Monday, October 12, 2015

Can't seem to avoid finding rock piles

   After a pointless exploration on Saturday, and family activity on Sunday morning, the afternoon was so nice I convinced my wife to take a stroll in the "Great Meadows" next to my house -  a conservation land along the Concord River. I decided to enter the woods by an old trail I remember from my children's childhood, and we went in to see if the "Opus Bench" [a name we used] was still there. We felt nostalgic seeing this place from twenty five years ago. It hasn't changed much but is more overgrown than I remember. (For reference, the "old trail" starts at the railroad track and is farthest east of any other entrance to the Great Meadow. The "Opus Bench" is a hundred yards in.)
   There are some substantial pits along there that were excavated sometime in the past and, judging from the quantity of soil removed, it must have gone to making the railroad bed. It is all solid sand under foot, although there are some outcrops about 50 yards away. I noticed a short stretch of stone wall, which I tracked into the bushes a bit, thinking that such short stretches are often associated with rock pile sites [something I commented on twice in the last several weeks] and then got back out to the main trail. Just down towards the edge of the river there was a little side-trail where I wanted to take a quick peek, and going a few steps in that direction (east from the trail) there was a large low pile of rocks. They were mostly "carry" size and I thought there might be a bit of structure visible. But the whole thing was so totally masked by vegetation and downed trees, I could not get much sense of it.
   Later I was thinking about reasons to believe it was a ceremonial pile or something more mundane. The semi uniform rock sizes is one thing. The fact that the pile was spread out and not mounded towards the middle is another. Finally the absence of natural rock under foot suggests the rocks came from the nearby outcrop and not - as one might suppose - from the pits that could have been sifted to remove such rocks. I don't know. I'll go take a closer look sometime and maybe sneak a saw in with me to try to clear the thing off a bit. It is pretty exciting to think I have one of those low mounds in walking distance from my house, in my own neighborhood. Like a couple weeks ago when I found rock piles along the river at Egg Rock and now, maybe, here too. I never would have noticed this structure or had the experience to go into the bushes looking for it twenty five years ago.

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