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    Amber is something that periodically washes up on the Baltic coastline.  If the professionals are to believe, the most likely source of amber is the resins of age-old Scandinavian pine trees.  Petrified resin is as good an explanation as any, as far as I’m concerned.  Like a good conch shell on a Caribbean beach – amber is one of those things that people scrape the Baltic Sea coastline in search of, after a solid off-shore storm.

There are many different kinds of amber, including green amber.

    The amber transition from resin to gem occurs over a long time-period.  The resin hardens, and whatever is captured within the resin gives itself over to the hardening process.  As a result, many amber jewels have within them insects trapped from bygone eras.  People “in the know” seem to be crazy about bugs in their amber, but the craze has not extended to me.  I looked at all manner of jewels and baubles with mosquitoes, fleas and the like in them.  Had shopkeepers not pointed them out to me, I wonder whether I would’ve actually noticed the little legs and antennae within the some of the formations.  Knowing what they in fact were took a lot of the attraction out of these gems for me at first, to be honest.  The color and warmth that these things radiate put the attraction right back in, though.  It was no simple challenge to find something for Sandy that did not include some ancient bug inside of it.  I am considering what good could come of even saying anything after already having given her the jewelry I got her as a present.  It is difficult to talk up “pest-free petrified resin” to someone who hides under the blankets if a daddy-longlegs spider struts across the bedroom ceiling.

Next time, I’ll share my last stories about Lithuania with you, and then it is time to shift gears for my upcoming trip this month to Central Asia.  Thanks for reading!

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