glacial polish

A vagabond sits on an outcrop in open country and suddenly knows the story: the sheen on exposed bedrock, or the tactile silk feel of polished stone, reports glacial passage. The marks in bedrock left by glaciers, called glacial striations, are clues to the glacier’s direction of movement. The land here was skinned and the surface of bedstone made smooth by the abrasive action of moving glacial ice, or by rocks, grit, or glacial rouge embedded in the ventral skin of the glacier as it passed. A graceful remnant sign of massive movement.

Kim Stafford