Monday, September 23, 2019

Revisiting Quisset Wildlife Management Area in Mendon

The lower blue outline shows where I found a site previously (see here). Other places with rock piles were shown in the report but the major site was at that lower outline. Last Monday I went back with the plan to explore further to the north. So I ended up skirting the wetland clockwise and came across another major site, at the upper blue outline. Because of its relation to the nearby trail this new site is easy to find: from the trailhead at the end of Quisset Hill Rd., take the main trail and go right at the first fork, a few feet in. Follow this trail to the north, with a wetland to your right, and after about 1/2 mile the trail turns left and crosses a brook. Then uphill to a slight dip, as a higher water source drains away to your right (north) back into the main wetland. Follow that lesser, second valley north and you get there. The new site is placed similarly to the old site and skirting the wetland seems to have been a good strategy in this area. I would have found the old site that way and there are other spots with similar topography further north that may contain other similar sites. I'll have to go back. In any case, these sites are located on low ridges that penetrate the wetland.
I want to describe this new site in a bit of detail because it is a very classic mound-with-hollow, to one side of a collection of smaller satellite piles forming a grid - "marker piles". But here the satellite piles had a somewhat unique character: they were square, some having a larger "headstone". Here was the best photo:
The site was arranged like this:
The dots at 'a' and 'b' show mound and satellites. At 'c' there was a split wedged rock with its feet in the water (except it was dry) and at 'd' were a smaller pile and a twin rock-on-rock. 
At 'c':
 At 'd', higher up, above the mound:

Now let's see some more pictures of the "square" marker piles:


Mendon is in the Blackstone River watershed. The comment was made already that things are a bit different from the Nashua watershed. Square marker piles are rare to non-existent further north although I have described similar "boxes" in a variety of places - like Kezar Hill in northern Shirley.

Here are some views of the larger mound:
It is a rectangle with a dramatic piece of quartz at one corner (this corner faces towards the brook that starts below the split-wedged rock).
 Closer:

Covered with growth, it is a bit hard to make out that this is a rectangle with several hollows:
From above:
Panorama:

At first I thought I had stumbled back into the first site I found (lower outline above) but after walking around a while I realized this was a new place with its own special characteristics. All in all a beautiful and undisturbed site with many of the usual elements arranged in a unique way.

2 comments :

Dennis Dee said...

Great as usual Mr. Waxman... some awesome shots too!

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