Friday, July 21, 2017

Path Between Two Stone Rows (Bethlehem CT)

Dropping off a small percentage of my grandchildren at Summer Camp,
I happen by the Preacher's Preserve and take a little walk.
I should tell my friend Bob that here's another spot
Where you can walk between the stone borders of an unpaved Indian Trail...
Well, a trail off of another trail
- you could use it to get somewhere
And with a little bit of mutual co-operation,
When fire maintained the trail,
A group of hunters might use it as a game drive...
How do I know these stones are of Indigenous Origin?
The assumption is that these are Estate Walls,
Built for the first Puritan Minister of the New Light,
Long maintained by farm hands on a working farm,
But if that's true, then why the snakes and turtles, 
The rhomboidals and spirit faces in these rows of stones?
The first breach in the long row (above) is near what I've assumed,
Like many others, is a foundation of some sort,
A long gone barn perhaps, but suddenly I see:
This is a Great Serpent, with a white quartz stone eye...
(I think of Matt Bua's photo:)
(I think of this one not far from here in Washington CT:)

Close up of the eye, and a healing diamond "scale..."
Zoomorphic stones abound - perhaps the face of a bear??
I looked into a niche on the opposite side,
And I have to confess:
I stared at this a long time,
Thinking I was seeing a living animal...

I finally decided that the "animal" was way too motionless,
Set the camera to take two photos,
The first with no flash: 
The second with a flash,
Prepared to jump back - just in case... 
Forelegs extended, a turtle-like face, not an uncommon pattern,
These occur elsewhere, including the foundation and other stonework around our circa 1700 home:
Turtle head in a nuchal notch: 
I wander what the fallen stone looks like,
I wonder if it matches the one still in place... 

Perhaps, I was thinking,
What a skeptical person needs
Is a grandchild to walk with them,
To look for faces on the stones,
To spot the turtles of many sizes and shapes
In these rows of stones...

This is sort of a "new" (to me) form of turtle,
a profile with an extended neck
- and the carapace suggests "box turtle:" 

Box Turtle image lifted from:

Flickr Album "Preacher's Again:"

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reawakening on Turtle Island

   I haven’t felt this good in years it seems. It’s like coming out of a fog that I’ve been lost in, returning to the familiar, coming back home.

   It’s like reawakening from a series of long nightmares in which I couldn’t walk without pain and I could only stutter as I tried to speak thoughts I couldn’t complete. I’d wake up already tired, sometimes soaked in sweat and shaking, vision blurry, a ringing in my ears.

   There’s times I wished I wouldn’t wake up at all, just to put an end to it, to be done with the depression and fear, every physical pain, the constant headache and confusion – every the symptom you read about people experiencing untreated Lyme Disease (or Chronic Lyme or Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” (PTLDS)  - except that Bell’s Palsy that affects the muscles of the face.

   You might see some evidence of that battle on these electronic pages, where words of my own appeared less and less, some posts just a series of photos. I’ve got a hundred drafts I started and never finished, some of which I don’t remember writing...

   Is it over? I don’t know. There’s more tests to come and possibly further treatments in the near future. Permanent damage? I don’t know – I can walk pain free now, I can read and the words make sense, and I’m not afraid when the wind blows in the trees – don’t have to close the curtains and hide inside the house. It might be two years I've been carrying this around - it could be as much as twenty my doctor tells me - there's no way to really know.
   The only disappointment is the time lost that I’ll never get back - and the realization that the results of the last Presidential Election aren’t a delusion. I deeply regret what I've put my family through, becoming some sort of stranger prone to anger and letting them down with all I could not do for them...

  So here I am, writing for the first time in a long time, Reawakening on Turtle Island – and, as both my wife and Kris Kristofferson’s wife say: “The son of a bitch is back.”

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Prehistoric fish trap made of rock walls discovered near salmon stream in Alaska

"Archaeologists have discovered a prehistoric fish trap constructed of rock walls near the mouth of a salmon stream on Alaska's Kodiak Island. The trap is in a lower intertidal zone that's covered by ocean water at high tide and exposed at low tide, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Tuesday (28 Jun 2017)...Archaeologists at the Alutiiq Museum in the city of Kodiak identified the trap. Salmon at high tide could swim into the stream, and when the tide receded, fish would be stranded in one of two corrals, said Patrick Saltonstall, the museum's curator of archaeology...
...The trap reminded Saltonstall of stone walls of a New England farm...."
Tim Visel once wrote "At the lowest tide, the rocks could be exposed and function like a stonewall fence, which basically it was," as he described “Chaffinch Island, a public park in Guilford, CT, (which) shares a similar feature – a stone fish weir from a headland. Here a similar bowl coastal feature directed fish much in the same way. In South Cove, in Old Saybrook, at the northeast corner of this bowl, a pronounced stonewall protrudes to create a V-trap. The amount of stones used was tremendous, and some assemblage is clearly visible on satellite imaging in the areas of the headland..."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cemamagĭ Doʼag or “Tumamoc” (AZ)

    “Tumamoc, which is an O'odham word for "regal horned lizard",[2] was a home to the ancient Hohokam people. It is the site of the earliest known trincheras village, consisting of 160 foundations of round stone structures, as well as large stone perimeter walls.[3] Over 460 petroglyphs and a prehistoric garden beside the hill provide further evidence of Tumamoc’s importance to these people.[3] For long after that time, 1,300 years ago, the site continued to provide resources to the Tohono O'odhamAkimel O'odham, and the Hopi. It has also been reported to be a burial site for the Apache and the O'odham.[3]
Captain Juan Mateo Manje, a Spanish military commander, wrote the following about Tumamoc Hill after seeing it on one of his expeditions with Father Kino between 1693 and 1701:[4]
We passed in sight of, and around, a mountain where there are 100 terraces of stone wall in the form of a snail, spiraling to the top. They say it forms an armory, where in former wars those who gained the heights first were usually victors. Those who reached the first ring went around to the second, and as far as was necessary to exhaust the supply of arrows of those below. Then they came down from the mountain and fell upon their enemies and killed them.[4]
    Note that Manje refers to "former" wars, indicating that the fighting took place in prehistoric times (before the arrival of Europeans). Being that the O'odham are probably descendants of the Hohokam, it does not seem unreasonable to conclude that the Hohokam, who lived only a few centuries before Manje's expedition, did as their later relatives apparently did and used their trincheras to fall upon their enemies and kill them.[4]

    European settlers prized the rock and clay found on the hill for building in the late 19th century, and early ecologists just after the turn of the 20th century selected it for the site of the Carnegie Institute's Desert Laboratory.[3][5] The hill continues to be a landmark and a sanctuary for the people of Tucson today. The road up Tumamoc Hill is a popular destination for walking and running. The entrance to the road up the hill is located across from St. Mary's Hospital on the south side of Anklam Road. It is open to pedestrians in the early mornings and evenings. The steep hill provides a strenuous workout, as well as citywide vistas. Lectures on the unique history and ecology are presented for the public at the site...”