While never able to create her own art, Carol Wood has always had a passion for the creative. She found photography to be the perfect outlet. Originally from northern Illinois, she still resides in the same locale and photographs everything from babies to, well, agates. It is more than a hobby for Carol, who makes photography her living since her departure from a career in banking. Carol has attended photographic workshops and seminars across the United States. She strives for quality and originality - usually at the expense of her family's patience. Carol was introduced to the beauty of Lake Superior Agates many years ago, and she is an avid hunter when she has time to visit any location near the swath of the glacial till. Her love of the stones, along with her brother Jim's passion to share them, led to the idea for their books, THE STORIED AGATE and THE FAIRBURN AGATE.
As a young boy growing up in rural northern Illinois, Jim Magnuson spent much of his free time hunting for fossils that were abundant in the limestone quarries and in creek beds. He would often come home, pockets bulging with his latest finds. Jim still has the best fossils from his boyhood collection and occasionally brings them out for display. For many years after leaving home, Jim put his focus on developing his career as an Information Technology professional, first in Chicago, then Los Angeles, and eventually settling in central Minnesota. A trip to the shores of Lake Superior reignited an old flame. But because fossils are uncommon in northern and central Minnesota, Jim re-directed his focus to equally rare stones known as agates and set out to learn about and hunt for these beautiful gemstones. Now Jim spends much of his free time in gravel pits, farm fields, and other outdoor locales where there are accumulations of Lake Superior gravel. He loves to share his hobby with family and friends, and he enjoys his outings most with someone new to hunting Lakers that he can guide through the process of identifying agates in their true natural state. The earth is full of many treasures. Jim enjoys the peaceful hobby of hunting, polishing and organizing for presentation, and giving away agates to those who find them interesting and beautiful.