Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Equinox is Cancelled

I want to express some thoughts about the corona virus pandemic. Perhaps readers would care to add something in the comments? On the other hand, if you would rather think about other things, I'll post some rock piles later.

I am lucky to be 67, getting social security, and owning my own house on Cape Cod. I am retired and already living in a bit of isolation, so staying at home is already what I am doing. On the other hand, worrying constantly if my nose drips, or I cough, or my lips get a bit dry... these make me expect to die - because my lungs are not in good shape. My wife was still working in Cambridge until last Tuesday, when I convinced her to stop going to work. But for the next two weeks, she is self-quarantined up in Concord. After 14 days, we are hoping she can come stay with me. So being alone is "lucky" but a bit unpleasant. We are all in a daze.

I have been taking some precautions. I figured to stock up on food sooner than later, because each time I go to the supermarket it becomes more likely I'll encounter virus particles. That means the shopping cart, the food on the shelves, the payment receipt - all are ways to get infected. So I carry an alcohol soaked sponge in a plastic bag, and wipe everything I touch, as well as my hands. But I am not allowed to touch my face until I get home and wash. Hard to remember!

Also I have been keeping up-wind and more than 6 feet from other people. I do not want to inhale air that someone else just exhaled. But I am desperate to have some human contact. So along with phoning family and friends constantly during the day, I also am taking walks and chatting with people on the street - keeping my distance. My son George says it is not hard to be 95% safe but getting to 99.99% would be nearly impossible. So I am taking precautions but not every possible one.

At the moment people are being friendly and supportive: a large puddle blocking my lane of the road and the oncoming driver blinks his headlights to tell me: go ahead and use his lane. Or waving at strangers as you drive bye. But the other day a guy was joking about being holed up in his house with a gun. I guess that kind of "Mad Max" future is a possibility. It may depend on shortages, if they occur - when people have to start breaking into other houses in order to eat. I suppose that is simply melodramatic. I hope so!

There are a couple of bright spots. One is that with the slow contemplative time passage, I end up doing some chores that seemed to always get postponed. Also thinking harder about some things. Recall: Isaac Newton's theory of gravity developed when he was sent to the country to avoid the plagues of the time. If I was younger I might be spending this time thinking about some interesting technical problem but, old as I am, I am reduced to trying to improve my drawing skills. I have been going out every afternoon to draw pictures of boats, water, and trees.

And this is bringing me closer to my far-flung children. We talk every day on the phone - something we didn't do before. It is a unique chance to get to know them as adults in a way that I would not have otherwise. We are all pretty healthy and will probably survive.

People around here are all taking precautions. The gas station attendant is wearing gloves and asks if I want to sign the slip using my own pen. In a lot of places they are being stupid. I hear Manhattanites are heading for the Hamptons and resuming a summer pattern of partying and restaurants. I heard they are licking a communal wall in Iran. I am sure you all know about the spring break partying of college youths down in Florida. We used to call that a "tax on the stupid". But stupid or not we are all likely to get sick eventually. For me, the goal is to postpone being sick until as late as possible - when the system has adjusted and knows how to handle it. In the meanwhile,  let's try to be comfortable and not too lonely. I am re-watching "Lord of the Rings" and trying to eat more vegetables.

In general, forest fires are good for the forest. Just no so good for the individual old trees. Good luck and best wishes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Ancient secret of lightning strikes at stone circles revealed

Not rock pile related:

I think this is relevant to ceremonial stone structures in the US is because places with high amounts of lightening do occur. and get noticed. It has been suggested [by Jic Davis] that some rock pile sites may be placed where there is a lot of lightening and, to confirm it, we did find effigies at that place, which might have been thunder-birds. Who knows? Pictures are no longer available.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Re-reading old posts

Came across this nice account from Chris Pittman, which I had forgotten:

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Protruding Head Variation (Madison CT)

A Hilltop Row of Stones above a salt marsh, a possible Serpent or Snake Effigy:
The inset shows the view above, highlighted in white, where two rows of stones intersect in an aerial photo from 1934:

    Another stacking method that distinguishes Indigenous Stonework from "imported methods of stone fence building" is one I once described to my mom as "snakes going that way and turtles and other stuff going this way." 


Stone Mounds on Facebook

Greenberry Wilson Mounds - Tennessee

YouTube - Fun starts around 12 minutes in, when it becomes clear he is talking about stone mounds:

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Pits and split wedged rocks from Taunton

I went back to Taunton, to the east end of Rocky Woods Rd (actually Westville), and had a less than spectacular walk. There were a lot of split-wedged rocks and I kept noticing pits in the ground which, had they been lined with rock, might have been called "mounds" (sounds contradictory).
 Pits are not easy to photo, but shadows help show what is there:

A fanciful thought: near a burial you sure don't want spirits from the nearby rocks out and about. 

Horseshoe in a rock pile

Reader Colin sent these pictures from northern Westford/Tyngesborough showing a rock pile with a broken horseshoe:

This is much like the example of a rock pile with a broken plow blade (see here). Taking the USET description of rock piles as "Prayers in Stone", let us pause and consider if a prayer might have been involved with leaving these broken farm artifacts inside a rock pile.