Birch Point State Park

The lastBirchPointBeach day of our friends visit emerged a bit grey, but with no rain in the forecast we headed out to explore Owl’s Head. Some people may think that a gloomy day offers no redeeming qualities but I have found that a more subdued light exhibits a different type of beauty. With this in mind, I set my sights on Birch Point State Park for our first stop. A quiet little park, tucked out of the way from the tourist traffic, Birch Point offers a sheltered beach between 2 rocky headlands.BirchPointSand I am always a bit surprised by the composition of the sand here. Different from the white sandy beaches on the south shore of Long Island (New York) and the pebbly beaches of the north, the sand at Birch Point has the appearance of gray mud. My curiosity after this visit caused me to research the area and I discovered a geological slide show of this interesting park. Here I found that the sand consists of concentrations of pinkish-red garnet, less dense grains of quartz and feldspar. BirchPointPoolWhatever the makeup of the beach, the flow of the tides left lovely, complex swirls in the sand.

We noticed that there was some small areas along the sand that looked like a small creature had been digging there. Our interest was piqued further when we discovered some tracks leading towards these holes. As we peered into one, we discovered a small crab hiding within.

After completing our investigations on this part of the beach, we made our way to one of the headlands, treading carefully over the slippery, wet rocks in order to explore the tidal pools. BirchPointConesWhen we first began our annual visits to Maine, I would bring the children here. They would explore these pools for hours, finding crabs, sea stars, snails and many other things that keep young children amused. Today there were only snails, barnacles, and broken shells but I still found enough in the artistic arrangement to keep me occupied.

Our explorations continued to send us away from the beach. A short climb up the rocks deposited us in a completely different environment. Here we found ourselves in aBirchPointGrowth wooded area, the rocky ledge replaced with a soft, grassy rug. There was a picnic area at the edge of the ledge, facing out to the sea; a wonderful place to contemplate the day. Soon, we turned back towards the beach, finding a trail through the woods. Even here, I found some interesting art displays; a group of pine cones looking like they were deliberately arranged around the green leaves of an unknown plant and another colorful plant surrounded by sea vegetation. The trail ended at the beach, providing us one more opportunity to admire the scene before heading on to Owl’s Head Lighthouse.

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