Thursday, October 14, 2010

Upper Sahler Mill Road, Olive Township, NewYork

I've been absent from the blog for a while, but a trip to Ulster County, NY has brought me back. We used to live there and still go up for vacation. This time we took a walk around Upper and Lower Sahler Mill Road in the township of Olive. When we passed the loch monster above a half mile from the turn-in, I should have guessed we were in for a few more stony surprises.

There are loads of walls along the Sahler Mill Roads, most of them probably field clearing. It's stony up there. But after seeing many handsome walls and roadside rock piles that I figured were from road building, I spotted the rock pile above, well back from the road, and after that began to keep my eyes open.
I saw this handsome fellow not far away. The spotting of effigies is always subjective, but a good case could be made for this being a wood buffalo. Or maybe it's just me.
Of the many walls along Upper Sahler Mill, the one above seemed to be the oldest, with many of its stones covered with lichen and moss. But I wouldn't be posting these if that was all we saw. In a day or two I'll try to get back and post what we saw after we turned the corner at the Sahler mill pond and headed back along Lower Sahler Mill Road. There were more rock piles, a split wedged boulder, a short wall running between two boulders, and hints of more back in the woods where I couldn't go. It may be worth mentioning that from many places along these roads you can spot peaks of the Catskill Mountains. Could that be one factor in its being a ceremonial area?

Below, a gratuitous shot of the beautiful mill pond that marks the transition from Upper to Lower Sahler Mill Road. There was witch hazel in bloom nearby, too, Peter.


pwax said...

Beautiful pile. Very beautiful landscape photo at the end. Water/Sky/something red/ make a great combination.

I really want to know what is inside these blocky "cairs" appearing from the cameras out in New York State - especially the rectangular ones. I know we cannot take apart a pile. But what does cairn look like from above? Is there a hollow?

Look at the photos from Partridge Ridge or Thacher State park. They seem similar to these Upper Sahler Mill Rd one(s).

Geophile said...

I saw some like this in the Poconos of Pennsylvania years ago now, along a road where we were permitted to go. Some were blockier than this and they were not hollow inside. These could be different, of course, but it's worth noting (although its relevance is uncertain) that the Poconos and this area of the Catskills were both in the territory of the Munsee Lenape, named after the Minisink, supposedly translated as "the place where the stones are gathered together."

Tim MacSweeney said...

Could be a buffalo (the woodland didn't have a hump they say); maybe a bear?

pwax said...

I meant "cairns".

steve the plumber said...

hey. thats my lake. did you like the stone dam and waterfall?