Sunday, January 22, 2017

Little Piece of My Childhood

Little Segment of Zigzag Stonework
(Bing capture with East at top)

That house in the upper left corner of the photo above is my childhood home, an old barn turned into a house – if I forget to close a door, now you know why. I actually did live in a barn...
The path I used to take over to the pond shows quite well, but that’s only because a few years back city water and sewer pipes were put in the ground, leading up to some proposed development that hasn’t been built yet.
A little over 50 years ago, there was another little pond in there with water as clear as glass – the modern kind, no hint of green - but there’s no trace of that maybe thirty foot in diameter circle of wonder at all any more. I think the spot was a sand and gravel pit for the original farm that’s also long gone, split up into parcels. I think someone with larger machines came in and finished it off (a good while back, judging by the small trees now filling back in the disturbed ground), even as the parcel for that big building was built up and expanded higher up – it’s a small hill made larger by dumping all sorts of trash around that edge of the leveled ground:
But what to my wondering eyes did appear, just other day, as I wandered in there for short little dog walk before running some errands? A segment of zigzag stonework somehow still sitting there, much to my surprise.

Don’t ask me why it still remains, why the stones weren’t harvested at the time the sand and gravel was removed. Maybe because of the irregular shapes of the stones, maybe a hundred other pragmatic (practical, matter-of-fact, sensible, down-to-earth, commonsensical, businesslike, having both/one's feet on the ground, hardheaded, no-nonsense) reasons. But it’s that same “point to point” approximate 10 foot distance from zig to zag, reminiscent of stones stacked rather than remnants of loose stones tossed up against a wooden snake rail fence, and yes, as often happens along these sorts of rows of stones, there are relatively larger stones, often triangular boulders, at the forward points of the zigzag:

And once again, there appears to be some sign of human enhancement to the stone, softened by the effects of time, as if to make the stone more resemble a rattlesnake and perhaps a Great Serpent:

(And what about the boulder below it? There’s a spot there on the right that sure resembles another eye as well...)
Above: another "point" boulder. Below: looking east and back toward the car. Wetland on the left, as is the segment of stones just below what might be what remains of a small esker (eskar, eschar, or os, sometimes called an asar, osar, or serpent kame, according to the Wikipedia entry), excavated ground on the right, part of the wall of trashy fill above it in the distance, covering the road that my mom used to drive her station wagon packed full of kids along to get to the little beach we used to go to - probably with sand from that little old farm gravel pit - back when the pond was still clean enough to swim in.

Above: looking west toward Wattles Brook and a former house lot, a parking spot for some Heavy Machinery. Below: the approximate location of the little walk described above:

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