Sunday, March 7, 2010


Leg 27, March 6, from Perry's Creek smelt brook to the Bluff at Smith Point.

The low wetland that feeds the Creek and becomes the smelt brook here is several acres of striking beauty and, although appearing dormant now in early March, will be a very busy place shortly. The marsh descends here, to the east, from its very modest high point near the North Haven Road but from there also sends some traffic in the other direction, west to Crockett's Cove.

I took up the walk where I left off last, at the very head of Perry's Creek and headed east along the southern shore, under outcrop whose upper few feet have succumbed more slowly to erosion than the area down at the water line. Only a few hundred feet from the first smelt brook is a second, Indian Ladder, fed from Fox Rocks to the south. Within a few hundred feet then are two substantial streams, one a steady, languid and meandering flow carrying huge quantities of detritus from the west to the tidal critters below and and the other, fed from high rocky elevations to the south, comes careening down during times of snow melt, like now, and rainfall.

The shoreline along the western half of this side of the Creek is all layered deposits. My very cursory research tells me it's Vinalhaven Rhyolite, deposited over 400 million years ago but who knows what my geology friend, the Glacial Eratic, will say. The layers are of different sized material and some of these and some entire compositions are obviously more resistant to erosion than others. The result is striking - deep recesses, caves or protrusions like this one with its very unlikely tree cap. Efforts to erode it
have been abandoned but the assault continues unabated all around and behind it.

At this very low tide I could have walked nearly the entire length of the Creek on just mussel beds.

Next leg, 28, sometime this week from Smith Point to another smelt brook, Murch's in Seal Cove.

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