Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still Hill Farm

My good friend and band mate Todd has a wood working shop on his family’s former property, a farm on Still Hill Road in Bethlehem, CT. A while back, he showed me an incredible collection of stone points of all sorts – quartz and various flints – even a large flint ceremonial spear point of great beauty.
Recently, I had to recreate the bead on some cover boards for a little room in my house, and unable to find the exact plane for this, Todd let me use a variety of his tools to fake the bead – and beat the boards up to make them look two or three hundred years old.
I was there on two different days, the first day immediately struck by the old and twisted apple trees just a little south east of the shop, at the edge of some wetlands. Just yesterday, I stopped up to finish the last two boards and took a little walk with him.

I had my "back up camera," the one that fell out of my pocket in Rhode Island one time and hasn’t been the same since - and it was bright and sunny besides, so these pictures aren’t the best and don’t really show well the feel of the place.

And I didn’t take a photo of the first stone I noticed, right by his driveway: it was a turtle head sort of stone with a depression on top of it, with three big rough chunks of white quartz in it. The bank where I expected a zigzag row of stones might be there, under leaves and debris from the trees (I spotted a couple), leading to a large tree where another row leads toward the wetland.

The thing about some of the rows is that they seem to be a series of carefully placed circles of stones –and abounding in quartz (and quartzite) and all sorts of other garnet studded stones, others I can’t identify but of striking beauty.
I've seen small circles incorporated into some rows here and there, but this place has at least that one row that looks like a long carefully constructed "series of figure eights lying on their sides," if you get what I mean...
There's some obvious "dumped" stone piles, but there are large remnants of what certainly looks to me to be the Native made rows and circles that defined that ancient Cultural Landscape.
There are numerous circles of stones inside the swamp, zigzag rows of stones ( that's a poor photo of one zigzag on the left) and linear rows making borders, and even a lone single large testudinate stone out in a field that I guessed pointed toward the four directions – standing at the north point, I asked Todd if he ever stood at that spot and looked up at the Big Dipper – and of course he said that was the exact spot to see it circle around during the night (in the middle of a field on top of a hill, so it is no surprise).
I’ll go back again, some over cast day like Norman suggests, and try to capture the spot if I can, posting these pictures for now…

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