Monday, February 03, 2020

North Cumberland RI - Ash Swamp Brook

I took a walk in a substantial, open, woods behind a high school. I found the inevitable rock piles; about where they were supposed to be. There were no obvious stylistic differences between these piles in Rhode Island and others a few miles to the north in places like Upton.
What can never be learned entirely is where to expect rock piles, given a map like the one above. Clearly in a swamp like that, surrounded by hills with feeder brooks, and with relatively undisturbed woods, rock piles are almost guaranteed. In fact I turned back after finding one site and I have no doubt there are other things in similar settings all around that swamp.

How do you find these things? You pin down the rock piles between the water and the hill, either by sweeping the hill or by sweeping the water. It is very typical to follow a stream uphill and it is pretty straightforward to come down a hill, stopping at every water source. So in this case, I swept the hill: crossing it with one eye downhill towards the swamp and with expectations of finding marker piles on the slope or something interesting along the brooks (which you can see entering the valley from the left). Strange, it has been a couple weeks since I found this site and I am already confusing the details with what I found yesterday - because the configuration of swamp and brooks (from the west/left) was the same, and the exploration technique was the same, and the site location, with respect to water, was pretty much the same. Let's look at some pictures and, at least, record the site.
This looks like a "gap" piles that create a space between a pile and a boulder or another pile. There were several:
It sure looks like there is a path between these two piles:
Also a number of lovely little things, in their snow covered 'aspect':

This site was at a flat place where a brook goes around a big bend.

A little further along (north) and down the hill was another two or three piles, enclosed by outcrops and little bits of wall.
On my way back to the car, I note that the first site is along an ATV trail and looks like this upon entering from below:
You can see a boulder in the background. Note the wedge:
This site is only about half way up the brook, so there is probably more to see.

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