Tips & Tricks for Crystal Mining at Diamond Hill Mine South Carolina

Diamond Hill Mine, (c) Debra Roinestad, The Comfy Cabin, 2023

You will have a rocking-good time visiting Diamond Hill Mine in South Carolina. This mine has over six acres of soil filled with crystal quartz, amethysts, smoky quartz, epidote, and many other minerals!

The best time to go crystal hunting is early morning before the hot Carolina sun turns up the heat. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you. Digging for crystals is truly a cardio workout. 

The best place to find rocks and crystals is often to the side of the pit. Many will be digging downward and ignoring the sides and corners. Also, look around for loose rocks sitting on top of the soil. After heavy rainfall, hidden specimens will often be washed clean, revealing amazing crystals! 

Diamond Hill Mine, (c) Kurt Roinestad, The Comfy Cabin, 2023

Here are some other tips for crystal mining:

Dress in layers and wear an old pair of denim jeans. Jeans prevent any scratches, cuts, and scapes on your skin. You will be in a large pit filled with sharp rocks and debris for many hours. Also, the soil will stain your clothes permanently. 

Bring suntan lotion. Make sure to apply suntan lotion on your face and arms. It’s so easy to get sunburned looking for crystals. 

Wear Hiking boots. Bring hiking boots or wear shoes with a good grip when walking around. You will be climbing steep hills and will need that extra support. Also, consider using a walking stick. 

Bring Rock Hounding Tools. Rock lovers, you will need a basic rock-hounding kit for a successful crystal hunt. You will need work gloves, a pick, a long screwdriver, a shovel, a crowbar, a spray bottle filled with water to spray down your crystals, paper towels, newspapers, boxes, empty zip-lock bags, and an empty bucket to place your rocks. I used this basic rock-hounding tool kit that was helpful for my hunt.

Some of our crystal collection from Diamond Hill Mine, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023

Diamond Hill Mine is a great place to bring your family and friends. Also, it’s the perfect place for couples to work together as a team hunting for treasure. This place is truly a gem! 

Debra Roinestad

Vintage European style diamonds illustration. Original from the British Library. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

100 Diamond Hill Road, Abbeville, S.C. 29620

Diamond Hill Mine Website

5 Fascinating Snakes in The Woods of South Carolina

Art Design by Debra Roinestad. (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.

Throughout history snakes  have been a symbol of medicine, love, rebirth, wisdom, good, and evil. Snakes will seek shelter in any place that is hidden. They burrow under rocks, logs, tree stumps, and bushes. Snakes are frightened of humans and are not prone to strike unless they feel threatened. It’s best to keep a good distance, and they will mosey on by. 

Tuberculosis must be conquered like the most evil of reptiles (1918) poster by Géo Dorival. Original public domain image from the Library of Congress.
Less dangerous than careless talk. Don’t discuss troop movements, ship sailings, war equipment.

Here are 5 fascinating snakes that I encountered in the woods of South Carolina.

1) Corn Snake

Corn Snake. Courtesy of WWF, (World Wide Fund for Nature).
Corn Snake. Photo by Debra Roinestad. (c) The Comfy cabin, 2023.

Corn snakes are generally docile and non-venomous. The corn snake has colors of orange and brown with patterns that resemble a ‘corn on the cob.’ 

It is easy to confuse corn snakes with venomous copperhead snakes. Corn snakes have brighter colors and are of a more slender build than copperheads. Corn snakes are also an excellent choice as a pet snake according to experts.  Read more here.

Video by Debra Roinestad, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.

2) Copperhead

Photo by Grayson Smith. Original in the public domain.

Copperhead under wood pile. Photo by Kurt Roinestad.
(c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.

Copperheads are the most common venomous snake you will find in South Carolina. They are reddish-brown, long, and wide snakes with a diamond shape pattern on their backs. Copperheads try to avoid humans and often hide under fallen leaves. Most copperhead bites occur when an unsuspecting human steps on the snake. Read more about the copperhead here.

3) King Snake

King Snake. Image in the public domain.

The king snake has a black body with yellow patterns. King snakes dislike copperheads. King snakes do not have venom. They kill their prey by wrapping themselves around the prey and squeezing it to death. 

King Snake eating Copperhead in our backyard. Photo by Kurt Roinestad. (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.
King Snake eating Copperhead in our backyard. Video by Kurt Roinestad.
Editing & Design by Debra Roinestad. (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.

4) Black Snake

Black snake. Image in the public domain image.

Black snakes are not venomous nor aggressive. If they feel threatened, they may bite as a last resort. The black snake can reach up to 8 feet in length.  Black snakes eat large amounts of rats and mice. They are especially handy to have around when you are growing a vegetable garden.

