Thursday, November 13, 2008

Revisiting An Old Friend - Usquepaug, RI

by JimP

I recently directed Larry Harrop to a propped boulder I had discovered back in 2004 on an outcropping in a conservation land near Usquepaug, RI. Here's what it looked like then:And now:This feature is unique for two reasons -- first, because of its obscurity. It sits well off the trail of a relatively unknown preserve hidden away in a low-traffic rural area. The boulder itself is generally not accessible. One must overcome bull briars and underbrush to reach it.

So how did I find it? I followed the signs in the landscape. Another stone feature on the property pointed me directly to it. This stone wall with standing end stone:That stone wall climbs the side of the outcropping and slowly comes to an end short of the top. On top is the propped boulder.

What else is unique about this propped boulder? It has a nice pocket of quartz sticking out of the top which appears to have been quarried a bit. Here's a closeup from Larry:Certainly, the shape of the boulder suggests the head of a bird of prey. This kind of shape is relatively common for Rhode Island propped boulders. I know of four, and I'm certain there is more.

2 comments : said...

Has anyone determined what direction the propped boulder points? It appears to be a pointing stone. I've seen similar looking stones (boulders)in the Catskills with features that align with the 4 cardinal directions.

JimP said...

My best recollection was that it pointed south. Perhaps Larry has a more accurate idea on that.