In The Shadow Of The Mountain: Katahdin Poetry

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Erosion of these small rounded mountains was mainly by repeated glaciers scraping embedded stones over them intermittently over the last 2 million years.

The ice wore the soft schist away much more easily than the granite, and polished the mountain outcrops smoothly on their northwest slopes, but plucked large rocks, blocks of rock, even plates of rock with dimensions over feet, off their southeastern slopes. Imagine all these mountains as cupcakes with alternating layers of soft frosting and hard eggshells as described in the previous section, anywhere from less than an inch to over 20 feet thick. The stones in the layers were also rounded by weathering.

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Between the two pits is very smooth hard ledge. Looking at the east side of the second pit shows trees growing in the thin soil forming in and on the crumbling rock, and everything slowly sliding down onto a horizontally lying log. Huge foot thick slabs on your left can be pieced back together by eye, though somewhat jumbled. There is a very steep trail straight up that has been vastly over-used by Jeeps and ATVs, about 50 yards before the Craig Pond access gate.

This gradually shallows to bare rock several hundred yards up. The till may be a hundred feet deep in the center of the larger valleys in the area and underlain by clay. As you start to follow the trail up, you will go up and over smaller and then larger undulations and find variations in rock hardness and gain size.

In the Shadow of the Mountain: Katahdin Poetry - Karen A. Blackburn - Google книги

Looking very closely you will find oval or long flat black inclusions that are not obviously crystalline. These were originally the black Ellsworth Schist that formed the roofs on the rising white granite pluton domes. The schist was melted and slowly migrated down, like bat guano from the roof of a bat cave. Some melted in plates or lumps. Also look at the crystals in the granite that, in very interesting ways, were rearranged by the waves of heat and pressure, deep underground.


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You will come to a round black plate several feet in diameter. Farther up the rock is smoother and harder, but still shows the layered structure. The trail follows a large crack in the dome, which formed as the rock cooled and shrank, like mud drying.


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  • To the right, over the bank of debris cleared to make the trail, there is a rock step-off of about 6 feet. There are also numerous similar stepped off rock cliffs, looking upward to the East. This satellite view of the mountain shows the characteristic roche moutonnes [grazing sheep] appearance of all our local plutons after multiple glaciations.

    Some of these are enormous. The top of the mountain becomes very flat in many areas. My poem was the followoing limerick:.

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    Some Indians believe it is the home of the storm god Pamola, and it should be avoided. Often it is undetectable, because it is shrouded by a mountain-covering fog. Human religion and mythology almost always place the gods on the highest possible pinnacle…Zeus on Mt. Olympus, Moses on a rarefied air of a lofty peak…then there is Pamola on Katahdin Mountain, as related in an Abenaki legend. This legend tells that the spirits of nature once held their yearly conferences in the woods but were unhappy because humans sneaked behind tree trunks to spy on them, or else disturbed them with noise and chatter in the distance.

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    They needed a place where the animals of the woods and the Indians could not or would not go. The spirits gathered in council and soon agreed that the solution was to build a mountain. Whereupon pillar of solid rock rose out of the ground with a thunderous noise, spilling boulders across the landscape, until it towered over the older hills. Now, between mortals and the gods lay a mysterious layer of clouds. The gods could confer on the tablelands—long alpine meadows strewn with broken rocks and scrub growth—and the secrets of nature would be safe.

    Thus, the Abenaki Indians consider the barren, cloudy timberline of a mountain such as Katahdin was sacred ground, a meeting place for the gods. One of the Abenaki spirits, Bahmolai—called Pamola by less agile tongues—delights storytellers and historians. This spirit is also known as the Storm Bird, the god of Thunder and protector of the mountain.

    The Indians described Pamola as having the head of a moose, the body of a man, and the wings of an eagle. Another description is that Pamola has a head and face as large as four horses, and shaped like that of a man. His body, form and feet, are those of an eagle and his strength is such that he can take up a moose with one of his arrow-like claws…a hideously destructive creature…an eagle-like monster with a large head and the body and feet of an eagle, who feeds on moose and lives on the top of the mountain in the clouds, ready to tear to pieces anyone who should climb to the summit…a beak for a nose….

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    Pamola was snubbed by the gods and never invited to their meetings on the tablelands, for he was ugly… Wild with anger, he screamed gusty daggers of words, cursing his fellow gods. His tantrum stirred the winds. In Stock. The Truth About Magic. She Just Wants to Forget.

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