Monday, July 16, 2007

Irresistible Stones

Monday, July 16, 2007
Spotted sandpiper at low tide near Tenant's Harbor, Maine.

While visiting a favorite patch of land along an inlet on Maine's coast, we spent a morning walking along the shore at low tide. The shore there is mostly rocky and the tide difference from high to low is substantial. Walking at low tide there are a lot of things exposed that are covered with salt water when the tide is high.

Among these low-tide wonders are the beach rocks. From tiny pebble to house-sized boulder they are all beautiful. We could not resist picking a few up and admiring them. Some went into pockets for transport home, others went back where they came from. Still others went into a few little rock sculptures we left in our wake.
Rock sculpture by Phoebe, Liam, JZ, and BOTB.

Atop one of the largest boulders there bobbed a spotted sandpiper. We realized that there were few shorebirds here in Maine at this time of year. I guess most of them were farther north, nesting, or inland, where it's easier to nest near water without getting your eggs washed away by the incoming tide.

But back to the rocks. Why is it that when you take a lovely stone from some spot and put it in your pocket to take back home, it does not retain the same visual appeal as when you first encountered it? Is it the setting that makes the stone so beautiful? Is it the convergence of the natural elements that makes it so? Is it the moment of discovery? Who can say?

The stones we brought back from Maine (and I'm surprised that our plane could actually take off) look fine on our front stoop. But they looked even better on the rocky beach with all of their "friends."

Here are some macro shots I took of the patterns in the stone. To my eye, they look like wood grain and ocean waves all at once.


On July 16, 2007 at 3:18 PM brdpics said...

That's a gneiss rock- just don't take it for granite.

On July 16, 2007 at 4:00 PM Bill of the Birds said...

I marble at your igneous use of the language, brdpics. You seem to grasp the schist of my post.

On July 16, 2007 at 9:39 PM Anonymous said...

Does anybody else see the face in the rock sculpture?

Wayne, PA

On July 17, 2007 at 11:07 AM Rondeau Ric said...

This is just my opinion and it isn’t written in stone so take it with a grain of salt.

It’s crystal clear to me that there is nothing to fault in your photos. They’re excellent.

This blog could be a stepping stone to a larger debate about geology but as long as it’s down to earth it shouldn’t be a problem. The discussions could break new ground and I’m sure no stone will be left unturned.
I don’t want to beat this into the ground but you may have hit pay dirt with this post.

I would have gone to Maine but I work for a conglomerate and couldn’t get away.

On July 17, 2007 at 12:26 PM Eva said...

I don't have any witty geology sayings but I do agree with you about collecting rocks. I often pick one up on a special trip but it never looks the same back home.

On July 17, 2007 at 7:29 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh, you all are right in Rondeau Ric's wheelhouse. Nobody likes to fool around with the English language like that krazy Scotsman. I think all the rock puns are taken...but I'm loving it!

On July 18, 2007 at 8:57 AM Rondeau Ric said...

Morning jz
I have lots more I just didn't have the time to work them in:
rolling stones
down to earth
bite the dust
between a rock and a hard place
bowels of the earth
common ground
give ground
ends of the earth

I do enjoy words.