Black Snake in our backyard. Video by Kurt Roinestad.
Editing & Design by Debra Roinestad. (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.

5) Eastern Milk Snake

Eastern Milk Snake. Image in the public domain.

Historically, the eastern milk snake got it’s name from a silly belief that it would drink milk from a cow. The eastern milk snake is not venomous. People confuse the eastern milk snake with the venomous coral snake. Experts have suggested learning the following rhyme in order to differentiate the two snakes: “Red on yellow kills a fellow. Red on black, friend of Jack.”

Eastern Milk Snake in our backyard. Video by Kurt Roinestad.
Editing & Design by Debra Roinestad. (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.

According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, there are 38 different species of snakes in South Carolina.

You can read more here.

Many people have a natural fear of snakes including, myself. Experts have studied this reaction and have discovered that we usually are not born with the fear of snakes. The fear of snakes is a learned behavior.  

Read more here.

After encountering many snakes here in the woods, my fear of snakes has diminished, and I have developed a great admiration and respect for these magical creatures.

Warm Wishes,

Debra Roinestad

Debra Roinestad
Kurt & Debra

Shelter Logic

Spring Wildlife on Trail Cam

Photo by Pete Nuij

Hey Everyone! 

April is an exciting time to see wildlife in the woods. All the animals are active this month. Black bears are emerging from their dens and showing up around the neighborhood. I spotted a black bear and her cubs a few miles from my home and captured a short video. 

Read more about the black bears here

Plus, the coyotes are roaming around at night, and the raccoons are busy socailizing and searching for food.

As always, enjoy the trail cam videos!

Warm Wishes,

Debra Roinestad

3 Great Reasons to Fall in Love With Landrum S.C.

Landrum is a small community with gorgeous mountain views and lovely antique stores in S.C. An old railroad track runs through Landrum. The city was founded in 1880 and incorporated in 1883. It is located west on Interstate 26 between Spartanburg and Asheville, N.C. 

Railroad track in Landrum. Photo by Debra Roinestad, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.

All photos by Debra Roinestad, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023.

Here are 3 great reasons to fall in love with Landrum, SC

1) Shopping

All the antique shops has good quality antiques such as jewelry, fine china, books, records, carnival glassware and more!

Antique Stores

The Landrum Antique Mall (Thrill of the Hunt)

221 E. Rutherford St. Landrum SC 29356


The Landrum Antique Mall (The Thrill Of The Hunt)

Savvy Scavengers Antique Mall & Marketplace

105 S Randolph Ave., Landrum SC 29356


The Yankee Peach Antiques & Collectibles

120 E. Rutherford St., Landrum SC 29356


Landrum Eclectics

601 W Rutherford St. Landrum, SC  29356


Expressions Florist & Antiques

105 E Rutherford St. Landrum SC 29356


The Vintage Corner

110 S 562, Landrum SC 29356


Habitat For Humanity Store

132 S 562, Landrum SC 29356


Big John’s Antiques 

601 S Howard  Suite B Landrum, SC 29356



108 E Rutherford St Landrum SC 29356



Classic Couture

109 E Rutherford St.  Landrum SC 29356


Classic Couture

Lucy’s Botique

1508 E Rutherford St


Sissy Botique & Gifts

210-B E. Rutherford St, Landrum 29356


Galleries & Speciality Shops

Foothills Amish Furniture

106 E Rutherford St, Landrum SC 29356


Foothills Amish Furniture

White Buffalo Collectibles (Native American Goods)

205 E Rutherford St Landrum, SC 29356


The Millstone Gallery (Inside The Landrum Antique Mall)

221 E. Rutherford St. Landrum S.C. 29356

Covington & Co. Jewelry

210 E. Rutherford St, Landrum SC 29356


P3 Retail Rescue (Non-profit for animals)

112 E Rutherford St  Landrum SC 29356


2) Great Restaurants

There are  plenty of choices to satisfy your taste buds.


The Hare & Hound Pub

The Hare & The Hound
The Hare & Hound

Soulisa’s Fine Dining

Appetizer Sampler: Soulisa’s Fine Dining

El Chile Rojo

Stone Soup Market Cafe

The Carolinas’ Harvest House Restaurant

Southside Smokehouse & Grille

The Pasta Station

China Cafe

Harvest House

Stax’s Drake House

Dimitri’s Greek Italian Restaurant

Biazzo Deli

3) Romantic Getaway

Landrum, SC is the perfect romantic getaway. The city is quiet and peaceful so you can relax from daily stressors.

Hotels In & Around Laundrum

The Red Horse Inn

45 Winston Chase Ct, Landrum, SC 29356


1906 Pine Crest Inn

85 Pine Crest Lane, Tryon, NC 28782


Yellow House Of Landrum (Air B& B)

508 E. Rutherford St, Landrum 29356

Make sure to visit this picturesque and romantic city if you are ever in South Carolina.

