I spent a number of days this vacation in Falmouth MA wading through dense blueberries and bull-brier, hoping to see rock piles. I came across box turtles instead and saw a few stones sticking up above the bushes. Then finally I did locate one new minor rock pile site along Thomas Landers Rd.
Here is an old box turtle:It is interesting that the plates of the shell are not symmetric or polyhedral (compare to the younger box turtle I saw a couple days later, shown below). Is this turtle right handed?
Walking through the bushes, seeing a likely spot for rock piles I was saying, after a number of days of disappointing exploration, "come on, give me a rock pile please!", and a few moments later I saw this:Here is a closeup:
Can you see why, looking for a couple of these in hundreds of acres of woods, is a daunting task? But finding one, leads to exploring more carefully nearby. I circled outward and about 15 yards away, found a second one:The view is towards the hollow in the direction of the first pile. Most of the sites in Falmouth are like this, associated with kettle holes but usually deeper ones than this. It is a pleasant aesthetic but I cannot tell you much about this site except it is like others in the area. The southern sides of kettle holes seem to be preferred locations.
Here is a nearby boundary marker:It would have been nice to see this scene 150 years ago when this was open sheep pasture and everything was visible.
Continuing the next day, back in the blueberries. Here is a much younger box turtle:
I never realized how much the plates deform during the life of the animal. Technically box turtles are tortoises because their lower shell is hinged and these are terrestrial reptiles that live in the woods, not in the water. Anyone know their typical life span? Maybe that older turtle was older than me?
Another boundary stone:
As I was saying, there is not that much to say about two rock-on-rock piles in the middle of the Falmouth woods. But the site is typical in a way and worth documenting. Someday perhaps we can see it with more knowing eyes.