Giant’s Stairs

 

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Some whimsical soul in the past saw a giant’s staircase in the slabs and boulders along this stretch of Maine coastline, and the name has stuck: Giant’s Stairs. Today, the water crashes against the upheaved rocks, flying into the air in wild abandon. Common eiders bob in the surf. When the males dive, you can see the glimmer of their white plumage flash below the surface. Again and again, my eye follows their ghostly descent until they vanish, only to pop up moments later nearby. Amidst the rocks, snails skim in shallow tidal  pools and a piece of kelp casts its shadow. Soft silvered rock glows in the afternoon sun. Flecks of mica sparkle and stripes of quartz erupt in brilliant, hard white fissures.

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DSCN3114.jpgThis landscape tells a story of powerful forces at work, but speaks a language that is foreign to me. Almost like hieroglyphics. Each shape and bubble, each boulder and slab tells of force and movement, of time and wind and weather. I need my own Rosetta Stone to make sense of this world– Something that would explain the layers, the shapes, the cataclysm that shifted  horizontal shelves of rock until they were rotated and running in ridges perpendicular to their original orientation. Even without fully understanding, I’m captivated by the story.

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Giant’s Stairs on a previous visit — You can see the descending slabs that inspired its name.

22 thoughts on “Giant’s Stairs

  1. Christine says:

    What a beautiful site! I too marvel at these natural landscapes without understanding the hows. For me that’s what makes it even more awe inspiring! I think I’ll have to find this area and make a visit this summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rosecappelli says:

    Thank you for taking me along with you.Your descriptions are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cmargocs says:

    You wrote a powerful description; the photos are icing on the cake. I felt like I was reading the opening of a great novel! This is one to keep in your writer’s notebook for further exploration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ureadiread says:

    Gorgeous!…the pictures, too. I especially loved the lines at the beginning of your last paragraph. “This landscape tells a story of powerful forces at work, but speaks a language that is foreign to me. Almost like hieroglyphics. Each shape and bubble, each boulder and slab tells of force and movement, of time and wind and weather.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I try to figure out how it all happened, but I am lacking the basic scientific understanding. I told my husband that I think I could really have enjoyed being a geologist!

      Like

  5. margaretsmn says:

    I just read another blog that suggested we need beauty in our lives. You have found it here. Thanks for sharing and writing such inspiring words. The landscape indeed tells a story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’d love to visit with a geologist and learn more about the story. I bought my daughter, a newbie city dweller, a book that was all about walking around NYC –the same block with different walking companions. The book detailed how different the walk was when experienced through a different lens (toddler, dog, psychologist, etc.). I was fascinated by this idea. I know I miss so much with my own lens!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jcareyreads says:

    I think you’ve written about this before- the story a place holds. The ever changing landscape of the seashore holds some really interesting stories I’m sure. I liked the image of the giant steps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Now that you mention it, I did write about this recently, but more about the individual human stories that are in different places, not so much the natural ones. I wouldn’t have connected the two if you hadn’t pointed it out. Thanks!

      Like

  7. I love your descriptions: Amidst the rocks, snails skim in shallow tidal pools and a piece of kelp casts its shadow. Soft silvered rock glows in the afternoon sun. Flecks of mica sparkle and stripes of quartz erupt in brilliant, hard white fissures.
    And the photos, too. My dreary morning is brightened by your slice today.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Alice Nine says:

    Wow! what beauty! Your photos and your words! I hear the sea calling me… been thinking for several days of a quick visit to our Oregon coast. You’ve given me the little push I needed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Now I need to go see these! I heard of them growing up as a child. We had some similar ones in front of my aunt’s house on Peaks Island in Casco Bay. Oh the tales I imagined while spending hours on those rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amanda Potts says:

    Mmm… this is a gorgeous description. You make the place come alive – and then you add pictures. With all of that, I think my favourite lines are in the second half of the slice: “This landscape tells a story of powerful forces at work, but speaks a language that is foreign to me. Almost like hieroglyphics. Each shape and bubble, each boulder and slab tells of force and movement, of time and wind and weather. I need my own Rosetta Stone to make sense of this world.” I recognize this feeling & am grateful to you for putting it into words.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the little slice of Maine coast. Your words are more beautiful than the beautiful scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

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