Monday, December 22, 2008

Early Morning at the Wolbach Farm - Sudbury MA

On the topo map, I noticed a patch of green I had not explored before. Right south of King PhilipsWoods [click here, the oldest post at the bottom is most comprehensive] and, being part of the Sudbury Valley Trustees land, this seemed like a good place to go for a Saturday walk. I parked at the visitors parking and headed uphill behind the shed. I saw rock piles immediately but this did not surprise me as the area is part of a slope (the larger blue outline) that is covered with rock piles at a low density.

It was nice to look at new rock piles:[detail:]There were lots of examples of piles built into the outcrops. And this reminded me of several other places. Trying to recall where else I have seen this kind of "enhanced outcrops" what came to mind first were other sites close to hand. The King Philips Woods has enhanced outcrops and so does the Town Forest at the corner of Subdury, Farmingham, and Marlborough. I did not get good pictures.

There were some small oval ground piles:There were some sketchy stone walls, perhaps alignments. Here was a little high point...... with two rows of stones leading away:Someone preparing to build a more substantial stone wall? Apparently it was all Indians living in here through the Colonial period.

Perhaps the most interesting thing, to me, was a small rectangular pile on a saddle looking eastward.This is early December and you can judge for yourself what might be viewed from the location and in this direction. Another view: Looking at the flat rock on edge, in the foreground of the last picture, I had a stray thought that it was like a shield reflecting the light. This led to my looking more closely at the rectangle and concluding that it was really more 3/4 of a rectangle and the front edge (upper left in this last picture) was missing. Actually this could have been a rectangular "U" that has been filled in like a rock pile. If so then it would have been a viewing station.

Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't; but thinking about it led to a question: what would be the purpose of a stone "U"? We have a loose idea that stone "U"s are built as part of a prayer seat, a location for visions or, in this case, a place to look out at the sunrise. But what do you need a "U" for, when all you need to do is sit? An answer is suggested along the lines of that flat rock providing a "shield". Perhaps the purpose of the "U" structure was to shield the person on the inside from something in all directions except the viewing direction.

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