Sunday, November 19, 2006

Prospect Hill - Waltham, MA

by JimP
After nearly two weeks of fighting briars and climbing hills, I needed a bit of a break. So we decided to head over to Prospect Hill in Waltham for the foliage. The, "prospect," of being able to drive to the top was attractive, and the views definitely didn't disappoint.But as I drove up the access road I spotted what looked like a possible balanced glacial erratic. I decided to stop and check it out on the way back down the hill.Although the erratic wasn't truly balanced, it was an impressive sight nonetheless as more than half its girth was suspended off the end of an outcropping. I decided to quickly look around -- but didn't find any rock piles.

However, on the opposite side of the access road across from the erratic, at a place called Dinosaur Rock, I spotted a very large split boulder.It was a remarkable boulder, but the question remained -- was it wedged? Sure enough, as I brushed aside the leaf litter down inside the split, there it was -- a small rock.I tried moving the rock but it wouldn't budge. It was definitely wedged in there and seemed as though the weight of the top portion of the split was resting on it.

Could there be more features on Prospect Hill? Perhaps in some remote part of the park maybe -- but I was happy just to find this split-wedge near that impressive glacial erratic.

[Click here] for more information on Prospect Hill.


pwax said...

Somewhere online I posted the same rock from Prospect Park, from the same angle. Can't find it at the moment.

Here we go:

Check it out.

pwax said...

I should have said that the reason I photo'd this perched rock is because it is not a glacial rock but is made of the same bedrock as the outcrop it is sitting on and of Prospect Hill in general; and I thought a case could be made that this rock must have been moved by someone.

While we are talking about Prospect Hill, let me add that the hill is divided into a northern and a southern portion. According to Tim Fohl, the winter solstice sunrise line, passing through the gap between the two parts of the hill, back projects to the northwest over to the hill on the back side of the Cambridge Reservoir. That particular slope has a number of low earthen rectangular enclosures opening towards Prospect Hill. Although I am suspicious of claims that these enclosures are ancient, it does appear that sitting in one on the winter solstice, a person can see the sun rise through the gap in the two parts of Prospect Hill.

JimP said...

Interesting! I assumed it was glacial, but I didn't take a very close look at it at all. I was supposed to be taking a break from rock pile hunting that day.

I think the mammoth split-wedge across the access road lends much credence to your theory that the boulder was indeed moved by someone. The two features are very near one another that it is unlikely to be a coincidence.

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