Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hills north of Fitchburg

Where you'll find me this weekend. These are the "near" hills. There is another set further north.

Update: Yup. Alpine Hill, in the center. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Some scenes on top of Flat Rock Hill, Fitchburg

This is a pretty place; easily accessible. It appears to have been visited by lots of people over a long time.All the rocks are suspect in my opinion. Like these heavy slabs.
Or this large numbers of cobbles:closer:A propped boulder:
A dark scene:A typical Massachusetts Hilltop.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stone lines of different kinds near Flat Rock Hill, Fitchburg

This is a full view of the wall with rock pile "bulge" from the other day.It might be damaged but I cannot see why the wall would be borrowed from in different places with a rock pile in between.

This one is from east, up the hillside, on the way from the Audubon parking lot on Ashburnham Hill Rd to the Overlook Reservoir.Further up hill there was a continuation of wall - more substantial and taking a few zigs and zags leading up to the summit and the small site with quartz from the (other) other day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Modern Art Rock Pile

I have to admit, this is kind of cute. Luckily it is only near the path.

Ashburnham Hill Rd

A couple of turns off Ashburnham Hill Rd in Fitchburg takes you to the end of Scott Rd where it turns into a dirt road. I walked in from there and stayed to the south, straying downhill to a place a bit north of the "O" in "Overlook". Here I saw a curious disturbance:
Take a closer look at this structure to the right:Isn't that purdy?I did not know what to make of this thing - it combined the look of a sandpit with the look of a rock pile. Again:It got worse, downhill from there, behind the parking lot for the Audubon Soc. "Flat Rock" parking lot. Things got really confusing.What's this?Some little terraces:Some stone support structures (not "bays"):Some rock piles heading off into the woods:Does that look practical? You tell me.What about this one, built into a stone wall?Another view,A closeup of the quartz, visible in the first picture:
Here is the length of the wall:At this point I recalled seeing something similar across Ashburnham Hill Rd on the drive in. So I was not far, walked over, and I snuck in to what seemed private property in order to get a photo:
Not quite the same thing as by the "Flat Rock" parking lot but close enough. I guess that, here, there are older ceremonial structures overlain by the more modern. Back at the parking lot, there was a house foundation,and a stone lined brook.And other signs that this could have been a mill. All in all, this site was as ambiguous as a place could be.

Big Balanced Boulder

Ron Smith has some new photos up that I found quite interesting and a little relevant to the recent thoughts about stone row pathways popping up on Rock Piles. And I'm well aware that Northern California isn't the Northeast, but let me remind you that about 20 years ago, my interest in the Yurok and related People was sparked by Mavor and Dix (check the index in Manitou for more details) saying what they had to say about the Yurok - without the added benefit of photos like this one.
And these:
Close up added
Link to a Stoneworked Spring in CT:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Estabrook Village - Woodstock CT

Reader Dennis D. sent this video:

Find in Melondy Hill SF - NY

by theseventhgeneration
Hiking with a group to see the stone piles in Melondy Hill State Forest, we were surprised to find the usual hiking trail freshly disturbed because of a current logging job. In some places, it made the hiking difficult, while in others, we could hike along the dirt path without sinking down. About a half mile from the stone piles in Melondy Hill State Forest, I saw a bit of black in the logging trail that looked different from the normal sandstone pieces all over. I bent down to pick it up and, lo and behold:The group was hiking at a decent rate (about a mile an hour) so there was no opportunity for an in sito photo. In addition, I was not even certain about what I had, so when I called out to Don, he was thrilled to verify that it was, in fact, an arrowhead. The photo was taken later along in the hike, which is why it is not cleaned up in the photos. The elevation where I found this is about 1,650 feet.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Outlines with Quartz above Overlook Reservoir - Fitchhburg, MA

About in the position of the second "e" is in the word "Reservoir", I saw on obviously non-random cluster of rocks poking up on the surface:
Seeing another such cluster convinced me further that I was looking at deliberate rock piles. In this case, very badly smeared out.As I looked at this collection of rocks I noticed that the center rock was a white feldspar. From the point of view of it being the "center", it is surrounded by an outline of other rocks. Here is another view.The idea that this was a form of "rock pile with a hollow" was re-enforced by another not-so-good example.And then another very good one:I see the strong similarity in the underlying designs. Do you? Here is another not so good example, note the position of the white rock:And one last one, so faint we only see it because it is highlighted by it's companions.By now, you can guess what I think about these.

