Friday, June 23, 2006

Skull in a streambank

By geophile
Photo by Earl Dundore

Forgive me if I've posted this before. I don't think I have but maybe I've forgotten. This stone formation is about five miles from my home. When I first saw it, the 'chin' was still intact, but unfortunately I didn't get pictures then.

It is especially peculiar in that the skull image is apparent only from one angle. From directly across the stream, the rock looks nothing like this, but appears to be a normal worn rocky bank. When I was told about this and shown a picture, I was incredulous. It is in a very popular place I had been to many times and even had considered for the site of our wedding, yet I had never seen anything any hint of it. When I went to the spot to investigate, I located the place in the stream where I had to stand in order to see it by noticing a circle and then a line of stones in the stream, leading out toward a whitish stone well out in the flow. I followed the stones out into the stream and was able to see the skull from the white stone. This picture was not taken from just the right spot, so the skull looks a little misshapen.

I must add it is an odd sensation to stand looking at a five or six foot high skull while all around are families with children and dogs, laughing and playing, none of them suspecting that the skull exists right before them. Whether it was done recently or anciently or in between, it was cleverly done.

Further down the bank is a place where there is a sort of window similarly carved in stone in such a way that you can stand on the bank and look through it. I would not have noticed that if seeing the skull hadn't alerted me to look for lighter places in the rock, the lighter color apparently being the result of a darker patina being scraped away.


pwax said...

So do you believe it was carved out to look like this?

Geophile said...

Belief is a strong word. But suspect, yes. The sections you would have to scrape away to create this are a different color from the rock around them, as if they had been scraped out. Also, the rectangular window a short distance away along the stream shows the same scraped-away color at its edges.

I'll try to get a picture of that 'window' this summer. Its squared-off shape isn't natural at all, and the only reasons people don't notice it are that it's small and no one looks for this kind of stuff. It is right about at eye level.

Unfortunately, we're having a lot of rain, and these features are inaccessible from the side of the stream they're on. You have to wade into the Bushkill Creek, which is fairly deep here. Above these features the hill rises at a very steep angle. A few winters ago, a girl fell to her death from a trail above when she ventured on it despite signs closing it because of ice. Which makes the skull a little creepy.

Fred's album of stonework photos included a photo of this.