Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bolton-Stow Conservation Land. Part 1 - Approaching a Site

by pwaxAfter a couple of "dry" weeks, I finally found a site Sunday afternoon with Friend from Carlisle (FFC). I had hoped to get to around under the "C" in "WORCESTER CO" but there were houses blocking access, so we circled around the hill on Delaney Street and discovered a Bolton Conservation Land entrance from the north side of the hill. So we walked in along the trail and were zig-zagging across the slope towards a large boulder when we saw this interesting configuration:
Did the two "wedges" formerly span across this split? After two weeks of finding essentially nothing, I was grasping at straws and not sure if this was the only feature we would see; but we did see another rock pile or two of the most obscure sort.

Then we crossed over to a sub-summit and I found what looked like a prayer seat.I was shouting at FFC, who was still around the curve of the hill, and a dog was barking and I realized one of the landowners was on the way to see who was making noise. Luckily, and unusually, I was not tresspassing, so I did not get all nervous. It turned out to be a nice lady apologizing for her dog, and also curious about what we were doing. I said Did you notice this? referring to the prayer seat and she said: she had seen it and been wondering about it. Did I know what it was? I said it was a prayer seat. By this time FFC had caught up and said: Well it could be a fireplace - let's check for charcoal. There was none. So I asked the lady if there were any rock piles around and she said: Are you the people I read about in the newspaper? Yup our reputation preceeded us. That's two for two on meeting people in the woods and being identified as "those people". Apparently the message about rock piles is getting out, the newspaper article reached a lot of people in Acton, Boxborough, Stow, Harvard, Bolton - several of the towns listed in the original USET Resolution 2003:022.

FFC had picked up an arrow he found in the woods and had this conversation: "Nice arrow" said the lady; and "Is it yours?" says FFC; and "Yes it looks like one of ours" says the lady; so FFC gave it back - proving that we are essentially benevolent. The lady called her daughter up the hillside (their house was right there) and told her and her friend to get Dad and come down and listen to what we were saying.

During this time, FFC had peeked into a crack in a rock nearby (which I had discounted) and located a wedge. So we showed this to the lady and also, when her daughter and friend appeared, showed it to them. They found it interesting. We also noted this unusual structure in the wall corner.
This is similar to an enclosure FFC found behind Middlesex School in Concord. [Click here]

As it turns out, there is an entire rock piles site about 30 yards away but we did not find it till later. In fact these structures - the seat, the split-wedged rock, the enclosure, are at the top of the site.

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