Where cairns go to die

I cannot remember when I first came across the WordPress blog entitled garyschollmeier. From my very first visit there however I was intrigued by the beautiful photos of constructed cairns presented therein. Not only are the images of Gary’s creations satisfying but his chosen, and more-than-periodic, subject appeals to me for reasons that I am not fully aware. What I do know is that my immediate response to each of his constructions is that Gary must have a nearly immeasurable amount of patience. You should try, when you have occasion, to build a cairn yourself. You may not be of the opinion that stacking seven rocks would be anything out of the ordinary – but take a look at Gary’s seemingly impossible construction of early last month. After I marvel at the physical aspect of each cairn I consider the feel of the natural environments within which the constructions are set. The slowly flowing water in the background, nature in delicate balance, and simplicity of form combine as expressions of peace and tranquility.  If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Gary should consider himself flattered because I took his lead a bit more than a month ago and constructed my own cairn in a nearby creek. Two of my most recent posts recounted a visit to World’s End State Park. When Joanna and I arrived there we walked first to explore the gorge caused by millions of years of moving water. Imagine my surprise when my eyes were met with the view below. The many cairns were not as delicately balanced as Gary’s but were more sturdily constructed to withstand mostly seasonal changes in creek level. I imagined that if I had been a traveler of a century ago I would have had good reason to believe that this place was of special significance. As it was I think some good person had the idea to build a cairn – and others have simply followed suit. I felt as if I was walking through an art gallery. I took several shots but liked this image especially because of the way it ties together the two sides of the creek. Red leaves on the cliff-side and on the far shore tie into leaves scattered among the cairns. The dark-blue and black of the water-stained shales on the far shore tie into large pieces of the same on the near shore.The whimsy in me enjoys looking for individual cairns. This reminds me of the series of Where’s Waldo children’s books in which readers are challenged to find Waldo within a wild confusion of colors, objects, and other characters. How many cairns can you see?

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