Tuesday, July 07, 2015

3rd Stone from the 4th

(taken on the 5th)
Up a small branch of tidal river, a bit of stonework touches the water.
The moon is still sort of full, so the tide is extreme and still rising.
I'm in a rented kayak and time is halfway up.

I capture a single image.

Back home, I try to see where I was
look for some stonework that might connect to this outcrop...
As I switch the view, I see what might be stones
As well as circular sorts of places that sort of resemble
some Clam Gardens along a creek in Delaware...
I can't zoom in any closer -
I see what might be rows of stones -
I see paths where people have been busy -
Doing what, I don't know -
- maybe gathering stones from long gone rows...

Monday, July 06, 2015

All the Places I Didn’t Go on the 4th of July

(Or the 3rd or 5th)

     There’s so many places I didn’t go on the 4th of July 2015.
     In fact the only place I did go was up “on top of world,” as two of my grandkids call it, up to a vantage point on Hard Hill Road where we watch fireworks from a distance, some legal, most illegal, bursting in the air.
     But the day before and the day after, my wife and I drove down to Westbrook where my mom lives so we could hang out with family visiting from far away, my son’s family from California, my brother’s from Kansas City.
      I was going to slip out to the stone wall behind my mom’s or maybe down to the river and the salt marshes but I never did. I was going to look again at some of the stone features or hunt for a clam garden in the salt marshes, but I didn’t have shoes, I forgot to bring the tripod and the tide was extra high, all those same old excuses.

      Mostly I looked at the new stone wall the neighbor across the road is still in the process of building in front of his house:
    I took a couple more shots of it, my only “stone” photos except for two other ones. I had to pull over to take this one, which isn’t much of a photo, but it shows the aftermath of the selling off of a beautiful row of stones, some of which ended up at the neighbor’s, and putting up a plastic privacy fence by a new housing development that just sprung up while I wasn't paying attention:
     The best I can do is to show you “before” is this lousy google earth street view capture before the pillaging took place:
    And sure, I got a couple old aerial “befores” from bing bird’s eye view:
The above might be the best, showing an undulating row of stones, perhaps representative of a Serpent Petroform…

      The biggest problem with bringing Stone Features of the Indigenous Landscape into an actual scientific “big picture” of a remnant of a Cultural Landscape is the mountain of documentation that has been built that “stone walls” any real true investigation into stone walls.
    I’ll give you a piece of a little bit of this from a 1995 newspaper story, published just a few years after I began to seriously doubt just about everything I’d ever heard or read about stone walls:
     “Many New Englanders view them as beautiful monuments to the industriousness of our ancestors, enduring remnants of a dying agricultural way of life. They believe all walls are like the carefully constructed jigsaw puzzles at estate entrances and roadsides.
      (Robert) Thorson doesn't see walls that way.
     ``They're simply linear piles of refuse,'' he says…
       Thorson, a geologist at the University of Connecticut who has written a book about stone walls, is no romantic. He has the eyes of a scientist.
      ``We use them as a touchstone to the past, almost a yearning past,'' he says of walls such as the one in his backyard woods in Mansfield. ``I see walls as eco-facts rather than artifacts.''

       The traditional story of how walls came to be is too simple, Thorson believes.”

       Well now, I think, it looks like we agree upon two points then. Finally. I agree with one more thing Thorson has said – the first that stone walls function as fuel breaks, but also that the traditional story is too simple
    But still, I’d like to take a look at the stone’s in Thorson’s backyard – to look for some artifacts contained in his stone walls design - pretty far from the view that most stone walls are refuse. Indigenous Cultures inhabited the North East for far longer than that brief agricultural period of plowing fields, using fire as a tool to maintain the Lanscape they were creating, perhaps using these stone constructions as fuel breaks in the more densely populated places.
    Maybe something like this, not too far from that Westbrook Stonewall Massacre by North Hammock Road, just across the street from that new wall in my Mom’s neighbor’s yard, out behind Mom’s barn where the stacking of stones is far from accidental, where the artwork of Indigenous stonework shows in some obvious zoomorphic effigies, especially Stone Turtles, are included in a stone wall:

     There’s more here:
     I’ve written about them elsewhere and at other times:
    And a few miles west along CT Route One, in a well-known state park that retains its Indigenous Place Name, is a fine example of a Species Specific Stone Terrapin, perched on and included into a “stone wall:”

