Today it is cold out, about 36 degrees. It is December 16th, 2013. Snow is on the ground.
I live in the USA, my state is Maryland.
I went out looking for clay and managed to find some samples (I'll try to upload photos below) that might work for seedballs. The samples are not as pliable as clay I have used in art class but I assume that art sculpting clay is really refined and maybe has additives? Or perhaps what I found is not really clay or is low clay content?
(I did not dig deep at all to get these following samples. All the samples are a bit red in color although not very bright in color) :
1) About the samples. Today the stream was flowing a bit higher than average. I found my first sample (sample 1) about 5 feet above the water on a very slopped valley (under growing tree roots). I didn't dig at all just grabbed from the eroded area.The water rarely if ever comes up to the point I grabbed my sample from.
2) Sample 2, was found on the side of a small stream running downhill I dug a tiny bit (4-6 inches?) and found streaks of both whitish and reddish color. I tried picking out the red. This feels a bit less sandy than sample 1.
Don't know if this will help determine if the samples are clay but; After rolling around the samples in my hand i can press my fingers together firmly/slowly and it feels slippery/smooth but when i rub my fingers together slightly/slowly it feels like there is more friction... like paste is on my fingers or something.
Both samples are similar is color and can both be formed into balls and ripped apart. The are very close in color. The only main difference I notice is what I have stated (Sample 2 is less sandy/gritty feeling)
Question: I often find considerably red, hard feeling soil?clay? attached to the roots of large fallen trees. Is this clay? It is usually super hard and i can break off chunks with a rock and crush it up, add water, and form it into a ball although it is somewhat gritty.
Are these samples all clay? Would you guess they would be good for seedballs? Mainly I don't want them to break apart when I throw them and want them to have nutrients/protection for the seeds and to work.
I plan to dry whatever sample I use and powder it like I am suppose to before mixing it with seeds and compost.
Are there any test to know if something is clay?
Thanks for any assistance.
I don't know if the pictures would be helpful since the quality isn't great and it does not show the location but I don't have a real camera only a webcam. I figure they would not hurt to add.