Monday, June 05, 2023

Snake Work at the Nonnewaug Watch House

   Somehow or other, I intend to keep this interesting Nonnewaug Stonework from falling apart as I conserve it rather than rebuild it. My best guess about it is that sometime around 1700, Indigenous Stone Specialists created this stonework as part of a treaty facilitated by Captain John Minor in behalf of the Pomperaug Plantation, now present day Woodbury CT. Minor became the nominal owner around the time of the Plantation's 1740s Homelot Division and the house was probably one later traded by a grandson for another property nearby...  

Rather than a dressed rectangular block of stone,
this capstone resembles an Eastern Timber Rattlesnake,
rather realistically in many ways.  

The rattlesnake in many ways shares characteristics with an Indigenous Spirit Being known by many names such as the Horned Serpent or simply Big Snake:
    "Horned serpents are a type of mythological freshwater serpent common to many tribes of the eastern United States and Canada. Horned serpent legends vary somewhat from tribe to tribe, but they are usually described as huge, scaly, dragon-like serpents with horns and long teeth. Sometimes they move about on the land, but are more often found in lakes and rivers. The ubiquity of horned serpent stories in this region has led some people to speculate that they are based on a real animal (such as some sort of now-extinct giant crocodile.) However, in Native American myths and legends, horned serpents are usually very supernatural in character-- possessing magical abilities such as shape-shifting, invisibility, or hypnotic powers; bestowing powerful medicine upon humans who defeat them or help them; controlling storms and weather, and so on-- and were venerated as gods or spirit beings in some tribes. And unlike other animals such as crocodiles and snakes, horned serpents are not included in common Woodland Indian folktales about the animal kingdom. So it is likely that horned serpents have always been viewed as mythological spirits, not as animals, and that belief in them was simply very widespread in the eastern part of the country. Indeed, horned serpent mythology may trace back to ancestors of Eastern Native American tribes such as the Hopewell, Mississippian, and other mound-builder civilizations, as stylized serpent motifs have been found in their earthworks and artifacts which bear some resemblance to the horned serpents of historical Native American tribes..."

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus): "Rattlesnakes can usually be identified by the distinctive, segmented rattle at the tip of the tail. Other distinguishing characteristics include vertical eye pupils; large heat-sensing pits between the eyes and nostrils (known as pit organs); a flattened, unmarked, triangular head about twice the size of the neck; and keeled scales (raised ridge in the center of each scale, making the skin appear rough)..." 

Below the Capstone, perhaps a two headed snake as"chinking stones:"

Overlay with Rattlesnake Eyes
(and two rhomboidal "jewels" behind the heads):

Lifting a big fallenstone:

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Buddy's Walk Part Three

 Snake at the Edge (& Two "Leftover" Photos)

   My mom said something about a little bit more land was acquired by the National Preserve, so I can neither confirm or deny that this Snake at the Edge would now be included...


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Buddy's Walk Part Two (Westbrook CT)

Continuing on from the previous post:

"Buddy's Video"

The "Upright" Stacking of Stones:

Above: A Stone "Stands Up"
Below: A Somewhat Turtle-like Stone 'stands out."

That same Turtle-like stone from the otherside:

It was quite near the turning point in Buddy's Walk
and most likely actually is on the National Preserve,
if I read the maps and the property line "stone walls" correctly:

The Hour of the Pearl began as "Buddy"began walking back:

The change of perspective or point of view sort of captured the Serpent-like qualities of the roadside row of stacked stones at this spot:
I suspect another Hour of the Pearl might lend itself to a more spectacular view
of this Stone Snake crawling over the outcrop,
much like the signage by the driveway where the new clearing began: