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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mysterious pile of white stuff















Do you have any idea as to what this is?
This is the second time a pile of white grains of something similar to sugar or salt has appeared on the road leading up to our place. Both times, the weather has been fine and the mound well formed - none is spilled or run-over by tires. Perhaps it's leaking from a vehicle that has sat on that spot for a while before driving off. I've not been game to dip a wet finger into it and taste to identify it (someone suggested 'uric acid' :-). I'll take a sample soon, and any suggestions anyone might have.

16 comments:

Ray said...

Looks to fine to be any of the common fertilisers
I would be sorely tempted to try the taste test but remembering what happened to Carl Scheele ( real discoverer of O2 etc but died young) maybe not
Anyway you are a green hippie, so roll up a fiver and hover it up :-)

robertguyton said...

Green hippies don't have a fiver, Ray.

Ray said...

Thats what i thought when I changed a fiver for a tenner
I did set the bar low 'cause we don't have ten bob notes anymore

robertguyton said...

Nor watches, more's the pity.

Armchair Critic said...

Why would you need a watch? It's easy enough to tell the time without one. I last used one in 1986.

robertguyton said...

A ten-bob one?
That's crazy.
Can you remember what time, in 1986?

Armchair Critic said...

Ten o'clock in the afternoon.

robertguyton said...

Ha!
It's always 10 o'clock in the afternoon around here.
Went to Dunedin last weekend and visited the re-vamped Early Settlers Museum where I watched film of the Verlaines croaking out a number in a scabby scarfy flat.
Good times.

Graham Clarke said...

It appears to be glass beads used to reflectorise roadmarking paint, not advisable to eat but is quite inert- a sand sized glass particle

Armchair Critic said...

That is a good explanation Graham.

Karen Thompson said...

You've got me intrigued, please let me know the outcome...

Bioneer said...

Graham is quite right, reflector beads

robertguyton said...

He is indeed! Why didn't I think of that? I've collected a cup-full, tasted them (tasteless) tried to dissolve them in hot water (nope) and am now drying them on the top of my wood fire. They have a peculiar feel to them when handled - kind of super-smooth, not a grain sticks to my skin - not sticky at all. Thanks for your detective work, everyone. Next time I find a pile of something mysterious, I'll post it straight away, saving myself the anguish of not knowing.

robertguyton said...

Oh, and I must ask Graham, how did you know that?

Graham Clarke said...

Made sense really,regularly being dropped on a road,I expect the cocaine dealers of Riverton are more careful with their product.Angle of repose was much flatter than salt, sugar, fertiliser etc.I'm no roadmarker but their trucks have an applicator which pours beads onto the fresh paint which would quickly dribble a mound out if the truck stopped in one place.

robertguyton said...

So it's not pre-mixed? That's the bit that had me scratching my head. An incontinent road-marking truck. Who, other than Graham (and Bioneer) would have thought?