Oh, How Beautiful! (October 16th)

The day began at sunrise….and we were there to see it!

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There’s just something amazing about watching the sun come up over the edge of the world. 

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Sunsets are beautiful, no mistake, but a sunrise reminds you of that fateful moment when God said, “Let there be light!”

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But they just happen so early in the morning, that it’s not so simple to get 5 of us out the door in time to see one! We’ve seen the sun rise out of our window quite a few times, but on this day, we wanted to see it rise over the water…it’s so close, just 20 minutes away, and although 20 minutes is much longer at 5:30 in the morning, we made it, and watched the world wake up on the coast of Maine!

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And this was just the beginning of our Sunday 🙂 We were on a journey, a journey to the Great Wass Preserve! The preserve was established to protect a unique little environment where marine conditions shape a piece of land jutting way out into the bay. I was particularly excited to visit the upland bog, where I hoped we would get to see insect-eating pitcher plants! Fingers crossed!

We began on a forest path, decorated in all the beauty of late autumn, dappled with golden sunshine…

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…sparkling with little sap formations among the conifers…

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…bursting forth into crimson brilliance, even down to the very mosses underfoot!

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The forest path quickly climbed into a wonderful, rocky landscape, carved and shaped by the ocean winds, with small, gnarled, ancient trees and stony pavilions amongst ground-hugging blueberries…

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…and the occasional, irresistibly-fluffy moss-bed!

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From a high-point, you could look over the distance and see how the plateau unfolded, instead of rising to a peak, into a rolling landscape of outcroppings and valleys, and that’s where the marshes developed, on the high interior of the island, in the relative low-spots amid the hills.

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Our path soon took us into a winding boardwalk through one of the marshes, where we did get to see the amazing pitcher plants, brilliant and beautiful, and hungry! It was a delight to see the little mosquitos floating in their “stomachs”, heeheehee!

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After a couple of miles, our winding path delivered us suddenly onto the shoreline – and what a shoreline! The pink granite rocks simply disappeared into the sparkling waters, smooth and shining and perfect!

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And now it was time to follow the path for a mile or so along the coast, weaving in and out of the many-fingered inlets, following the blue markers until we met up with a return trail through the forest to complete the loop. It was a wonderful trail through the beaches and grasses, and over the rocks…

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…but it was also an extreme-high tide, which led to an interesting dilemma – sometimes our path was underwater!

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Hello, blue marker! So, we would make our way inland, around the high-waterline, and then back out to the edge to follow the blue markers again. It was a hoot!

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As we found the next trailhead, we stopped to say goodbye to this beautiful, dramatic, challenging coast!

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We moved quickly over the final stretch of forest trail, foot-sore and grateful to be off of the rocks and back on a soft, springy woodland path, fondly remembering the splashing waves and the climbs and the views and the flocking eider ducks, tired from the bright sun and the chill wind and the noise of the pounding surf and the uneven footing, finishing up the 5-mile loop with a resounding mix of “That was awesome!” and “I’m starving!” and “I want to do that again…but not today!”

And I was reminded again of this great mystery of God’s creation, His infinite wonder in these tiny spaces, a world that is so vast, and so close, and so accessible, and so endlessly discoverable…Praise God!

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