Article on stone sites in the Woodstock Times

Was surprised to see this. I guess I shouldn't be, but we used to live up there and back then no one was talking about it. Here is an article in the Woodstock Times in Ulster County, New York, about the stone work on Overlook Mountain, just one of a seemingly countless number of sites in that area. Glenn Kreisberg is the main person being interviewed. I know Norman has talked about these walls and piles in the past, but it's good to see this in my favorite small town newspaper!

Split Boulder next to I-95 in DE

Reader dc writes:
I thought you might be interested in this split boulder next to I-95 here in DE.It is close to the end of a stone wall in the woods, about 35 yards away.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Above Overlook Reservoir

Behind Fitchburg High School - another Wachusett Tradition Hilltop Site

As I have been hinting, I came across another of those places in the hills north of Fitchburg. I am exploring to the east of upper Falulah and this was "the next hill over". Today, for example, I might try to get to another such hill - I have always wanted to explore Pearl Hill but there are too many houses and by the time I get to Willard Brook State Park, the sites get harder to find.

Last weekend I parked in back of the Fitchburg High School and headed west into the bushes and up hill. There is a short steep rise to a shoulder - with a line of rock piles along the edge of the shoulder. Then I found an east-west oriented wall and followed it up hill and a little across the hill to a north-south oriented path. I wanted to follow the path north but thought I should check to the south first, which led slightly uphill and past the "summit" where there were several large mounds, one incorporated into the stone wall, and a half dozen smaller satellite piles along the western side of the hilltop. The piles were big, damaged, covered with thick debris. So the pictures are not great. I have several pictures of the large irregular shaped pile:
Here, from a slightly different angle, there is a feel of several large structures with sides oriented in the same directions, giving a sense of parallel walls:Here it the large mound incorporated into the wall. From the side:From above, looking west:The relatively flat hilltop had been the scene of some camping, deer hunting, ongoing disturbance. Either in the past, or more recently, someone has tamped down the soil along the wall.
Here are two of the smaller "large" mounds, next to the irregular one.
We are looking back (south) towards the large mound in the wall. Here is a closeup of one of the two:I have nothing new to say about this type of site. Personally, it is a great pleasure to poke along through thick underbrush, without great expectations, and nevertheless stumble into yet another mound builder site up in the Fitchburg Hills. These sites are so cool and so hidden.

Let's take it chronologically. Starting from the high school, walking west into the bushes and up the first steep slope. I saw something rock pile like and turned back to get my bearings:
Here was a first rock pile:
I glanced in either direction along the shoulder and confirmed there were several other rock piles in the same setting.[Interesting to compare the structure of this pile and its adjacent larger rocks to the ones in the previous picture.] And another, without that structure:
So I found a stone wall and followed it up hill. Then hit a path and took a left (south) and walked a minute along the path till seeing this:
These were some of the smaller "satellite" piles around the larger mounds, pictured above. I could see the larger mounds through the trees but "hesitated at the gates of heaven" and looked first at the other satellites. This one was nicely built:There was evidence of two different stages of wall building. Here is a faint trace of wall (from an earlier time) that comes to the same hilltop from the southwest. A few feet lower on the hill it becomes the same kind of substantial wall as most of the other walls on the hill.

So I poked around and took some pictures. Then looked a little at the southern slope of the hill. Rockier and with another cluster of very simple rock piles: One last "satellite" before I left the area: