A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Name: Tom McLaughlin
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I like rocks. Always have. They're solid. They're old. Each one has a story millions, even billions of years old. If I see an interesting rock small enough, I'll sometimes take it home. If it's too large, I'll photograph it.Saw this one on a hike up Whiting Hill in Lovell, Maine last week. It's white quartz with light brown feldspar - pretty typical for a hilltop in western Maine.Here it is closer up. The black outline of weathering around the crystals pleases me.Like to climb over rocks too, especially along Maine's coast. This is part of the bedrock near Biddeford Pool on the southern Maine coast. Maine has some of the most varied geology to be found anywhere on earth. It's not only interesting; it's beautiful. The amateur geologist in me thinks this is sedimentary, metamorphic, turned up 90 degrees and weathered by the surf.This is just a few yards away, but from another age entirely, and that's how Maine bedrock is. This rock heated and swirled more than the one above it.Only about four feet away is this one in a seam where iron oxidized, creating dark red staining.Looks like chemical reactions I don't understand at all are creating different textures as well.Albany, Maine stone wall I found in an abandoned neighborhood last spring.Carrickabraghey Castle on Isle of Doagh, Donegal where we visited two years ago. My ancestors built this "keep" - all that remains of the 14th century castle that was about ten times bigger than what you see here.It's mostly limestone around that area, but some granitic outcrops are scattered about. Glashedy Island is offshore. Glashedy means "green on top." It's a big rock with ten acres of grass on it. Locals brought sheep out there to graze.View out to sea from inside the keep. I love the way the limestone weathers inside - so different from the granites and feldspars of Maine. Easier to work as well.View out another window.And another.And out a door with my wee wife outside.And a high window.A long beach nearby deposits weathered rocks in terraces. When waves recede, millions tumble against each other. The sounds they make are as charming to the ear as the polished limestone specimens are to the eye. The wee wife has found a beauty to smuggle home. Ireland won't miss it.