Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Polypody ferns and ceremony

On the northeast slope of North Manoosnoc in Leominster I stopped to take a picture of one of my favorite ferns: the polypody which Thoreau called "cheerful little communities". They often grow out from between the rocks like this:
So I was admiring the outcrops, seeing a few things here and there that looked arranged, and sat down to enjoy the place. I was sitting right on top of one arrangement:
See how the entire crack has been stuffed with smaller fragments? 
Looking a little further down the rock, I noticed something else behind the next group of ferns.
A closeup:
[See Manitou p 275,300 for discussion of buckets and historic period ceremonialism.]
I have long thought this part of Leominster - called "Notown" - must have been where the Indians of Fitchburg were displaced to, when the Europeans arrived. Since the area is full of large stone mounds I believe it must have been an important center, even before the historic period. And now I see Notown is likely to have been all one and the same place - from the past into the historic. It was abandoned only recently and polypody grow there now.

3 comments :

pwax said...

The bucket suggests a connection between the mound builders and the historic period Indians of Fitchburg.

Unknown said...

Peter -
I have a site from your blog recorded on the summit of North Monoosnuc Hill with one rock pile. Is this the same site or is it further down the northeast slope from it?

pwax said...

It is a different part of the hill. Near the top of the northeastern ridge around the first partial summit.