Friday, October 26, 2007

Foxboro State Forest - From Norman Mulller

I went to Foxboro State Forest early in September to see and photograph that unusual probable 'turtle' construction that Larry Harrop had photographed and posted on his website. Curious that when that website on the Foxboro State Forest lithic sites appeared online, the author did not point this out. Anyway, that was my main point of interest, but I did stop by the pedestaled boulder on my way and took a few shots (Images 0012, 0015)
before trying to find this other site, which is not that easy when one does not have a GPS unit along. It requires some bushwhacking.

The 'turtle' effigy site is on rocky knoll, largely free of trees (Images 0016, 0017, 0018).
Image 0018 is an overall image of the site, showing the 'turtle' effigy in the foreground, a large boulder in the rear to the left, and the curious 'prayer seat' in back and to the right. The 'turtle' is certainly very impressive and convincing. Larry had taken some shots of the site about two or three years ago, one of which was of the large boulder erratic (Image 0023),
which in one frame seemed to be supported by a smaller stone. I then headed for that, and underneath, at the far end was a bright, brick colored rounded support stone (Image 0028A).
It had some light spots on it that I interpreted as inclusions in the rock.

I didn't know quite what to make of the supposed 'prayer seat' (Image 0021)
It certainly looks old, and its location quite a distance from any trail, plus with the other features on the knoll, makes it likely that this is not Colonial in date. But what is it? Perhaps a petroform is the best designation, although the seat-like structure at one end is curious and would allow one to sit facing the boulder).

When I got back home, I wrote to Larry and told him about the red stone underneath the boulder. I believe he had seen and photographed this a year or two before, but he kindly went back to the site and took some good detail photos of the red stone (Image -529).
(photo by Larry Harrop)
The spots that I interpreted as inclusions turn out to be small spots of lichen. Larry also found a similar red stone in the very center of the back part of the 'prayer seat' (Image 528; 527 is a close-up of the stone),

(photo by Larry Harrop)

(photo by Larry Harrop)
which he said aligned perfectly with the one supporting the boulder. While it would be interesting to determine what kind of red stone this is, Herman Bender concluded that it is the red color which is significant and not the lithology.


pwax said...

Picture 018 is wonderful and makes the site look like a scene staged for a play. All these curious and nearby features.

I think this red rock is the same as what we see in Randolph and Greenfield MA. You also see it all down through Hartford and New Haven Connecticut. It is "arcose" from the Jurrasic which sometimes contains dinosaur footprints. However I agree that it is probably the color which is significant.

Geophile said...

The shape of the odd prayer seat brings to mind the stone ships one sees, often as burials, in Scandinavia.

pwax said...

I recognize where that red rock comes from. It is Wamsutta formation, like in Randolph.