Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wolfden Hill in Leominster State Forest

For reasons I explained earlier, Wolfden Hill in Leominster State Forest seems like a hill worth exploring. It has a direct close-up view of Mt Wachusett and, in this area, slopes facing Wachusett are the best places to look for rock piles. Anway I knew from the past that the flats around the hill had rock piles, so I thought it would be worth getting up the slope and to the top. The "Wolfden" probably refers to a rocky outcrop near the top, facing west - a tumble of rocks and overhangs. My Friend-From-Carlisle (FFC) was in ecstasy over the place and felt he could spend all day looking at all the suggestive rocks. Most of my pictures were too blurred because it was raining and dark under the trees but here is one showing a boulder at the edge of the outcrop.
This sort of thing looks suspicious. It is particularly suspicious when you can find a rock wedged under the boulder. Also, you see, at the edge of a cliff is the easiest place to apply a lever and move such a boulder around. Anyway there was no evidence of this sort of thing here, just the suspicion of it. There were other suspicious things nearby, some of them quite recent. I did not get a good picture of it but in one place rocks had been piled up on top of some dead branches. In another, a little ramp was built up the side of a boulder using what looked like recently moved rocks. There were some other recent looking arrangements. Here is about the only picture that almost worked, as short line of rocks on the ground.
So many other little scenes lost because of the poor photographic conditions and my unsteady hand. Here is a bad picture of a place along Wolfden Rd (off of King Tut's Highway) where the road crosses a rock pile site. In the picture the wall is passing through a break in the stone wall. The piles are to left and right.
The piles are low to the ground and roughly circular. At first glance it looked like what I imagine a burial ground looks like. Except for two problems: no water view and no quartz. FFC was convinced this was actually a "grid" like the Acton rock pile grid at the Spring Hill Conservation Land - a marker pile site. The piles were more or less evenly spaced and somewhat in lines. They were within a quadrant surrounded by stone wall. Here are some of the piles from there:
Here is what one looks like using the flash:
Note what appears to be a larger rock in each of these piles.

I apologize for the poor photo but this next one was an interesting rock pile: two small rocks on a boulder; one gray the other red.
Here is another rock pile with some interesting geology in the choice of rocks:Here is one photo that was not blurred:
Also in there - on the east side of Paradise Pond on the way south from Rocky Road to Wolfden Hill, there are also a few larger piles on the shoulder of the slope. They occured at random and did not seem part of a group. All I have got is a semi decent pictures of part of one of the larger piles.Love that Leominster State Forest. The truth is that in some places it is nothing but rock piles at low density for hundreds of yards - if not 1/4 miles. As you can see there is quite a variety from supported piles on boulders, to larger shoulder mounds ("horizon piles"), to marker pile grids, to little ceremonial piles with interesting geology. There are still other types of piles at other places in the Forest.

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