Saturday, May 8, 2010

More than a Hand Span

Sometimes I have to remind myself why I do this sort of stuff. Today Saturday it is rainy and cold and a good day to stay in doors. It is not the sort of day to be getting excited about building a wall out of stone. In fact I have to teach a course on how to build an dry stone arch. There are people coming from far away and this has been planned for many months and smugly labelled a 'rain or shine' event. There is no escape.

The large pile of irregular stones looks very unattractive this morning. Many of the stones are really big. There will be some 'mud wrestling' going on for sure, and we will all get very wet, but we will try to encourage one another and not let the weather dampen our enthusiasm for this unusual project.

A dry stone arch is to be built at the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Office near Gananoque Ontario. This will be the first dry stone arch to be built on public property in Canada that I know of and what better place than here. Im still learning about the this unique importance of this designated area of the planet. There is a geological connection to the naming of the Frontenac Arch. The bedrock here is all granite and is a part of the Canadian Shield here in Ontario and continues down into New York State as the Adirondack Mountains. On a map of Ontario and New York it roughly forms the shape of an hour glass. The neck being formed being the same geological makeup that passes through Thousand Islands, (islands which were apparently, millions of years before the glaciers came along, a thousand very high mountains.) The neck, if you will, is like an arch from one area of the Frontenac Biosphere to the other.
So then the idea of building a stone arch here isn't a completely arbitrary notion. Hopefully it will get people stopping and thinking about the geology going on in this area. I just hope it doesn't rain all weekend while we try to build it.

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