Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ringing Rocks, Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania

By GeophileVisited Ringing Rocks today, the one in Bucks County. There's another in Montgomery County, but this is the one I'd heard a lot about. When I told one of my brothers we were going, he said, "Be sure to take a hammer," but we weren't going there to ring the rocks. It was stonework we were after, and, partly thanks to Jim Porter's video (thanks, Jim!), my husband Eric was nearly as interested as I was.

While other visitors rang the rocks for us, we ventured off into the woods around the main rock field. I'd seen bigger rock fields, but this was definitely a different kind of rock, both in color and texture. I'd seen a special on the Travel Channel describing Ringing Rocks as some kind of energy vortex like they claim to have at Sedona. I have a hunch that show was partially funded by The Estates at Ringing Rocks, a new development going in very nearby. Too nearby.

The other thing I'd heard about the place was from the Lenape descendants with whom I'd spoken. They told me the place was still very special to them and they visit it from time to time. So I was not surprised, in only a few minutes, to come upon a wall.

It's a very nice wall, one of those very neatly built ones sort of concave on top. It's close to, but not quite, straight, and becomes higher as you walk away from the Ringing Rocks field.

It had familiar interesting features, like cavities and a few black rocks, many of which could be slid out and in.
Eric consented to stand next to the wall here, to help show size.

There were other things to look at, most of them appearing to be natural formations. Here's one, however, that looked as if some intervention may have occurred.

This similar propped rock was not far from the first. I have more angles of both of them.

Of course, I was simultaneously watching for birds and plants, my earlier hobbies. We saw a couple of nice thrushes, the best being a veery, and saw a plant I hadn't seen in Pennsylvania before, a long-spurred violet. There were many species of familiar wildflowers. Not bad. A nice way to spend part of my 53rd birthday.

I have many other pictures, not as good, and will probably post them on Walls and Cairns rather than tire everyone with them here. Some are of an unusual nearly globe-shaped boulder with a huge flake still balanced on top of it. It appeared to have two flat rocks placed edge up beside it, much like I'd seen recently at the other Bucks County site. Unfortunately I didn't ask Eric to stand in those and they are not as impressive as it appeared in real life because you can't tell how big it is.

Already the other end of the wall has been dismantled because it ran into what is now someone's back yard. I wonder what has been and will be lost as the land is being prepared for the Estates at Ringing Rocks. Probably better not to know.


Anonymous said...

One thing to keep in mind when looking at perched and pedestaled boulders in PA is that areas of Berks Co, such as the Oley Hills site, was some twenty miles south of the farthest advance of the Wisconsin ice sheet, so that one doesn't find glacial erratics below that line. I'm not sure where Ringing Rocks is located, but keep this point in mind.


Geophile said...

Found this about that:

"While Pennsylvania's boulder fields are characteristically situated closed to where the Wisconsin ice sheet once stood, there is one oddball exception located to the south of the glaciated part of the state, in the Triassic Lowland. This is the locally famous Ringing Rocks County Park -- the county being Bucks, just a short distance from the Delaware River north of Philadelphia. Here the boulders are made of a much harder, igneous rock called diabase. This rock formed when magma welling up from the Earth's interior during the rifting and breakup of the supercontinent of Pangea cooled close to the surface. In this particular park, the boulders are said to produce a variety of ringing tones when struck with a hammer."

While probably a couple miles north (and well to the east) of the Oley Hills site, Ringing Rocks is well south of the Lehigh River and at least 20 miles south of the Kittatinny Ridge.

Geophile said...

Was doing some slacker research today (googling) and discovered there's a waterfall somewhere at the park. I'm sure that's significant and I'm sorry we missed it. We hope to get back there later this month, and I'll check it out then.