Friday, September 26, 2014

Along the Nonnewaug Trail

A circular little segment of a linear row of stones along a road that was originally an Indian Trail...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Standing Stone - Patch Hill, Boxboro

From reader Russ M:
These pictures were two or three years in the making trying to find the right combination of time and weather.  Using the Stupid Sheet and a compass it was my belief that this marker in the woods was oriented with the equinox sunrise.  It is up hill from the cairn field below.  I also got some very interest snaps of the sun on the front of the stone.  At times it gave the illusion it was glowing with the sun pulsing through the trees.  Happy Autumn!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wetherbee Ave in Acton

I went back to this familiar place and -sink me- if I didn't step into the woods a bit early and stumble onto new rock piles. Here is a little horseshoe of rocks opening into a seasonal brook:
And a couple of adjacent piles, larger, rounded. I suppose quite old. My wife Barbara is in the background.

At Wetherbee Ave, at the top of the field, there is a bit of a waterway dropping off from there and draining towards Rt 2. In fact the field clearing piles are near the top of this and the "real" piles are downhill along the watercourse.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Surprise Lecture

Just found out I am supposed to talk at an AMC meeting at the Northborough Historical Society (52 Main Str Northborough, MA) tonight at ~7:45. 

Oops! Lucky I a have too much to talk about and too many pictures to show.

I don't suppose any of you can get there. They forgot to confirm and I just found out it is on!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

High on a hill in Westminster

Designed for foot traffic. (Across the road and uphill from Redemption Rock.) Also, I thought this was kind of nice:

I am giving a talk at the Acton Library

On October 20th, 7PM. I will show a lot of pictures.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A few more features on North Manoosnoc

On the walk diagonally up from the foot of Mt Elam Rd to the northwest summit, I saw several interesting features. Two short stretches of wall and some propped slabs. 
Here is one short stretch. The upper end is just out of sight:
The upper end:
Later, higher on the hill, an older one:
You see little bits and pieces of stone lying around. Like it was a quarry. How did the place get this grass?
In the background:
I was going to dismiss this as a fireplace:
But then I realized the effort of lifting that slab of rock would be quite out of proportion with the needs for a temporary fireplace on the side of a hill.
Back near the bottom of the hill, a rare pile with white rocks, an "albino" pile:
It is too bad the mountain laurel is thick around the foot of the hill but it is a darn nice walk up to the summit and back.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Polypody ferns and ceremony

On the northeast slope of North Manoosnoc in Leominster I stopped to take a picture of one of my favorite ferns: the polypody which Thoreau called "cheerful little communities". They often grow out from between the rocks like this:
So I was admiring the outcrops, seeing a few things here and there that looked arranged, and sat down to enjoy the place. I was sitting right on top of one arrangement:
See how the entire crack has been stuffed with smaller fragments? 
Looking a little further down the rock, I noticed something else behind the next group of ferns.
A closeup:
[See Manitou p 275,300 for discussion of buckets and historic period ceremonialism.]
I have long thought this part of Leominster - called "Notown" - must have been where the Indians of Fitchburg were displaced to, when the Europeans arrived. Since the area is full of large stone mounds I believe it must have been an important center, even before the historic period. And now I see Notown is likely to have been all one and the same place - from the past into the historic. It was abandoned only recently and polypody grow there now.