Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Flume Pond - Sippewisset, Falmouth MA

Been a while since we had a standard report:
Flume Pond is a Falmouth "300 Hundred Committee" conservation land. Several stone walls (in light blue) cross a ridge of higher ground next to a pond, that was probably connected to the ocean at one time. Along the north side of a ridge are a couple of "grids" (upper dark blue outlines) and on the south side, where another wall comes down to the very tip of an inlet, there were several features: a large boulder connected to the wall, a couple of small rock piles (lower dark blue outline) and a linear earthen "berm" (orange line) that parallels the wall and the water. I would have called it a ditch except it is above and parallel to the water. This spot, by the inlet, is a place where brackish water is coming up directly under the oak trees.

You walk along the ridge following a stone wall. Right at the beginning is a vernal pond and a small bit of wall wraps the pond. Next to the vernal pond, a fine example of a split wedged rock:

You keep going along the trail for a minute and see a rock pile off to the right. An older trail leads down to the water on the right (north side) to a place where a boat would be easy to launch. As the trail goes down to the water a small collection of rock piles appear. Upon investigation there are several different clusters of piles out along the ridge, and all the way to the tip of the higher ground sticking into the pond.

I poked around more carefully and would say there are 20 or so piles in the whole area. Yesterday I spent a while looking closely at the first collection of piles on the northern side of the ridge and going down to the water. I started to notice the piles were a bit evenly arranged along lines and started looking for missing piles where the "grid" had me expecting them - ending with my brushing leaves off of several piles I did not see at first. Then I tried to memorize the layout and, getting it at least viusalized, was able to record the layout with bits of dead leaf on a rock:
(Click in to see it better.)

I also explored more extensively in a bulbriar patch that covers the southern side of the ridge. Where the inlet cuts into the land and meets another stone wall, there were a couple of little rock-on-rocks right down at the edge:
 Looking south over the final inlet:
Just to the side of this, as shown in the map fragment, was an unusual earthen feature. Like a stone wall, parallel with a stone wall (shown in previous picture) but made of earth:

Otherwise this is a site with several different typical "grids". In my experience these are usually found near larger mounds, often lower and less conspicuous than the piles of the grid. I did find a larger "bump" with a few rocks poking out that might meet that description.

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