I’m studying Casco Bay’s geological history. Willard Beach is my latest exploration.
Willard beach, South Portland reveals two types of bedrock and the forces that created them. I sit, observe and listen. The spine like protrusions and scattered eroded pieces reveal much without a single sound or the slightest of movement.
Enjoy the slideshow created from photos I snapped at Willard Beach toward Fort Preble. Clear your mind and connect with what you see. The images are more than just a bunch of rock. There are stories within stories throughout all time. I’m glad to be a part of the history of this space.
A friend forwarded my post Fairwell And Discovery to a geologist friend of hers. If you wish a refresher or haven’t read the post, click on the blue “Fairwell And Discovery” words above and scroll down toward the end of the post to read the geologist opinion there.
The reply of her geologist friend is as follows, “Interesting, the four circles in a row would suggest a biological origin as normaly formed metamorphic rocks would not show a pattern like that. The quart with it rusty iron appearance was created within a vein as the metamorphic rocks were being formed. While that’s not unusual, the circles of manganese oxide are.
I’ll insert just one photo of the rocks here and leave the rest for you to read in previous post.
My extended stay on Jewell Island due to weather is over. First, I will head over to the group from Rippleeffect, the ones who created the post “Fearfull” as they were departing from Cocktail Cove in two trips via a boat from Cow Island, where the camp is located. I wish to say goodbye to Scott. He truly impressed me. In fact, tears welled up in my eyes during one of our conversations. The catalyst for such a depth of emotion came form how remarkable this young man is and will become. His passion and love is for young people. His capacity for growth is immense and everything that he learns will leave its mark upon the hearts of the kids he works with.
The boat now loaded with kayaks is ready to depart. The fairwell between Scott and myself comes in the form of an endearing hug. I’m proud of you, Scott. He climbs into the boat for his ride back. I think about him and the kids while exploring the lowtide exposure of the bar between Jewell Island and Little Jewell.
The pilings for a dock possibly built by was most likely built by Henry Donnell in 1945. He is the first documented resident for Jewell Island. Henry ran a Cod fishing operation which was set up in Cocktail Cove, Long Cove in Henry’s time. [A name I prefer.] This may have have been where Henry’s dingy would end the day of fishing, once the off loading was complete along a larger wharf connected to Little Jewell Island, named Harbor island as the time. This is most likely where the fish were processed as there were two fish houses located on the Island. The only other building became a fortified home at the top of the hill on Jewell Island where the two pilings are located. (These pilings havce been converted cement with iron rings. (built for the occupation during the period of the U.S. Navy’s period on the island.) I should have photographed this area as there is much more to add as to the work that went on this far up the cove. I’ll do so when I go back. However, my first trip will be a snatch and grab if I find at least one of two rocks.
I found them during my exploration of the exposed bar approximately halfway to the low tide water level. I’ve never seen anything like them and photographed these extensively.
This finding is part of my research time and was the inquiry I sent to the scientist in the U.K.. He did not reply to my questions. However, the retired geologist who just moved here from Alaska gave me some insight. I used the information provided to do further study, which was extensive and I’ll spare you the pain from the huge amount of information gathered.
This is the reply I received, “The rock in your pictures is from what is called the Casco Bay Group—metamorphic rocks that are Ordovician around 445 to 475 million years old. The rusty colored tannish rock is quartz that filled a crack formed in the gray, thinly layered metamorphic rocks. There must be some pyrite (iron sulfide) in the quartz because of the rustiness of the quartz, but the pyrite is probably only in tiny crystals and not easy to see.
I’ve never seen anything quite like the round black things. The big question is whether they are geologic or biologic. If geologic, the color suggests manganese oxide. If they are of geologic origin, the black things would be cross sections through spheres. But what mineral forms relatively large spheroids like this in small quartz veins? I can’t think of any. By default, I have to lean toward a biological origin, say the broken off holdfast of a marine organism.
If you ever go back to this place, grab a sample and we can figure out the mystery.”
My studies have brought me to the conclusion is that the manganese oxide was formed by the bacteria Leptothrix discophora, which is a filement in form and lives in aquatic environments. It is able to oxidize maganese. Whether the patterns on these rocks were from by the bacteria or some other creature is not definative.
Questions regarding the mining that went on in thise area ahsould be brought into the equation as well. One of the bi-products produced was maganese oxide. However, I have no idea as to how these patterns would form and do so on the mineral make up and size of the rocks. I chose to photograph the rocks as I like to leave nature where it is, nor did I wish to add to the weigh and space of Abbie B. So,if I do find them, they will be returned.