Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A walk with FFC at the highest headwaters of Hobbs Brook - Lincoln, MA

Say about ten years ago, I led a NEARA field trip to this isolated ridge - cut off from the rest of things by Rt 2 and by the surrounding swamp. At the time, I thought it was a nice place and was able to show the group a single "orthostat" - a large rock incorporated into the wall that loops around between the wetland and the foot of the ridge. It was my second visit to the ridge and apparently both times I followed about the only possible route to the place that did not cross a rock pile site. What can I say, I missed it completely.

But going back with FFC, coming southeast along the edge of Rt 2 and cutting in to cross the swamp (into the area indicated by a blue triangle above the red line of Rt 2) we immediately hit rock piles- pretty big, pretty smeared.
I'll just show you the pictures. FFC and I had a fine time and he said (at the top of the ridge) that it was one of the most beautiful ridge tops he had ever seen.

You can think about this as you drive west on Rt 2 into Lincoln. in the first stretch of the road in Lincoln, after the level straightaway, when you see a first ridge on the right with a short stretch of stone wall coming down towards you. Know that there is a nice site right back there, behind where the pipeline pumps and vents are placed. It is not quite a roadside attraction, as you might spot some piles (behind you and to the right as you dip in the road before the traffic light at Tracy's Gas Station). But you would be risking bodily injury to do it as you are going above 55 mph and coming up fast behind cars stopped at the light. Anyway, it is a beautiful spot back there. Here is a short stretch of wall that goes down to the brook. Look how the rocks hook around at the near end. We could not decide if it was a later disturbance or the original wall design.

Another part of the site appeared as we went further in away from the highway. This was featured in a recent video (here)and
It is embarrassing to have missed such a fine place on two previous visits. I somehow managed to find a narrow path that avoided all the piles. Here is an interesting structure:
Note, the three rocks on the right are all white feldspar. Apparently there was no quartz available at this place. FFC thought the structure was connected to a slight pile nearby:Here is something else FFC spotted. Three split rocks all together. Gotta believe that is not a coincidence. The place had other marvels but I'll save them for later posts.
Note: Hobbs Brook is one of the sources of the Charles River.


pwax said...

Pictures 3, 4, and 5 all indicate a ring of stones around a hollow.

pwax said...

Also want to mention that Hobbs Brook may be named after the "Hop" in the Viking account.