Saturday, May 13, 2006

Large elongated rock piles from Petersham MA

Reader Brian M. writes in:

I have a newfound respect for how difficult it is to shoot these things and make it so you can actually see anything. As I said, these are in a section of Petersham that old maps designate as the Indian village. It also features an area that I would call a glacial delta except that it's made of gravel and stones like the ones in the piles.
There are "stonewalls" in the area that may indicate agricultural use in the past. There was a mill in the neighborhood (powered by the east branch of the swift river) that produced barrels. I'd be interested in any thoughts you have on the piles. Some are as long as 30 or 40 feet and maybe 20 feet wide.


pwax said...

Elongated piles like these are different from what I am used to. I would like to know more about them.

It is almost impossible to take a decent photo in bright sunlight. The best is when it is overcast. Larry Harrop gets a particularly nice effect when it is a bit foggy out - as things in the distance are slightly hazed over.

JimP said...

I agree with Peter regarding the difficulty of shooting in shadows during bright sunlight. I either wait for a cloudy day, or I wait for twilight and use a flash if necessary.

I recall seeing a couple of elongated piles of stones like these near the Vaughn farm site at Parker Woodland in Coventry, RI. Most people attribute them to the farm, but they could very well be older and ceremonial in origin.

I also recall something like these piles in Boxborough -- although not quite as wide. Someone more familiar with Boxborough sites would have to chime in on that.

pwax said...

Where in Boxborough?

JimP said...

Half Moon Meadow Brook. See Dan Boudillion's page here:

Scroll down to the second to the last photo for the, "wide row."

I know the one in Boxborough is described by Dan as more of a row than a mound, and it is quite long, but I saw that row in person and BrianM's photos immediately reminded me of what I had seen in Boxborough.

I dunno, maybe I've seen too many rockpiles. ;)

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pwax said...

Later, in fall 2013 I started running into long piles up in northern Ashby and adjacent NH.