from the box. I’m used to handling coal, but in its uncarved, rough state. Carved, it feels slick and slightly sticky. It’s more tacky than you expect a stone carving to feel. It’s also a bit strange to think you’re holding a flammable statue. “Yeah, you think your statue’s cool? Mine’s so hot it burns! HA HA HA HA HA.”

These are the perfect gift ever for a geology buff. There’s a ton of coal sculptures for cheap on Ebay, by the way, so if you’re inspired to do a little early shopping for the geologist on your list, there ye go.


I Got Coal in My Stocking!

8 thoughts on “I Got Coal in My Stocking!

  1. 1

    Anthracite’s pretty shiny normally, though it’s certainly possible these statues were finished somehow. Bituminous coal, which is the form that’s still mined and used for industrial purposes these days, is scruffier looking.

  2. 3

    Ooh, neat! My parents have a bison carved from lignite that they got at a gift shop in Teddy Roosevelt National Park. If they had your horses, they would make a great matched set!

  3. 5

    how forking kewl dana! your mom is right – tis the perfect gift for a coal miner’s daughter and a horse fancier and a geology buff!

  4. 7

    I’m currently in WV, and these coal carvings are very popular in this area (South of Charleston). But then, this area will also boycott your business if you’re not a “Friend of Coal” supporting the coal industry.

    The sculptures make me a little angry, though, as this is a mountain-top removal area, and some of my course work involved studying the reclamation of such sites, or rather the failure to do so, since it can’t be done, nor is it required by law. I walked around these shattered heaps of stone that reminded me more of my time in Kuwait than the thick Appalachian forests hidden by the scarred ridge line and thick dust billowing from the latest deprivation.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t hate the rock, though, as it is to life as chimps are to humans, I guess. Coal and organisms: mineral cousins.

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