Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Maine Gazetteer: Beech Hill and Beech Nut



Although the hills of mid-coast Maine are being rapidly developed, some blueberry fields still thrive. My wife and I often drive and hike in the Camden Hills, an almost perfect geography of forest and mountain and lake and ocean, and the sight of a blueberry field – stark, open, studded with granite – is a gorgeous contrast to the prevailing conifers and beeches. The fields of Beech Hill are particularly striking. Leaving Rockland on Route 17, we see Beech Nut House at the top of one of the hills in Rockport. Until we knew what it was, part of Beech Nut Historic District, preserved forever by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, we called it the California house. Beech Nut floats on a bare hill that is sometimes green, sometimes brown, sometimes red. With its sod roof and stone porch, the house is from another country, another century. There’s a 360-degree view, the bay in front, the hills in back, and surrounding the house are organic blueberry fields, an indescribable pleasure to those of us who walk through them and nibble at their edges, a way of life and a habit of seeing and experiencing conserved for all time.


Excerpted from Saving Maine: A Personal Gazetteer

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