If Acadia National Park Were a Necklace

December 04, 2016

by Jane

Having gotten a little obsessive about finding mementos in cool places and crafting them into jewelry, I naturally had to make something to celebrate beautiful Acadia National Park.

Maine is nicknamed "the Pine Tree State" and its state flower is the White Pine cone (apparently whoever chooses those things decided to define flower as "seed-producing part of the plant"). Our first hike in Acadia was to the fire tower, where I commented on how green the view was, despite the advent of fall colors, because of all the pine trees, and the ranger, who obviously had drawn the short straw, at least in his opinion, in receiving his post that day, sourly told me I was looking at firs, not pines. I'm sure he was right, so you can interpret the evergreen cone charm on this necklace as a pinecone for the state flower or a fircone in honor of this view from the fire tower:

I was smiling; Ranger Surly wasn't, so we didn't bother taking his picture.

As ubiquitous as conifers are on land, lobster boats and lobster pots are in the water—hence the silver lobster and helm charms (and an anchor that I added after I took the photo) on the necklace. If you look carefully at this next photo, you may be able to see some of the buoys marking the locations of the lobster pots.

Although none of our photos capture it, in some places the water is so dotted with white that you can't tell whether they're buoys, gulls, or whitecaps. I kept hoping they might be puffins, but that's another story.

The stone on the necklace is hand-polished Cadillac Mountain Granite, named after (you guessed it) Cadillac Mountain. You can read far more than most people want to know about it and other Acadia geology here. It is illegal to take rocks (or pretty much anything) from a National Park, but fortunately Cadillac Mountain Granite underlies most of the island and beyond, and I found this stone (and all the other found objects on the necklace) outside the park. From Cadillac Mountain you get a good view of the islands in Frenchman Bay. It is also supposedly the first spot in the US where you can see the sunrise from October through March. If you have any idea how early the sun rises in Maine in October, you will not be surprised to learn that we went up Cadillac Mountain in the evening. As a result, the colors in this photo are somewhat muted, but it does give you a good look at Cadillac Mountain Granite in its natural habitat.

(By the way, if you like to see where these places are on a map, open this link in a new tab for easy reference. Cadillac Mountain is roughly in the center of the red loop; this photo was taken facing NE, looking over Bar Harbor.)

Speaking of Bar Harbor, among the hundreds of shops was one enticing called Sea Glass by the Bay. And it had a statue of a giant puffin outside, as shown in Steve's previous post. I was irresistibly drawn.

Inside, I learned that the area is known for its sea glass, so of course I set out to find some. You'll see two pieces of it on the necklace. They are classic Bar Harbor sea glass; because Bar Harbor is, obviously, a harbor and thus sheltered, the glass there isn't as tumbled as it might be elsewhere and so retains more angular shapes. Apparently yellow and amber are rare colors for sea glass, so go ahead and be impressed. I found these on the causeway that connects the town of Bar Harbor with Bar Island for about three hours during low tide and is every bit is cool as it sounds.

The seashells on the necklace are not particularly rare, which is in part why they make good exemplars for Acadia, but the spiral one is a rather stunning shape, don't you think?

Here's how the necklace hangs when it's worn rather than splayed out on a table. (Is anyone else thinking of Nora Ephron right now?) Ignore the little crookedness on the chain; I fixed that.

P.S. Do you think anyone would buy the necklaces I make? And if so, what would be a realistic price range? For me, the joy is in creating them, not keeping them, and it would be delightful to know someone liked one well enough to buy it. Plus, I could use the money for more supplies—charms, wire, chains, clasps, and other things like that, which would go a long way toward salving my guilt in the craft-supply stores!

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