Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Curious rock pile from Mendon, MA

Reader Keith writes:

In Mendon. I found this pile very courious looking.You can see the size by using my shoe for comparison. Looks like something symbolic? almost human like. It's on a very large boulder.


We used to sing "We are marching past Clintonia..." to the tune of "we are marching to Victoria". My flower book assures me that this is, in fact, the flower in question.Correction: it was Pretoria not Victoria.

Bushwacking not so smart on a mountain

Got off the trail, since it was all downhill, and got over into the next valley by mistake. So probably a dumb thing although it did lead to finding a solitary rock pile next to a wet spot. This is only a few yards uphill from Bolton Rd and a Mt Wachusett ski area parking lot.Only a dumb hiker is ever likely to pass that way again.

Interrupted stone wall - North slope of Wachusett

Posting videos is almost not worth it. They are grainy to start with and get more visually degraded when I upload to Blogger. Also, most times there is no sound when done. In case the sound does not get through: I am calling attention to a section of wall that stops being a single course of rocks and becomes an oblong, that is sectioned off into small depressed sub-sections, reminiscent of some rock piles I have been commenting on this year. Here is a still:I was a quarter mile in on the "Bolton Trail". This was uphill at the same place that the wall was down hill:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Linda McElroy at Nashoba Conservation Land in Acton

Trails are being planned for this conservation land, to include a few of the many rock pile sites there. Here is Linda McElroy, a force behind these developments:The picture shows part of a grid of piles, like the one at Spring Hill.

Here is a yet a third such place:

Beer can in a split wedged rock

This was up in New Hampshire somewhere, where I was poking around over the weekend. It may mean nothing, or else be a clue to the wedging of split rocks, a beer can (empty) wedged in a split rock:
Is there any significance to the quartz?If you are simply littering, wouldn't it be easier to just toss the beer can on the ground?

Nutting Rd - Groton MA

For the most part the woods of Groton are a disappointment but I have found exceptions to the rule on the fringes of the town - up against the border with Dunstable and, here, up against Littleton and Ayer. I like to make fun of Groton, claiming that the only interesting parts are not really in Groton.

at the end of the paved part of Nutting Rd there is a small corner of larger area that does have a few rock pile sites, and I never visited this corner before. So I went out, over the weekend, stepped into the woods, and found a small rock pile site:Pretty minor. This was the nicest pile:
Here it is again, in relation to the first above:
The whole area, as with most of Groton, looks to have been quarried. But unlike the rest of the town, it seems someone came back later:Another view, so we can look at the shapes of these little rocks on the boulder:

Later on, a bit further west, I saw this newly constructed pile and thought it was probably a modern "folly".But it was adjacent to other, more beaten down piles. So it is unclear. I always had the sense that the stone ceremonies were quite recent in this part of town.

This last group included a couple of gap piles:Finally, a nice wedged split:That is it for the week.

Great gem hunting stories

Not rock pile related, but fun [click here]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring Flowers

Looking for rock piles, but seeing flowers along the way. This is called a "Fringed Gaywing":Honeysuckle bush, under power lines in Groton:And native dogwood:My Russian cousins are passionate mushroom hunters, yet say that there are no mushrooms 'till later in the summer. Maybe this one is not edible?Instructions on this species would be welcome.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Partially wooden and stone Ovoo
"An ovoo (Mongolian: овоо, heap) is a type of shamanistic cairn found in Mongolia, usually made from rocks or from wood. Ovoos are often found at the top of mountains and in high places, like mountain passes... When travelling, it is custom to stop and circle an ovoo three times in clockwise direction, in order to have a safer journey. Usually, rocks are picked up from the ground and added to the pile. Also, one may leave offerings in the form of sweets, money, milk, or vodka. If one is in a hurry while travelling and does not have time to stop at an ovoo, honking of the horn while passing by the ovoo will suffice..."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Irony at Potash Hill, Hudson MA

I joke that when Massachusettlovakians set about removing a hilltop, they do it completely. In Hudson, along Rt 62, they removed the tops of a couple of hills (~red outline). Ironically, they left a rock pile site intact (~blue outline).

Datura Flower

Not rock pile related:
This is also called Jimson Weed, or Loco Weed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A pair of leaning triangular standing stones

This was on a sub-summit along the trail that starts near the southern end of Bragg Hill Rd in Westminster, on the way to Cowees Hill. It is a matched pair of triangular standing stones (really "leaning" stones) on either side of the trail. One, by itself, is an interesting "natural" feature. Two together is not natural, and so I suspect these are man-made deliberate structures. Here are closeups. The smaller one is obviously propped up:Perhaps the larger one was natural and the smaller was built in relation to it? This was one time when a compass bearing between the two would have been nice to have. They were roughly in an east-west alignment.

Corner Pile

A nice example of a rock pile built into the corner of a stone wall.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Bean Porridge Hill Rd

With reference to [here], the other side of the road presented like an old orchard with mounds all along the shoulder and the slope. Every one of the bumps you see in these pictures is a rock pile. I think they are old and nearly all re-absorbed into the landscape.I know these pictures are dull but I have to show them anyway. As usual, they are more real if you click on them to zoom in.Closer up:AndSome of these incorporate quartzHere was a short stretch of stone wall leading down towards the swamp:Here is another even shorter line of stones. Would that be considered a head at the near end?

Here is a nice rock in the midst of things:
Here is something interesting, a sort or multi-part channel between rock structures. There is a pile in the background. Close ups of the pile:View back:Some of the piles may be larger than they seem - a lot of hidden underground mass. No wisdom here. I take these to be old marker piles associated to the site across the road that had some of the same kind of "Wachusett" characteristics as at Muddy Pond.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Turkeys - a more and more common sight

Seeing big brown bird dead next to the road - Is it a bald eagle!? Is it a vulture!? Probably it is a turkey. Saw three dead ones over the weekend. Morbid thoughts aside, I also saw quite a few examples of male turkeys strutting around with fan-spread tails.