Monday, July 27, 2009

Laudholm Farm

Geology walk at Wells Reserve

Laudholm Farm was a saltwater farm settled in the early 1600's.

It has been owned by only 4 families and is now preserved by a trust.

The building on the left was an ice house - used before refrigeration.

A chipmunk was making himself at home on the porch.

A Jamesway 120 barn from a catalog. It could hold 120 tons of hay.

This book from 1917 is available in its entirety online and covers Jamesway Barns.

I love weathervanes!

Farmstead including ice house, water tower, and farm house.

Another great weathervane!

Copper beech tree

Beech trees were believed to be impervious to lightning strikes. Studies have shown that they are less likely to get struck by lightning than oak trees.....but still, to be safe, "When thunder roars, go indoors!"

Looking back toward the farmstead with the copper beech in full view

Glacial moraine (A deposit of glacial debris)

Glacial erratic (large boulder dropped off by a glacier)

New England was scoured by glaciers during the most recent ice age. The ice melted approximately 11,000 years ago.

Bayberry and Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is an introduced species, native to Europe.

Bayberry leaves have a fragrant scent. When homes had dirt floors, settlers would bring crushed bayberry leaves indoors to make their homes smell nicer.

Bayberries were used to scent candles made primarily from tallow.


Sapsucker holes

The horizontal lines of holes in this branch were made by a yellow-bellied sapsucker. Despite its name, the sapsucker actually feeds on insects. It drills holes to produce sap, and then feasts on the insects that are attracted to the sap.

Tree with Sapsucker Holes

Salt Marsh

The brackish water (part fresh, part salt) in this salt marsh provides important habitat.

Like Cogswell's Grant, Laudholm Farm was originally established to exploit the salt marsh.

Dune Grass, Cobbles and Sand

Kicking into geology gear all of a sudden:

Beaches in New England are typically an underlayer of peat, covered with cobbles, and then covered with sand. (Well, the rocky beaches often omit the sand layer!)

Maine has approximately 2500 miles of coastline (if you smoothed the whole thing out), and about 50 miles of sandy beach.

The peat is from when sea levels were lower thousands of years ago, when the salt marsh zone extended farther out than it does today. Due to the relatively cold water, the peat is preserved. Farther south, the peat disintegrates faster, so it is more unusual.

The cobbles are washed in by winter storms, and the sand is re-deposited in summer and partially washed away in the winter.

The cobbles and sand were originally part of the White Mountains (the main mountain range in NH and Maine). Glaciers eroded these materials from the mountains and washed them into the Gulf of Maine where the currents continue to move them around and sort them.

Have you ever noticed how sometimes when you're beach-combing you find groups of similar shells in the same area? That process is called "water sorting" and it happens with rocks and sand as well. Water sorting is why some beaches have very fine sand and others have coarser sand.

The Geology Walk is repeated monthly at Wells Reserve, so if you want the full scoop, please visit them!!! I definitely did not do the 3 hour walk justice in this post!!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love the beech tree. I could look at old trees for hours - each one seems to have a story.

Happy to hear you liked the tomato dish - we still have tomatoes left, and I'm looking forward to making it again. Using ravioli (especially Terra Cotta ravioli) definitely sounds tasty!!

Theresa said...

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon! Beautiful place and it looks like your weather has been holding.
You've really been putting that camera course to very good use.

Jennifer said...

You always have great adventures and I love weather vanes too! The pictures are really great!

charlotte said...

What an interresting post! The farm is huge. I didn't know about water sorting, but I have also noticed that shells and sand tend to be similar in the same area. Beautiful pictures!

Dorothy said...

How lovely to see your pictures, it opens a window for me on a part of the world quite different to the UK. I'm intrigued by the idea of a barn with glass windows, and bought from a catalogue.

What you write of the geology is interesting to. I studied geology at school, but we only looked at Britain and all I recall of North American geography is oil pipelines, boll weevils and how to name some of the states on a map.

Janet said...

Great to read this just before I leave to spend a week in New England. I hope to get over to Kittery and Ogunquit, maybe Kennebunkport. Now I'll add Wells Reserve to my list.

Janet, in Dublin Ireland

Life Looms Large said...

Colleen - Thanks again for the tomato recipe in your blog! You're helping us to stay well fed this summer!

It does seem like my photo class has come in handy lately....although I've noticed that some lighting situations make me want to learn more. I do have pictures for the next two assignments!

I was also surprised to hear that water sorting is an official term for what I thought only I noticed.

Dorothy, I'm intrigued by your comment about glass windows in barns. I don't know a lot about barns, but most of the barns I've seen have few windows. But if they do have windows, for light, they're usually glass. I wonder if that's because it's colder or buggier here than in England?

Janet, I'm glad that my post was timely for your visit to New England. You've got some beautiful towns on your itinerary. I hope you have a great trip!! After quite a bit of cool, rainy weather, summer weather has arrived this week. It's been 85 F (29 C) as our daily high for the last few days and it's forecast to continue at least until the weekend.


Delighted Hands said...

I am loving the tours......since I doubt I will ever visit in person, you are filling a whole in my experience of travel! Lovely. I especially like the tree pic1