Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cairn-ABC WEDNESDAY "C"



A Cairn Marker
Far from Gaelic Scotland
Why on the North Shore?

Cairn is a term used for a man-made pile (or stack) of stones. It comes from the Scottish Gaeliccàrn (plural càirn). Cairns are found all over the world in uplands, on moorland, on mountaintops, near waterways and on sea cliffs, and also in barren desert and tundra areas. They vary in size from small stone markers to entire artificial hills, and in complexity from loose, conical rock piles to delicately balanced sculptures and elaborate feats of megalithic engineering. Cairns may be painted or otherwise decorated, e.g. for increased visibility or for religious reasons.
In modern times, cairns are often erected as landmarks, a use they have had since ancient times. Since prehistory, they have also been built as sepulchral monuments, or used for defensive, hunting, ceremonial, astronomical and other purposes.

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29 comments:

  1. Great C-word. The first cairns I ever saw were on hiking trails in the mountains of New Hampshire. What a relief to come upon one and know you have not lost your way.

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  2. How does that saying go...
    Those who cairn, do. Those who cairn't teach?

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    1. You touched a nerve here; be careful, my good friend!

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    2. Did I ever tell you the one about the 12 lawyers chained together on the bottom of the sea...?

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    3. You are skating on thin ice!!

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  3. I did not know the origin or universality of cairns. We have them in Arizona. Julie once post a photo of one that had lentils and windows in it in Sedona.

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  4. I haven't seen any here, but I can sure see why they would make good landmarks. Now, I want a cairn for my yard!

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  5. for us is makes for a nice piece of art.

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  6. A very nice example.

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  7. Thanks for the info. I've seen these things and found them to be most interesting but didn't know all the background. Of course, who cairns?

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  8. bon choix pour le 'C'. c'est assez surprenant comme structure

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  9. I've seen a few of these around here and I wondered what they were called. Thanks for the info.

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  10. This was a good learning post for me. And here I thought cairns were terriers!

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  11. These pop up around our area from time to time but the one you have posted is a nice big one.

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  12. Excellent 'c' post Kate, being a Scot I know all about cairns, have seen a few in the highlands, always interesting to come upon them out there in the middle of nowhere.

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  13. Good post! You can see a lot of these around here. There's a big spit in Port Angeles, the next town over, where people have taken many of the surf-rounded rocks off the beach and constructed cairns.

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  14. A large cairn you captured. When I'm out hiking have found many of these. Fun to follow from one to the other just to see where they take me!

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  15. they are cool
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  16. I love stumbling upon this out in the middle of now where.

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  17. I, too, have sen many along the North Shore. My favorite were in Arches National Park, and they actually helped us stay on a not-so-well-marked trail.

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  18. I haven't had the chance to see one with my own two eyes, but I will try to do a bit of hiking next time I'm in Scotland. Hopefully, I'll come upon one.

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  19. Great C word! I have never built one myself but have seen them when traveling in the UK and Scotland. I have also seen them throughout the desert Southwest in the US while dirt bike riding.

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  20. Great choice, Kate! I have also seen them in Norway. They were erected to commemorate an event, most of all the loss of a loved one.
    Thanks for your participation! Have a great day.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

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  21. Educational post. I've never known what those are called. I too wonder what the cairn you featured is marking.

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  22. Pretty in the snow, and interesting information!
    Have a good day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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  23. Interesting information.

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  24. Thanks for the definition of the word. I never knew that before.
    Thanks Kate.

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  25. Great choice for "C". My uncle built one in Colorado by where he scattered my grandpa's ashes. I had never heard of them before then.

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  26. This is a huge cairn. The ones I have seen are usually just a few stones high.

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