Tuesday, June 07, 2016

A couple of headwater sites and the summit of Brown Hill, Princeton (MA)

I have a myth that out "beyond Wachusett" the style of rock piles changes. The larger mounds are oval or circular compared to the rectangular shapes from this side of the mountain. It is just an impression and I do not get out that far very often. So I went. After a 50 minute drive it was rewarding to step into the woods, intending to explore the valley (of South Wachusett Brook), and stumble on rock piles in the first head of a valley that I checked. Continuing along, I found another small site in a similar topography a bit south along the side of the hill. I believe these are all the same purpose sites that I have been reporting for the last month: here in Townsend, here in Princeton, here in Sherborn, and on a grander scale here at the northern site at Hopping Brook in Holliston. Last weekend I turned up several more, so this is why I consider marker piles the most common type of rock pile sites.
Although the sites are everywhere, the individual piles I saw here (beyond Wachusett) were different from what I am used to. 

Site #1 - upper blue outline, maybe ~ hundred yards from the road.
There a break in the stone wall leading to a spring at the top of a gully I wanted to explore:
There was a bit of quartz there at the edge of the opening and, stepping through, there was the wet place. Overlooking it from the other side was this large rock pile:
There were no obvious 'hollows' in this pile. The dappled light made it hard to photo. It is a bit elongated but it is not rectangular.
And just beyond, in the ferns, a thin straight little pile - an "eyebrow" on the hillside, also hard to photo in the shade:
"Eyebrows" have always been a favorite. There were two or more here.
In the last picture you can see back to the larger first pile.

From this last pile, we are looking back towards the first, with the other piles scattered in between. Bye bye:

Site #2 Lower blue outline
There is something not quite right about the rocks on this slope. Above them (not shown) I can make out a large split rock and wonder if it is wedged. But first I take a closer look at the rocks.

Yes those are artificial rock piles, integrated into the bedrock ledges. If you look at the next picture for a while you may start to see an arrangement:
In its own way and in its own style. 
Investigating above, checking on the split rock I could see from below:
Not too impressive.
Here is the view back. Now, aside from the fact that I already posted it, haven't we seen this sight (not "site") a lot lately?
In the course of the continued walk I saw a more impressive wedged rock:
 Some more lady slippers
And lots of disturbed broken down rock piles just south of the summit of Brown Hill.
If you ever get out there, you can judge for yourself whether this is deliberate structure or just quarrying debris. There is lots of that as we get closer to the actual summit. But there is also stuff up there that could be ceremonial.
Here is what the summit of Brown Hill looks like.
 and a helpful seat next to the trail.

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