Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Niche in Washington, MA

Norman Muller writes:
Speaking of niches: That niche you located on an outcrop with the stone cairn nearby is similar to a striking combination that Philip O'Deane showed me in Washington, MA, some years back. Not only was there a niche similar to the one you found, with a cairn nearby, but below it was a single large slab supported at either end by small cobbles; this was not enclosed at one end as was the nearby niche. O'Deane referred to this triple combination (including a small niche under the boulder with the cairn on top) as "three wombs." This combination is unique, and I've never seen anything quite like it since. Within the same town was a marvelous cairn with a niche at the base and topped with a large piece of milky quartz.
I believe Philip passed away a few years ago.


pwax said...

I noticed that sunlight was shining into the niche I found. It was mid morning a week or so before Christmas.

pwax said...

I would not have noticed it unless it was pointed out in these pictures from Norman but the same feature of a shadowed overhang on a nearby rock occurs adjacent to the "niche" I found at:

Seems like we should be noticing these little overhangs.

theseventhgeneration said...

This feature is one that I would say is relatively common here in NY where I explore. It's similar to rocks on their haunches, especially the third picture in the post I've linked to here. If I find one of these at a site, I check for donation stones under the overhang. Sometimes I find stones, but I cannot tell if they are pieces that fell there naturally, flaked off from the overhang above. Other times it's clear they were placed. There are times I photograph these, but don't report them in posts because they are not as sensational as a cairn or standing stone. I do, however, find them fascinating.

pwax said...

I'll start looking for them.