Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Oldest Trails, Older Trails, and Old Trails In Among the New Trails (Part One “By the Stream”)

(Above: taking another look at a possible large white quartz “Serpent Head-like” boulder at the “gateway” to a trail leading NW. Note the slight angle of placement, as if the “Strong Looker/Uktena” was indeed looking at a person – and his or her dog –about to enter this trail. The row of stones behind the head leads to the stream.)

     I was out (finally), looking around at suspected trails myself just yesterday (1/i2/2016), thinking about which was which, which was when, and just where do certain trails lead to and just who made them, as well as why did someone make them.
     I returned to this spot below, illustrated by an aerial photo from 1934, a snapshot in time I can attach a date to and puzzle about just what I see, compare it to what I can observe on the ground, and plan what to further investigate next time I do another walk-about:

     For some reason it’s easier for me to visualize where I was by flipping the image (and attempt to map my observations) so that south is at the top, pointing me back to home and the Nonnewaug Wigwams, since what local histories imply is that the Indigenous People who lived there did travel here and other places around it, “hunting and gathering” you could say, but as local histories also tell us, burning over the landscape, for many reasons more perhaps than to just clear the underbrush to improve the hunting:

     I really just ventured into that stand of pines with the grey question mark, by way of the water feature in blue in the bottom left corner. There was active tree work happening in the area I really wanted to get into to attempt to take some better photos than I had gotten before on two previous visits.
      I ventured into that “gateway” trail just a little bit since I’d only taken a look at it when it was snow covered last time I was here. And there was another “stone gateway” pointing me toward where I wanted to go, so I scrambled over the fallen tree through it:

Trying to capture the whole “gateway,” the massive wall behind the big white quartz boulder that crosses and then turns into a sort of retaining wall along the stream in the distance:
North side, intersecting “undulating” intersecting row above it:

Observing: big triangular boulders as a base. Wondering: Oldest segment on the bottom, a low serpent-like construction? Observing: smaller stones on top of those, riding up almost wave-like. Wondering: a later addition? A larger serpent head representation composed of small stones?
South side of the “gateway,” undulating toward the stream:

Closer, noting all the quartz, and the roundish stones mixed in with the “easy” slabs, some placed as if possible eyes of possible effigies, mostly zoomorphic, and a capstone-like layer on the top:

This segment dips into the stream at present. I suspect but will never know if there were a sort of culvert built into it at this point. I do know that upstream not too far, as well as in other places on the property, other culvert-like structures exist still:

The small dark spot in the photo above is a still functioning culvert, shown closer below:

The other side, modern culvert and recent repair of the “causeway” (including the trucked in gravel in circa 2003) with the older stone culvert still doing all the work:

Note the little bit of water in the near distance on the left of the photo. It could be a little filled in pond. On my way out I took better notice of it:
And another culvert-like structure made of stone (that needs a better photo):

Across the Land Trust Trail, a few bubbles let me know that it drains into the bigger stream, a few more larger stones giving that too a culvert like appearance:
(Also deserving a better close up image :)

One more thing to note: On the ridgetop directly behind me as I stood to take the above photo is a short segment of stone – possibly two segments with a gap in between – that I’ve only seen close up with a dusting of snow on old snow about one year ago:
I’ll toss in a couple more photos out of sequence, taken on the way out, since they fall under the By the Stream category, some more stonework that includes another upper culvert and causeway above the big one, promising Part Two to soon come:

Other visits to the same place (by the stream):

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