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Curious Monuments (Cape Cod MA)

 "Curious Monuments of the Simplest Kind: Shell Midden Archaeology in Massachusetts" (2014).
Katharine Vickers Kirakosian
Doctoral Dissertations 2014-current. Paper 12

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Sacsayhuamán Serpents (Snakes forming Zigzag Stone Walls - Peru)

(Indigenous People elsewhere in the world constructing zigzag stone walls that recall Snakes or Serpents)

    Wiki: “Saksaywaman, Saqsaywaman, Sasawaman, Saksawaman, Sasaywaman or Saksaq Waman (Quechua language, waman falcon or variable hawk, hispanicized spellings Sacsayhuamán, Sacsayhuaman, Sacsahuaman, Saxahuaman and others) is a citadel on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Sections were first built by the Killke culture about 1100; they had occupied the area since 900. The complex was expanded and added to by the Inca from the 13th century; they built dry stone walls constructed of huge stones. The workers carefully cut the boulders to fit them together tightly without mortar…”
   “Snake form in stone at the ancient Inca site of Sacsayhuamán, above Cuzco, Peru. The form is thought to have been filled with decorative gold in Inca times.”

   “Snake form in stone at the ancient Inca site of Sacsayhuamán, above Cuzco, Peru. The form is thought to have been filled with decorative gold in Inca times.”
   “On one wall, you can see the snake made of stone. Who could resist petting the beast that encircles the entire wall?”

 (So - why not here as well?)

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Inca Ophiomorphic Imagery

(and a llama too)

Stone wall at Sacsayhuamán near Cuzco http://palove.kadeco.sk/photoblog/trip/129

The vast Inca Empire has many hidden mysteries all over the Andean mountain range, and their secret carvings can be seen if you take the time to look for them. In Machu Picchu, you can find many carved faces that are unseen by others. The Incas did not carve perfect figures like Mayas or Dravidians, but carved roughly to make mysterious figures.  Just like the Nazca Lines, the carvings seem to be done, for bigger, superior beings. People pass by in thousands without really looking at these mysteries, and some hidden shapes are just thought of as natural formations. We guarantee you that there are no coincidences are accidents in Machu Picchu.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Obed's Hammock and Clam Gardens

So I’m thinking “Are there any CT clam Gardens??
So suddenly I’m thinking of the Menunketeset River in Westbrook CT where I spent not enough time every year “hunting and gathering” Blue Crabs.
(Westbrook CT above, Pot Hook Creek below.)

So I go to those aerial views I can find, see how they compare to the Clam Gardens of Pot Hook Creek, to see if there are any visual similarities.

      And I think, “Well, maybe. Maybe those just might be something like that,” up the river from the Village once known as the Hawk’s Nest, maybe sometimes called Obed’s Hammock or maybe just confused with another place in Saybrook and I get lost a little trying to “Google it down:”

    "The quarter was set aside to provide farm and pastureland to residents of Saybrook Point. Permanent settlement soon followed. The area became known as Pochough, a Mohegan word meaning "at the confluence of two rivers,'' the Pochoug and the Menunketesuck rivers, home of Chief Obed and his tribe. The area has long been home to Native Americans, and a large village was at Hawk's Nest, now known as Pilot's Point..."  http://www.courant.com/hc-ot-westbrook-htmlstory.html
The Gages: http://www.stonestructures.org/html/pilots-point-stone-mounds.html

     But I get back to those images, and I move around in location - and in time, as my friend d.c. in Delaware sometimes does and has shown me how.
Or go to 1934:

Look for yourself up close: http://binged.it/1fqoyyb
And feel free to move in and zoom around.
And I’m still thinking maybe.
And I’m thinking “Could I get in there with a canoe or a kayak and sort of look around?”
And I’m thinking of all that stonework all around there on the dryland above those salt marshes, trying to recall if I’ve ever seen any extending into the salt marshes, wondering if there just might be some clam gardens in there.
Especially in the National Wildlife Refuge:
McKinney Sea Turtle?

    “Why not?” I’m thinking, despite all the dredging in the river and all the mosquito channels in the salt marshes - and the next terrace or two above the marshes where some pretty good examples of Indigenous stonework remains if you have the eyes to see it…