Rarely does a small rock-on-rock feature thrill me. It takes something quite special and magnificent to really get my attention. It hasn't happened often, but when it has, it's been magical.
I had one such experience while exploring a high rocky outcropping in Exeter, RI. Unfortunately, this is one of the very few sites in Rhode Island where I have come across bona fide New Age features. The site is chock full of ancient features -- without a doubt -- but some of the New Age activity has had an impact on what ancient features remain intact.
Nonetheless, I stumbled upon the following curious arrangement of rocks off-trail and tucked out of sight.
The lichen cover is certainly evidence that this arrangement has been here for a long, long time. But I wondered if what I was seeing was a disturbed snapping turtle mound. I had seen turtle mounds with that beak-like protrusion before, and some explain that the beak represents a snapping turtle. But I wasn't convinced that this pile was that.
I decided to move on and explore other features, accepting that I probably would never know. But before I left, I decided to snap one more photo of the rocks from the side. As soon as I turned, I nearly dropped my camera in astonishment. There was no question in my mind what this effigy represented. It simply didn't reveal itself unless you looked at it from the side. To my mind, this effigy was an amazing piece of art. It was a stunning representation of a duck.
So before you dismiss that small pile of stones as inexplicable, and before you start looking for more complex explanations in the arrangements of small rock piles -- first, check all around it. Look at it from different angles both high and low, and 360 degrees. Look first for the work of art, and the work of spirit will reveal itself.