Let me explain

I was first introduced to rock cairns more than twenty years ago on the slopes of Mt. Washington where they functioned as trail markers. Although cairns have always been used in this way, their utility, since before recorded history, has been as varied as the structures themselves. Moreover, suffice it to say that the art of the constructed cairn is not my invention and a quick internet search will bare this out. In particular, two WordPress blogs have been influential in my developing appreciation for the art form and these are garyschollmeier and Gravity Glue. I cannot remember when I got it into my head that this was something I wanted to try but it wasn’t until last fall that I finally experimented a bit. Although people such as Michael Grab have written about the nature of their attraction to cairn construction I have not read his words for fear of using the same to explain my own appreciation for this ancient human activity. Because I was determined not to leave the farm yesterday in search of photographic opportunity I went for a walk. All the while I could see, out of the corner of my eye, the run which winds its way through the wood. Not only did the water make its presence known visually but it called out as it splashed and cascaded down the mountain. Lacking inspiration I turned around. Afternoon chores were waiting. I was disappointed. And then one of the flat surfaces from which water descends in small falls caught my eye. The fluid sheeted quickly, drawing air into the mix so that the rock shined like quicksilver. And therein lay my inspiration. I had my boots but they were neither high nor entirely waterproof. I put down the camera and began to work with a few rocks. Within a short while I had completed my very first forest cairns.

Cairn5element

Cairn4element

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