Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A peculiar combination of rock piles

It seems that in the winter time, hunting rock piles by car makes as much sense as hunting them on foot. So last weekend I was cruising the back streets of Boylston MA, on my way to a hill and a walk, taking time to look side to side. Here was one rock pile, ~50 yards from the road, visible only at this time of year from the road. [On the west side of Rt 70, directly south of the Tahatawan High School.] So I parked and went down to take a look.

This is a tidy rectangular pile, but lying low to the ground and at the angle of repose.Aside from the rectangular outline, this is not a well built pile. And since the rocks have no lichen cover, I kind of assumed this was discarding of rocks - nothing too interesting. Of course there was a nice view westward towards Wachusett and there were a couple pieces of quartz in the pile, so it is a bit like a burial:Here is the view back towards the street - so I can brag about my spotting abilities.That was all well and good, except there was another pile nearby. The place is a spring with water forming up and becoming a brook and heading off downhill. Between the first pile and the brook was a flat pavement of rocks:Unlike the first pile, the rocks here are better covered with lichen. Easier to believe this is an older pile. But what can I make of it? Certainly not much in the snow.

Across the brook and uphill there was a third small rock pile, almost natural, hard to make anything of. Then a few feet downhill from the first pile, was a fourth, crescent shaped "eyebrow" of a pile:This just looks like a bulldozer swept through a rock pile, leaving one well-built section:andI did not know what to make of it.

I would dismiss any one of these piles if it was by itself. But collectively? Pick any scenario you like for the building of these rock piles. How would that scenario play out in explaining all four of them? That is the problem I had understanding this place. My best guess is that it is a badly damaged site, with some modern tweaking for unknown reasons.

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