Bell Mountain, near Hiawassee, Georgia is shown as it now appears. It used to have an unmarred, uncracked appearance. Today, it has had the top knob removed, leaving a large open gash, with a ragged, exposed terrain. Many gemologists find this ripped up mountain-top attractive. Crystals of amethyst and quartz can be found without a great deal of effort, although it’s wise to beware of the rattlesnakes and copperheads which find the rocky landscape attractive. The knob at the top of The Bell, as my grandparents used to call it, was blown and bulldozed off several decades ago by the Corning Company of New York . After permanently destroying the perfectly bell-shaped mountain top, the company found that the raw materials it contained were not good enough for their intended use. So, the company walked away, leaving this permanent gash. This wasn’t an instance of a coal company or an oil company doing the mountain-top removal, but, like those industries, it too left a permanent scar that can’t be healed by man. An organization called Earthjustice is today dealing with the effects of the permanent damages being inflicted in other locations in the United States by mountain-top removal mining, such as that being done in increasing instances by coal companies. This following link will allow you to read about brave and proactive individuals helping with that protest and mitigation work. There are many stories on the attached link about concerned individuals , working to keep the earth in one piece and liveable, whose own lives have been disrupted and damaged by the effects of mountain-top mining. Those effects have come from mud slides, poisoned water sources, etc. It makes for engaging and enlightening reading and will give one an outlet for positive ecological volunteerism. Seeing Bell Mountain as it now stands, after being gouged and permanently scarred, and as someone who knew and loved Bell Mountain when it was whole and uncracked, I urge you to browse the Earthjustice website. http://earthjustice.org/mountain-heroes/junior-walk Perhaps you’ll be inspired to get involved in eco-friendly activities, or at least let your voice be heard in support of our beautiful home, the earth!