American Pikas have sharp curved claws which help them climb and traverse across rock, talus, branches and logs. Pikas attempt to gather enough food for the winter and their survival depends on a successful harvest. When winter arrives in the rocky mountain west, some pikas appear to use their claws to burrow through the snow, creating tube-like burrows and tunnels. These snow conduits help them access additional food underneath the winter snows. In the early 1970's, pikas (
Near Bozeman Montana, Hyalite, a form of opal with a clear glassy appearance covers broken talus and rocks and sparkles like a gem in the afternoon light. I observed sections one-meter square that looked like bubbles of melted glass, poured over broken rock. Greek for "glass stone", Hyalite is generally considered the purest and clearest Opal variety; A cut gem can have the appearance of clear cut glass. Hyalite is also called Muller's glass, jalite, and water opal.