Debra Roinestad

Early Spring in the Mountains of S.C. Photo Gallery

Daffodils in the woods. Photo by Debra Roinestad, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023

Spring has arrived early here in South Carolina. The wildlife is more active, flowers are starting to bloom, and the sun is shining brightly over the mountains. Plus, the black bears around the woods will be waking up soon from hibernation.

Here are some recent photos that you might enjoy.

Kind Regards,

Debra Roinestad

Photo Gallery: The Woods & Table Rock Mountain, SC

(c) The Comfy Cabin, 2023

Hi Everyone,

The woods are alive with bright colors and wildlife during the cold winter months. There is a mystical feeling of viewing the clouds over Table Rock Mountain. At twilight, you can see pink and yellow sky surrounding the mountains.

Kind Regards,

Debra Roinestad

The Effects of Hurricane Ian in the South Carolina Woods

All Photos by Debra Roinestad. Outer-bands from Hurricane Ian, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

A pink glow radiated in the evening sky in South Carolina from Hurricane Ian, as it touched down in Florida on that frightful Thursday. The outer-bands of the storm hovered high over our cabin. The leaves on the trees had a fluorescent green glow from the pink clouds. The woods became eerily quiet as the birds and small woodland critters prepared for the storm. 

Outer-bands from Hurricane Ian, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

Outer-bands from Hurricane Ian, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

I hunkered down and nervously watched the weather forecast. The uncertainty of where the storm was headed in South Carolina was gut wrenching. On Friday, the storm had returned and pummeled the beaches of the South Carolina coast. The trees were bending from the strong wind gusts and there was a slight chill in the air. 

Colorful Sky on Friday Evening, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

Saturday Morning, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

The sun shyly peaked from the clouds on Saturday morning. Luckily, there was no damage in the area, just a few tree branches on the ground.

I’m deeply saddened by the destruction Hurricane Ian left in Florida and South Carolina.

Here are a list of reputable organizations that accepts donations for those severely impacted from the hurricane. (Click on the links below to access their website.)


Red Cross

Global Giving

American Humane

Volunteer Florida

United Way

Salvation Army

Save The Children

World Central Kitchen

These disasters are a constant reminder to love and hug everyone around you and to appreciate the present moments. Things might change forever within the blink of an eye. Life is always uncertain. The only thing that is truly certain is what you hold dearly within your heart.

With Love and Gratitude,

Debra Roinestad

Hummingbirds of South Carolina

All Photos by Debra Roinestad. Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

These majestic birds get their name from the humming noise their wings make in flight. Hummingbirds flap their wings 10 to more than 80 times per second. Here in South Carolina, we have four species of hummingbirds, the ruby-throated hummingbird, rufous hummingbird, black-chinned hummingbird, and calliope hummingbird. The most common one I have seen in my backyard is the ruby-throated hummingbird. The ruby-throated hummingbirds’ wings flap about 53 times a second. The males have ruby-red throats and the females have white throats. 

Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

Overall, research indicates that the hummingbird can fly 23 miles in one day. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backward. They can see ultraviolet light plus RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) due to the fourth cone in their eyes. Hummingbirds can see red and green colors very well. Plus, hummingbirds can recognize humans that feed them and change the contents of their feeder. They are in desperate need of nectar in the fall season for energy to fly back to Mexico or Florida for the winter. A few remain in the winter along the coast. In the spring many of them fly over the Gulf of Mexico back to the U.S. in one non-stop flight. 

Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2022

Fun Facts About Hummingbirds

If a hummingbird crosses your path, or visits your home, know that it is a blessing. Throughout history, hummingbirds have been associated to be a symbol of light and joy. 

Art & Design: Debra Roinestad (c) Comfy Cabin, 2022

Here is a free guide to help identify hummingbirds in your backyard from
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Click Here.

Trochilidae–Kolibris from Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Fascinating Opossum on Trail Camera

A misunderstood animal that is harmless and quite interesting is the opossum. Opossums are not aggressive and will run away if they encounter a threat or play dead. Opossums are resistant to venom and  prey on snakes such as copperheads and rattlesnakes. They can benefit your garden by consuming small insects such as beetles, slugs, and snails that damage gardens.

Kind Regards,

Debra & Kurt Roinestad

Virginian Opossum (Didelphis Virginiana) from the viviparous quadrupeds of North America (1845) illustrated by John Woodhouse Audubon (1812-1862). Original from The New York Public Library.

More about the Opossum

(c) PBS Nature: Opossum Facts
Vintage illustration in the Public Domain