If you’re anywhere near coastal Maine, you’re going to be around granite. There are outcroppings pretty much everywhere.
The granite makes a nice setting for flowers, if you can get them to grow on or about the rocks. The sun-bleached stone makes every color of a flower seem more vivid, and on a sunny day like today the hues can be eye-popping.
These purple beauties are just wildflower ground cover that grew naturally in the crack of the huge rock near our front door. You couldn’t have planned a better presentation if you hired a landscape designer.
This afternoon we were walking and met up with a few locals who showed us some of the trails around Green Head Point — trails we would never have found on our own. The trails led down to the waterway between Deer Isle, Peggy’s Island, and Crotch Island, where the big quarries are to be found.
Based on what we’ve seen, you could probably set up a quarry wherever you wanted. Granite seems to be everywhere.
You’d expect an island with a town called Stonington to have an old, abandoned quarry somewhere. But, since most quarries are low-lying places — the whole point of quarries being to dig down into the ground, of course — you wouldn’t expect to find an old quarry atop a hillside, with a commanding view of more than a dozen islands. But that’s what you get when you venture up the trail to the Settlement Quarry on Deer Isle.
Settlement Quarry is one of a number of sites that the Deer Isle preservationists have turned into cool hiking jaunts. It’s an easy stroll up the old Quarry road, and once you reach the top you can admire the view, then take another trail through the surrounding pine woods. We chose the path that wound in and around the impressive piles of castoff granite, which are slowly returning to their forest state, with pine trees sprouting from the crevices.
With the breeze off the water, and pine trees everywhere, you’ll just have to look at the photos and imagine how fresh and crisp the air smelled.
Maine has a famously rock-bound coastline. Stonington is rock-bound to the nth degree — which is presumably how it got its name. Most of the rock is granite, and you see outcroppings sticking out of pretty much every bay, inlet, and yard. It’s everywhere.
Our cottage has a beautifully made foundation consisting entirely of fitted granite blocks. Visitors who’ve seen it nod approvingly and say: “That’s Crotch Island granite.” Crotch Island is located near Stonington, and the quarries there supplied the granite for most of the foundations, fences, and walls in town. It’s good granite, obviously — but why did it have to be called Crotch Island?