The Quarries

I’ve been taking my students to the granite quarries in Barre, Vermont for years as part of our geology unit. It is one of their favorite field trips!

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And one of mine too.

its easy to figure out why. This massive operation, the cranes and derricks that tower over the quarry…The men and women that descend down to drill and blast the huge slabs of granite from the earth. The enormous trucks that transport tons of granite to a factory down the road… Where the artisans shape and mold these rocks into works of art.

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This art can be found all over the world. From building facades, to monuments, to cemeteries…Graced with Vermont gray granite.  Its durability and beauty famous.

My fascination and awe with the quarries, the immigrants who came to Vermont to work there, the history, the geology…hasn’t diminished over the years.

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And then I discovered the abandoned quarries….

It was quite by accident. Exploring swimming holes with my son and his friends one summer 5 or 6 years ago.

This is one of the largest abandoned quarries. There are trails through this area and an overlook that takes your breath away. Local craftsman come and carve designs in the huge grout piles… Left for Mother Nature to take her course.

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I am drawn to these quarries. I am curious about them and awed by their presence…The legacy left behind…The granite not quite perfect… But perfect to me. My geologist heart beats happily when I see them.

Trails now criss cross throughout these old granite grounds. And this summer I discovered more abandoned quarries as I explored the new trails. It seemed around every corner, there was a quarry… Big, small, and every size in between. Evidence of the workers who once toiled here. Impressive geological formations…the beauty and mystery of our earth’s history, exposed for all to witness…

Every chance I get, I find myself there. Searching for more quarries in the woods. And each time one is found, I stare enchanted and quietly exclaim…

Wow.

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15 thoughts on “The Quarries

  1. This is a lovely post, Tracy! I am so thankful of these photographs! The depth of the cliff to the water in the quarry is amazing! I really liked this whole set of thoughts that accompanied the pictures, too. I live close to a Blue Limestone Park where they quarried for years the pretty colored rocks for the Ohio Wesleyan steps and a few of the buildings, too. I like the way your photograph shows a turquoise color, while I sit with Bill and watch the water sometimes, we wonder why there has to be so much green algae on our quarry lake?

    • You have to take some pictures!!!!! I’ve been told that the color is due to the minerals in the water that seep in. Some types of rock like limestone cause the water to scatter light in such a way that it appears green blue!! So it may not be algae:-) Thank you for your sweet compliments! I’ve been working on this one for a while… Going there every weekend. Also the cemetery pics are from the Hope Cemetery in Barre. It is the most incredible cemetery I’ve ever seen…

      • Very nicely done, Tracy! I appreciate your encouragement on the photos. We will see in the future if I change more into a picture book, but I like the way words create pictures. That is my “stubborn streak” speaking! Smile! Thanks for your nice way of always being there on my posts, comments are very well written and so thoughtful, too!

      • The same can be said of you, Tracy! We are distant kindred spirits! Do you have a sister? I have a wonderful sister in law and some friends, but grew up with two brothers. I tend to be overly social due to their foolish encouragement of my behaviors! This makes me smile thinking backwards and then, forwards to our blogging friendship!

      • I do!!! I have two wonderful sisters!! I was the shyest of all of us though. Tend to be more introverted. Of course I admired their outgoing natures and always wished I was a bit more extroverted!! I’m so happy we have found each other here!!

  2. I learned a great deal from this post. You’ve kindled a fire inside; now I want to explore old quarries myself! I had no idea they were so beautifully repurposed. The photos are amazing.

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