Friday, March 30, 2018

Boxborough Center

Where Rt 111 crosses Stow Rd, I thought the southwest quadrant showed promise of great things - as the ultimate headwater of Heath  Hen Meadow Brook. Well sure, maybe these two (looking back towards the road):

Boxborough "never disappoints" but, with only one other minor pile seen (south across the swamp from here) it came pretty close this time.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Arrowhead Hunting - Addictive YouTube videos

Beware. Watching these things can waste a lot of time. But then these guys are living in a world that appears to me only when I dream. Who knew it was a reality?

"Let the Landscape Speak" - Doug Harris lecture(s)

Via Bob Ferrara and The Friends of Pinehawk:

You are invited to “Let the Landscape Speak - the importance and meaning of the indigenous ceremonial stone landscape”.
Wednesday, April 4 
7-9 PM at Discovery Museum, 177 Main Street, Acton    
Thursday, April  5
7-9 PM at Volunteers Hall, Harvard Public Library, 5 Pond Road, Harvard

Featured speaker:  Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office.  The indigenous ceremonial stone landscape is of cultural significance to the tribes of the northeast.  Mr. Harris will explain why these ceremonial features should be preserved, and what to do if you would like to help protect this important landscape.

Here is the Acton poster, followed by more background on the talk.
The forests of New England are dotted with living prayers of stone (Ceremonial Stone Landscapes) created by the Indigenous peoples of this region. The traditional belief is that these stone structures were placed to create and restore harmony between human beings and Mother Earth. The prayers they embody continue to live as long as the stones are kept intact.

The Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape surrounds us in New England, often hidden in plain sight in the forests and fields. Most people who come across enigmatic stone structures don't know that some are remnants of a network built by Indigenous Americans for ceremonial and other purposes.

Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office will give an illustrated talk about the various forms of ceremonial stone landscape in our area and how local residents can help preserve them.  Doug Harris has been Tribally certified in the identification of ceremonial stone features for 16 years.   

This free program will be presented on April 4th from 7-9pm at the newly refurbished Discovery Museum at 177 Main Street, Acton, MA. Light refreshments will be served.  Ample time will be provided for questions about structures audience members know of. The program is most appropriate for children from 12 years and adults.

This presentation is supported in part by a grant from the Littleton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. This program is cosponsored by three local all-volunteer organizations - Acton Conservation Trust, Littleton Conservation Trust, and the Friends of Pine Hawk, a regional archaeology focal group residing at the Acton Memorial Library

Cheers, Bob Ferrara

Member & Founder, Friends of Pine Hawk
10 Wachusett Drive, Acton MA 01720
978-263-8642 (H), 617-513-9355 (cell)

Model of the Inwood Hill caves (Bronx NY)

Where have all the New York City Cermonial Stone Landscape Features Gone??
Gone to WPA work crews - every one???
When will we ever learn...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Liberty Square - Boxboro

I explored back here when my kids played soccer on the playing fields. Went again, remembering I had not been as far north as possible. I expected to see wall bulges - carefully enclosed rock piles included in a stone wall - and thought here was a new one (below the word "LIBERTY"):

 (See the lighter rocks at the corner?)
A rather nice structure.
Nearby was a more legitimate mound, if badly obscured by debris:
This and a few of the other "usual suspects", convince me that wall bulges are not just for keeping fields tidy. 
wall bulges are a common feature in the woods behind Liberty Square and I recall another from the woods down one exit on Rt 2, at Newtown Rd. I have posted a few in this blog.

So then we go down the way bit (south) and can see another large mound across the valley:
We have been discussing this in comments (here), so let's have a look:

The first picture in this group shows some structure down in the water. It is quite composite and, seen from the last picture, another example of a wall bulge - telling us almost nothing. 
A bit further south, I was up against a road or driveway and some houses and rounded a ridge to get to where water began draining to the south. Noticed a small pit shelter dug into the sand:

Seen from above, looking past another small pit.
At the very highest point (of water flowing south, next to a road) there was a small site. Visible from that pit structure.

A bit of a small hollow in that one.
Then I was tiring, and tried to head out. There were odds and ends of pretty things throughout. Boxboro never disappoints:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Easy to miss the point

It is easy to look at a picture like this
and wonder: "Why would a farmer do that?"

But it is the wrong question. The correct question is: what is it?

(Arguably) At the top of Heath Hen Meadow Brook

Here is a spot on the topo map of Boxboro I am drawn to, because I am looking at maps trying to figure out how to get into this bit of woods at the top of Heath Hen Meadow Brook.
This is a rare occasion that I am able to see something from the satellite image. If I zoom in on the cross hair in the above, I see:
which really does look like a big rock pile. Now I am even more curious to get to this spot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Howard Brook, Northboro

If I don't blog about this, I am going to forget. So you see that brook going uphill into the "Fish and Wildlife" area southwest of Mt Pisgah? I thought it was a place likely to have mounds and likely to have structures where the tributaries converge. Went in and, somewhere uphill from A, I decided to get back down to the brook [the feet are always betraying me and pulling me uphill even when I know I should stay next to the brook and go uphill along the brook] leading me to explore an inter-brook area near A (standing stone, a couple piles, faint hints). Then I swung deliberately uphill to around B, where I started traversing right to left (east-to-west) across the tops of the different brooks until I got to C. There, there was a hint of a pile and, one thing leading to another, a mound just south of C. Then on down the brook to D where there was another mound [one I pictured recently with "sluice ways" in the brook] and across to yet a different tributary at D2, where there was another similar mound. Then back south, downstream to the car.

At A Heading down to the brook:
In a little wet pocket:
At A between the brooks:
Noticeable standing stone:
 In the distance:
I am astonished I did not notice that chunk of quartz until now, looking at the pictures. There were a number of small structures in an area between the brooks.  

Now let's get up to C (skipping occasional other things)
I noticed this digression in the wall:
Looking around, there was a rock pile directly out from this place in the wall. (Looking back):
Then you could see other things off to the side running in parallel with the wall, making this above pile one of a series of 'satellites' above a large mound (here we are looking back now towards the wall):
Now over to D (I showed this previously):
As noted previously (here), this looks across the brook to a larger pile. It seemed huge at first because I had been seeing only low ground piles during the earlier walk. So here it is, with other features behind it:
Here is the one in back:
Looking back from the valley of the next little brook (upstream from D2)
Continuing downstream (below D2 I guess)

[Walking through the gap seems pretty evidently indicated, given the trail through there.]

And down to another mound next to that brook:
It reminds me of a mound next to a brook at the top of the Falulah (being deliberately vague):
I note that most of the interesting features are on the west side of the brooks.

Effigy at the top of Falulah Brook