Friday, October 17, 2014

An ultimate headwater of Falulah Brook - what I was "just sayin"

A few weeks ago I posted a map fragment of the woods just east of the Fitchburg Reservoir. The  article title was "Just Sayin" - my way of hinting that such woods are obviously a good place to look for larger mounds (I might as well call them "Fitchburg Mounds"). On one hand, there are lots of other sites in this area near the top of Falulah Brook but also, there were several additional spots where minor tributaries of the brook begin. [Go take a look in acme mapper at the Fitchburg Reservoir, and look at the many tributaries everywhere around  the reservoir. Here we are east of it.]
I had not been there before and I went out rain or shine. Here is the plan I made - wrinkled and smeared now from being out in the rain
I park where West Ashby Rd meets Rindge Rd. My plan was to start at A (just right and down from the "CO" of "Worcester CO") and follow the brook up to B and then over to a ridge at C, and to continue, zig-zag'ing back to swamp at D, another brook source at E, and then over to the hilltop at F. After that I was going to get out to Rindge Rd and head back to the car. This all would be about a 1.5 mile walk, except bushes.
Here is the summary:
  • At A there are piles I have seen before
  • Just before B there was a cluster of large mounds
  • I did not go to C but got out to Scott Rd. Could not get to D behind "No Trespassing" signs, and walked west out to Mayo Rd. Turned north thinking I could sneak into D from behind but the landowners make a point of letting you know there is video surveillance, so I gave up and went further north thinking about cutting towards F. Well that was too thick going and I was already wet, so I went back south along Mayo Rd towards E.
  • At E there were more rock piles - older, smaller, almost invisible.
  • Back to my car along Rindge Rd. Of course there are several kinds of sites on the west side of Rindge Rd between Mayo and West Ashby.
Here are some photos of these exploits. At A a little bit  sequence of rocks:
A more typical mound with hollow. I did not try to take decent pictures, cuz I know this one.
Then about a quarter mile up the brook, I saw piling along the side of the watercourse that was messy and consistent with field clearing.
But in one place, a sense of an empty cyst:
And within this framework, adjacent to the "cyst", was an upright triangular stone (seen on the left in this next picture).
I was not sure what to think about this pile. But continuing up the brook, more piles appeared on the left, or west side of the brook. Leading to the concentration below B, just below Scott Rd.
First was this marvelous plant covered stone mound I showed the other day:
Pushing though the thick undergrowth in northern Fitchburg and coming across something like this is as close as I am going to get to that Angkor Watt feeling. How far down do you suppose that mound goes? There was a little bit of structure at one end:
Here is a last panorama, before we move on upstream:
At the next pile, I took a selfie. I am looking more and more like Capitaine Haddock:
The pictures aren't too good in the rain:
This is an elongated pile, with a faint sense of corners and the first that might be considered as a "rectangle with hollow". 
It is on the west side of the watercourse, as are all the piles I found. I glanced over at the east side of the brook and made brief sallies over there but it was thick and I was not encouraged. 
Back on the west side, there was a smaller pile:
And then two more at the top, a few feet downhill from Scott Rd. 
A big one, almost angle of repose. With a bit of corner retaining wall, and a white quartz blaze on top:
Next to another low one made from large rocks:
Look close, it is the shape of a number "9". 
The characteristics of these piles are consistent with field clearing. I have to admit it. However they are more consistent with ceremonial locations at the headwaters of brooks. Which is what sent me to this spot looking for them. So you know which hypothesis I prefer. Some other pictures of the pile with quartz:
An awfully nice pile of rocks. Just a quick mention of another site I found down at E on the map on the way out. It was right in the wetland. I noticed a rock-on-rock then another small pile:
A couple little cysts:

All in all, a good fit between plan and reality. A nice walk in the rain.


Anonymous said...

I will be posting some of the earthern mounds in my area in my own blog soon ( Mounds are cool. They also seem to show up in a lot (at least enough) places. Why isn't it acknowledged that there was a mound-building culture in our region? If anyone has anymore insight I would love to talk about the mounds. Thanks,
-Matt Howes.

Tim MacSweeney said...

I think that's one of the most beautiful taken in the rain photos of yours I've ever seen, those two quartzy stones side by side. It also sets my effigy-head alarm ringing. Field clearing involves tossing or dumping while these look purposly chosen and placed just so, in my humble opinion, especially after seeing that massive fence in Washington CT where stones like those were so numerous:

Tim MacSweeney said...

There's a ringer: