Monday, October 13, 2008

Great Salt Bay

Sunday was a beautiful fall day here in Maine. DH and I went for a hike in Newcastle/Damariscotta. We hiked on the Salt Bay heritage trail. Here is the description from the New England Trailhead website:

The Salt Bay Heritage Trail is a 3 mile pedestrian trail that passes through the Damariscotta River Associations Salt Bay Preserve. The preserve contains many varied habitats including a woods pond, freshwater and tidal wetlands, mixed mature and new growth forest, and the Salt Bay shoreline. It also contains an important archeological site - Glidden Point's ancient indian shell heaps.

The oyster shell heaps at Glidden Point are estimated to be 2,400 years old. They are the left over shells from Native American feasts over an estimated period of 1,500 years. There are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and are protected. It is unlawful to remove shells or disturb the heaps.
Around the bay and over the bridge and into the woods...
We saw quite a few horseshoe crab shells. The bay is very shallow and either the horseshoe crabs like that or it may be that because it is shallow they are visible. Aren't horeshoe crabs prehistoric? This one was in two pieces with its long tail missing.

Here I am among the moss hanging from the trees. The moss is very threadlike; what an organism! Lovely light green color.
We found a geocache under a boulder, quite by accident. It was filled with little trinkets. I wanted to take the little Strawberry Shortcake doll, but was good and left it in the ammo box. I wrote a message in the notebook. I've always wanted to do Letterboxing, which is a similar game without the GPS and uses homemade rubber stamps to log in.

The trail runs along the bay for a ways, then goes into the woods until you reach the sheep tunnel which goes right under Route 1! There was some water in the tunnel but there were stepping stones that helped keep the feet mostly dry.
The oyster midden is awesome. All the white in the photo above is crushed oyster shells left over from the days (starting around 450 BCE) when the Indians fished and ate oysters here. There are, of course, trees growing up from much of the mound, but along the shore you can see whole shells in the exposed area under the tree roots.

Oysters, anyone?

The trail down to the shore is all white oyster shells, too. I don't think there are any oysters left in the bay now, and there haven't been any for many, many years from what I gather.
So much for the traveloge! DH and I love going for hikes and being out in nature. I think that connection with the natural world is very important and it certainly washes away the stress of work and the news. Which is more real? To me, it is the natural world, but I have to live in the man-made world, too.

Lots of color inspiration on this hike: the pale green of the moss, the whites and grays of the shells, and the blue blue sky and red, yellow, and golden leaves.

Last weekend I got about half of Holiday Chorus machine quilted, but stopped because the thread kept fraying and breaking. Very frustrating, but I am beginning to wonder if it is my sewing technique not the machine. Will try again next weekend.

In the meantime, I have been sewing little five and one half inch blocks using the strip piecing method on a muslin foundation. Very easy and so satisfying!

I'm taking my iMac in for repairs today, so I will be out of touch for awhile. Two vertical lines have appeared on the monitor. Wish I could just wave my magic wand, but I seem to have misplaced it!


Sue R said...

I really enjoyed reading about the Salt Bay trail, Beth; great pictures too. I'd heard about the shells before but haven't been out there yet. You picked a beautiful day to go hiking too, the weather was gorgeous!

Karen said...

Now that makes for a perfect day!

Margo said...

Thanks for sharing your adventures...Maine is really beautiful...I even thought of starting a blog with just is so much fun ....oh well, not now I am too busy ....

Barb D said...

Wonderful blog post!! Sounds like you had the perfect day! The pictures and the narration was very interesting and informative - you should have been a teacher!!

Will said...

Hope to get to the trail someday soon.
Hope your computer comes back to you quickly, and you can rejoin the internet world once again.