It's the early 1960s in the San Fernando Valley and the latest "IN THING", is dercrative volcanic rock around back yard swimming pools and rock gardens. This is what replaced the scrap yard, a more user friendly product brought in by railroad gondola car. This volcanic rock is distributed to HO building supply companies in the Valley for gardeners.
This is real volcanic rock from the Ant Hill Mining Company. Named the Ant Hill Cinder Cone, this material really mined by large red ants. Every year I go to an outback area in Northern California where ants have built large mounds with finely graded volcanic cinders.
As you can see, a spur track into the cinder pit is in place and general service gondolas are being loaded. The ant miners have taken the winter off, because this area of Northern California can get down to MINUS 20 DEGREES! We loaded about 30 carloads and headed home to warmer climate.
Not very much Ant Rock can be taken at one time from a mound, this is so as not to put stress on the ant miners by removing too much material.
Our ant workers are happy to have most of the over-burden of the mound removed so they don't have so far to carry these little rocks up and out so far from their tunnels. You may ask what do the ants get in return? Ant miners are payed very well with a sugar placed next to their tunnel entrance when their working on site.