There is some Native American “expedient imagery” (Jack Steinbrig’s term for some stones that may have been at least minimally enhanced to more resemble an animal or human) in these stones – and what you see all depends on light conditions, along with some open mindedness. I have walked up these steps many times over the last 35 years but I am only just beginning to see what is there in those stones, most likely shaped and modified before finally being placed just as they are. And I’m glad it has taken so long for me to get to these steps in the restoration process, glad I didn’t give a go ahead to a stone mason or two (or three) who wanted to take it all apart and rebuild it all. That’s the “business” of stone wall construction and not the conservation of a unique stone structure that is about 300 years old.
I also had to walk thousands of miles of stone walls, unlearning everything I’d learned about stone walls in the first half of my life and begin to make my own sort of field guide to Indigenous Stone Walls, unlearn as well the Pristine Wilderness Myth the Puritans created and actually learn to see the Indigenous Cultural Landscape that underlies the modern landscape.
And start to realize that this is a pattern of Indigenous Stonework, a sideways looking Great Serpent – an Uktena or “Strong Looker” who knows the thoughts of the person just by looking at them:
And actually it is two Serpents at this gate – on the property of the first Puritan minister in a nearby town, more likely an Indigenous construction, Great Serpents guarding a section of domesticated landscape, than a colonial construction that resembles a symbol of a famous fallen angel who encouraged Eve to eat that apple. Build a snake for the Puritan Preacher’s farm and you’ll probably find out more about a witch trial than you really care to. These Serpent Stone Walls, this Serpent Gateway, was probably already existing in 1700, wooden rails added to it maybe to make it a legal fence according to early CT Property Laws. Before that, maybe there were some other enhancements to the Stone Snake Head features at this gate, perhaps antlers since various forms of representations of this the spirit being are portrayed as having horns (with other variations as well):
So, here at home, walking up our front steps one day, the light hit this capstone just right and I saw that perhaps this stone had been modified and was places as it was in order to resemble a snake or perhaps Great Serpent:
Note the possible turtle-like arraignment or placement of stones (and ignore that capstone I moved and placed on the adjacent one, above) , two forelegs extended on both sides of head pointed in the same direction, with a similar enhanced eye, the same curve to the upper lid. Above these “turtle parts” is a marble-like flat carapace and smaller capstone:
Sunrise, Vernal Equinox 2016, as seen from front doorway: