Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Quarry


We visited The Quarry this Summer. It actually turned out to be a lot cooler than we expected. Except that it was 90 degrees and humid! The discarded granite blocks were piled as high as Mayan temples. (They only used a fraction of what they dug up) Except it was Minnesota. You betcha.

Here's an excerpt from the website for the minority that might want to dig up more information... 

Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, formerly known as "Hundred Acres Quarry," is a great addition to the Stearns County Parks System.
Granite - formed by intense heat within the earth - was the foundation of a major Minnesota industry. The first granite quarry in Central Minnesota was opened in 1863 by two Scotsmen. In the 130 years to follow, Central Minnesota granite became an international commodity gracing buildings as far away as Singapore.
About 100 years ago, a type of stone known as Saint Cloud Red Granite was quarried from land which is now part of the park. The Landmark Center and the James J. Hill House in St. Paul, Minnesota both contain Saint Cloud Red Granite in their structures.
Though private ownership of the land by local quarry companies continued until 1992, quarrying operations in the present park area ceased in the mid-1950's. Companies operating quarries on the site during this period were Holes Bros., Delano Granite, Melrose Granite Co., Empire Quarry Co., and C. L. Atwood.
Over the years, the land gradually reverted back to a more natural state. In 1992, Stearns County purchased this site from Cold Spring Granite Company and added the land to its County Park System. The park opened on January 1, 1998.
See Environmental Education Curriculum, (2.74 mb PDF document) by Jean Hoff, Stephen Saupe and Marcia Handahl. Plant illustrations by Emma L. Thompson.


We spotted a loon.



This actually looks like an un-excavated pyramid in the jungle. I would know. I've been to several in Central America.



Luckily this quarry is 116 feet deep. So there are no worries about bumping your head. But sadly, someone did die here this summer.







Do you see the temple in the background?






You're probably thinking that I sampled a few shrooms myself. Since I'm imagining this area as exotic Mayan ruins. But no.  I just took a few brilliantly colored photographs. Nature is so inspiring.











A jungle cat. A relation of the Jaguar. 



A zipline. Just kidding.



What lies beneath.



21 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello Sharon, great shot of the Loon. And I love all the mushroom/fungi images. Pretty butterfly and cute kitty. Great post and photos. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Sharon A fascinating post. A great assortment of Fungi and I loved seing the Loon. Have a wonderful weekend.

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Beautiful photos! I enjoyed the mushrooms and the butterfly. Enjoy your weekend!

Anni said...

Exciting!! And beautiful!!!
Loving the jaguar 'relative'. Oh and the call of the loon....they're so wonderful.

Great share today.

Rajesh said...

Great shots of the place. There is lot to see here.

TexWisGirl said...

i remember swimming in a rock quarry in wisconsin as a teen. much smaller than this one, though. pretty shots.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Wonderful photos of a beautiful place! And the markings on that cat are stunning! (I want a cat like that!)

Janice Adcock said...

Really cool park! Beautiful shots.

Linda said...

Sharon, this is such a lovely post and your photos are gorgeous! I am not sure if there are any loons here in Montreal, but I have never, ever seen or heard one. I love their sound, it is hauntingly soothing, somehow. Thank you so much for sharing.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

These are such beautiful photos!

Stephanie said...

Cool place! Love the butterfly and the kitty.

Gauri Kulkarni said...

Beautiful pics, especially of the mushrooms... terrific colours :)

Linda Hensley said...

How wonderful that you got to see a jungle cat next to the ancient ruins! Doesn't all that discarded granite make you wish to make sculptures or something?

Marie C said...

Fascinating place! Great photos. Loved reading the info too.

Mama Zen said...

Gorgeous pictures!

DJan said...

Now that's an assortment of shrooms, for sure! :-)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fascinating ... I would never think " jungle" when I think of Minnesota, but obviously I haven't spent enough time there. I'm glad they made this unique area accessible to the public ( well, at least to those who aren't afraid of those wild Minnesota Jaguars ;).....I enjoyed the tour .

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Wow,, wow!!
All the photos are fantastic!
love
tweedles

Andrew Fulton said...

A wonderful post

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

What a lovely outdoor space!

NC Sue said...

I'm fascinated by mushrooms and would like to learn more about them.
Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-little-bit-squirrelly.html