Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bucks County, Pennsylvania

by Geophile
A very beautiful Earth Day to spend in the flowering woodlands of eastern PA. This spot was recommended to me some time ago by Fred, and my husband Eric and I finally made the trip. Wow! What a site. Above is an eye-catching split boulder with a low wall running along to the left.
This site had two large cairn fields, near enough to perhaps be just one with a gap. The cairns we saw were not well-formed, looking either collapsed or as if they'd never been more than piles. There must have been close to 40 of them, though. Maybe more, since I didn't go far in any direction. There were walls, too, both straight and serpentine, but the pictures of those weren't great. The leaf litter was thick.

The leaning flat boulder above caught my attention. You can't see them in the shadow, but two small stones were wedged all the way back under it. But what was more interesting . . .

. . . to me, at least, were these two edgewise stones stuck in the ground parallel to one another, off to the side of it.

The boulders here often had flat or concave tops. We saw a few? many? with groupings of rocks on top or in the hollow, as with the one above.

Another propped boulder, and this time you can see the stone wedged beneath it.

It was a lowland area near a fairly small creek. We saw a number of brooks flowing into it and springs with water flowing from the ground. As usual, some of the stonework, at least, was directly connected to the springs. The serpentine wall went up a gradual slope from a spring, or it could have been down to the stream. The leaves were thick on the ground and I wasn't sure the rock I found was the triangular head, or just a part of the body with the wall ending under the leaves further on.

It would be good to come back at other times of year, and with more camera cards. I wasn't expecting so much, and had to limit pictures to make sure I had room. I had my SLR along and took some with that, too, but it didn't have many left.

We saw many hermit thrushes, at least six kinds of native wildflowers including the bloodroot whose roots were often used for red pigment for ritual objects. Following one of the narrow brooks a little way, I came across two small snakes sunning themselves on a flat rock. They slid into the water and swam under rocks, but not before I caught them on film. All in all, just the sort of place I would choose for a ritual site, if we were going on environmental health and aesthetics. Nice spot, and if anyone truly interested is in the area, I'll show it to you.


Geophile said...

I kept wishing I had someone from the rock pile blog along, to point out things I was missing and to remind me what to look for.

JimP said...

You did a great job.

Tim MacSweeney said...

I'd love to hear and see more about the springs and the serpentine rows. there's lots of that near me in CT...

Geophile said...

I do have two pictures of the serpentine row there, but since they don't show it as clearly as it looked when we were there, I didn't post them. I know pwax has posted information about them, and at least one of my posts, the one concerning Hackettstown, NJ, showed a serpentine row, and I may have posted the tipped-up triangular rock that appeared to be its head. That site, too, was in a low area of springs and small brooks.

One of the many pictures I didn't post here from this site was one of two young snakes, garters, I assume, sunning themselves on a rock by the water. We also saw a very young black snake dead, perhaps killed by someone from the look of it, on a stone by the path. There was probably a connection between these low areas and snakes. Garter snakes, in particular, tend to stay in just such areas and will eat frogs and small fish sometimes.

Here's a link to the post on Hackettstown.

Geophile said...

Sorry! add this to the end of that link: