Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Stone mounds and the brooks of Eastern MA

Years of hunting for rock piles and stone mounds have shown the value of looking along brooks with the expectation that when the brook "meets the sky" is where one finds things. That is not quite right. The highest point where the water flows and the land is barely a fold, is a good place to explore but so are other places further downstream with good vistas, or where there is an advantageous outcrop, or a side brook comes in. In any case, this means that following a brook uphill is a good hunting strategy.

You want to find new stone mounds in Massachusetts? Find a tributary of a good sized river, and locate its highest and smallest secondary tributaries. Follow the brook up to that high point and you will almost surely find mounds- at least after trying two or three brooks in undisturbed areas. The reason I believe this is that I find them that way so often. For an extra bonus find a place that is between two watersheds with several brooks starting and flowing in different directions.

To be sure, it would be wrong to only follow a "brook strategy". There are sites high on hills in some towns. But overall, brooks are a good start. Coming up, a case in point (SW Mt Pisgah):

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