Thursday, March 27, 2014

Somewhat Serpentine (Along those lines)

dc got me started here: http://rockpiles.blogspot.com/2014/03/dcs-cool-peppercorn-hill-capture-and.html and I just keep looking, again and again...

...and this one is particularly interesting:
A wider view:
Changing directions:

Looking for the "Mr. Turtle" rock formation and Indian Caves:
Some of those "massive walls" from around where PWAX was {http://rockpiles.blogspot.com/2014/03/camp-str-milford-south-of-peppercorn.html}:
Thought I spotted a possible Serpent - a seemingly small segment of a row of stones:
But changing the view changed my mind:
Two views of this bit of modern bulldozer work:

Stonewall Destruction


      Today’s Flashback photo (if today was actually 9/6/13) shows a Stamford, Conn., road crew in the process of crushing old stonewalls to make them into roads. Seriously. The city bought a rock crusher in 1909 for $2,011 to save money on road building. The Guide to Nature magazine explains the rationale: “Everywhere in New England there are plenty of stone walls but in many places there are not good roads. So, as the old-fashioned saying goes, why not let one hand wash the other; that is grind up a few of the stone walls and improve some of the roads? Far be it from us to advocate banishing all the picturesque stone walls, but there is no danger of doing that, for a few stone walls go a long way in making enduring roads.” The photo was taken sometime between 1909 and 1914. At the time of the article, eight miles of roads were built. The Stamford Historical Society reports the following streets were made from stonewalls: Hope Street, from North Springdale to the Glenbrook trolley junction, and Crescent Street and Courtland Avenue, Glenbrook, Newfield Avenue, Belltown Road and Oaklawn Road.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

dc's cool capture (and the smoking guns)

My friend dc sent me an email that simply says:
"A BING MAPS capture close to Peppercorn Hill, Peter's latest post."

So I take a look at it, thinking, "Now that's a Cool Capture (as I take a digital photo of the screen):

So I'm pondering this and that about what I see, opening up every Rock Pile Entry that says "Peppercorn Hill," and turning the image around in the Bing Bird's Eye View:
I was also moving around to see other rows of stones right around there:
I decide to look around, try to figure out why it's called Peppercorn Hill, find a bunch of this and that like, maybe some Indian Place Names as clues to land use, discovering that:
      "The name (of nearby Lake) Maspenock comes from the Nipmuc dialect of Eastern Algonquin, and is written as MASSIBENOKIK, which means, 'The Waters At The Base Of The Great Hill', a direct reference to the steep rise of Peppercorn Hill on the shoreline in Upton (although elsewhere on the site I find: “Lake Maspenock” lit­er­ally means, choice fishing place or nexcellent (sp) fish pond.).
      In its original and natural state as shown on an 1831 map of Hopkinton, the lake probably had 30 or 40 acres of surface area, which made it a Great Pond. The fact that the surface area of Lake Maspenock is considerably greater that the natural pond was due to the construction of a dam at it's southern tip in 1833 or 1834 and it being raised to its present height in 1901-seven feet higher than the dam that was here in 1833…A dam at the southern end of the lake is indicated on town maps published as early as 1794 and it is believed that this was the site of one of the earliest mills constructed in colonial times (hardly a "natural state," but I let that go by, for History's sake)." - http://www.lmpa.org/about-lmpa/history/
        As I tickle Google with word choices, I finally find a fragment of a PDF that says in the description: "Parts of Peppercorn Hill , where you will be hiking, are privately owned, so ... --Peppercorn Hill is not Upton's highest point. Pratt Hill is 595 ... ---Several Indian Caves Can be found in the rocky area near the swamp." 
        So I attempt a time or two to open this up{ http://hopnews.com/peppercorn_hill_map_and_facts[1].pdf }, and when I finally able to do so, I find this map:
and a "Did You Know" text 
plus legend for the numbers (that looks best in a new window):
- and I think there's a couple smoking guns in here about who just might have made some of the stone constructions as I read: "Peppercorn is really "peck of corn," as in the Indians traded the land (or made a treaty to share usage of the land as they traditionally had been doing for a long time) for a peck of corn. There are Cranberry bogs (telling me just what some of those resource zones maintained by Indians I was pondering about just might be) and of course I rather like the fact that the "Mr. Turtle" Rock Formation is the clue that you are by the Indian Caves!!!"
      And when it says #3 and #8 on the map are the "old Indian settlements," I wonder what  people more familiar with the area might be able to tell me about that...

      Oh: I also found something new to me, a site called Peakery {http://peakery.com/peppercorn-hill/} with an interesting sort of 3D kind of topo map:



Monday, March 24, 2014

Hamburger Edge of Watertown CT (Again)

      It was just a month ago that I was waiting for the snow to melt around here.



And then just a few days later, I stopped at closer car lot to capture a photo or two of the progressive snow melting off of that same outcrop, thinking I should go back up there some time to the top of that out crop because I couldn’t recall that row of stones along the edge of that sort of steep ridgetop that sort of surprised me by showing up under that melting snow.






Interesting stuff along the way (above), I ended up on top of that outcrop, amid boulders and stones, looking west, out onto the Hamburger Edge of Watertown CT: 
Like this in Bing Maps, the Bird's Eye View with east at the top:
Or take a look on your own screen:
My labels for this section:
The 1965 aerial, east also at top:
It will come to me, just where these rows show up someday...
On the ridge top:
NW above, SSW below
Two or three person sized boulders, and many largish cobbles, make up the row.
Precarious footing on the business side of the drop, but maybe some stacking?
I had to get a few close ups of some face-like or head-like stones:
And odd sorts of choices for stacking some stones:
I could easily draw some eyes here, but the shadows help illustrate the two centered stones here as appearing head-like - one with a sharp beak maybe:
Mandatory fuzzy close-up of the beaky one:
More odd choices (for an Anglo-European farm fence):
But perhaps a good choice for a bird effigy in a pre-contact row of stones:
Possible turtle below, legs extended as if moving, ready to push back:
Another testudinate placement possibly, head and flipper:

Something bowl-like?

I'll wonder about this one a while, the shape, the flat stone and wedge:
A little stack on the flat side:
More interesting stacking:
(Kinda like floating in the air:) 
Bird-like again:
 
Right by a stone pile and a stained stone you may have seen before:
Another little stack:
The Corner:
Looking up and east:
Possible smile:
Possible beak and eyes on a stone placed "just so:":
Another metate-like deal with a big fat crusher?
Guess this one:
A High Point:
Note the (bad photo of) the reddish stone:
More atypical stacking - for a farmer:
(Note the stone much like the shadowy eyed one by the beaked stone way back toward the beginning:
Bear?
Another metate-like stone and possible mano:


The bottom is sort of rough though...
More artistic stacking of some unusual stones - little beaked bird in there, perhaps:
(wish I didn't cut off the tip of the beak in the close up)
Corner again:
More stone piles: