Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Photos from the Norbeck prescribed fire

   These are photos taken October 20-21, 2014 at the Norbeck Section 2 prescribed fire being managed on State, Federal and private lands approximately 4 miles northeast of Pringle, South Dakota.

      Imagine instead of wire fence and a mowed path, a “stone fence" in New England.”
      Imagine instead of a stone fence, a long snake-like geoglyph or a Petroform Great Serpent at the Eastern Gate of Turtle Island...
       The Guarding Great Stone Serpents, who know your intentions, who have been offered tobacco, that enclose a place have been repaired. The firewood has taken away to the enclosure where the wigwams are, and now the Ceremony continues as fires are being set along those Guarding Serpents, burning toward the center...
   There is a Song and Smoke in the air...
Both rise up to the Creator...
   Imagine a quarter or perhaps half a million miles of rows of stones, stacked like snakes, connecting yet separating Places on a Sacred Stone Landscape, , snake heads up on the High Places, tails in the watery entrances to the Places where the Great Serpents live and travel along.
    And the whole Stone Garden is dotted with stone mound monuments of many kinds, somewhat similar yet each as individual as a snowflake...
     Remember: these fires are beneficial low ground fires, not destructive crown fires that consume all. 
    Note the trees still standing above the blackened ground...

The Tribal Perspective of Old Growth in Frequent-fire Forests—Its History
     “Native Americans used fire for hundreds to thousands of years to manage forests and construct old-growth structure before European settlement (Cronon 1983, Delcourt and Delcourt 1997, Anderson 2005). Details of these practices can be generalized from historic records and reconstructions of habitat characteristics before European contact. Although the intent to uncover history validates historic habitat structure, the evidence of Native American influence is minimized or lost through misinterpretation by non-Indian perceptions of American Indian history (Wilson 1996) and the effects of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) use (Simpson 2004). Native American people have long had an immediate relationship with their physical environment and were cognizant of its rhythms and resources. Their management of natural resources and the altering of landscapes with fire are grounded in generations of accumulated wisdom and a reciprocal obligation with all animals and inanimate beings (TEK; Simpson 2004)...
     Colonization in New England began at a time when the ecological conditions of extensive regions of North America depended on prescribed fire use by Native Americans. The ecology of these landscapes began to be changed by European settlers who altered the uses of the land, and by the forced decline of the Native American people and their use of ecological knowledge (Cronon 1983, Stewart 2002). Changing patterns of native resources use by European invasion altered the physical and cultural landscape in this “New World.”
     To the Europeans, the overall resource abundance of the New World—as evidenced by the old-growth forests, large herds of animals, large flocks of birds—seemed infinite. The fur trade and lumber industries opened the door to resource exploitation...
     One can postulate that a similarity exists between the reduction of old-growth forests and the decline of Native American populations, which have been forced to assimilate, and the outlawing of their TEK practices, such as the use of fire... Indeed, tribal communities have been preserved for centuries because of their knowledge of the natural, spiritual, and ecological world, and their understanding and respect for the interconnectedness between humans and all other living things (Moller et al. 2004).
Combining Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Monitoring Populations for Co-Management
Henrik Moller1, Fikret Berkes2, Philip O'Brian Lyver1, and Mina Kislalioglu2

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

White Quartz Mystery Folder

I can't remember where I got these photos in a "White Quartz (Mystery) Folder:"

I'll post them and then try a Google Image search for them...

Winery Serpents - Clinton CT

(Palm Tree made of old wine cask parts)
    Travelling past the Madison Mastodon of yesterday's post and crossing the Clinton town line (not to be confused with the Hammonasset Line), I found myself wandering a vineyard with friends.
     Here's a place where you can see in action the somewhat haphazard method of stone wall (sort of ) building - even if it is just adding stones to an already existing "stone wall."
    And sure, if you follow along with most of what is "documented" or assumed about New England Stone Walls in your field guide, you might assume that there's no harm in that, just carrying on an old Yankee tradition of stone "tossing" and "field clearing."
But then the imaginative researcher just might look below the modern layers and look at the lowest and oldest, searching for some of those signs of Indigenous Iconography.
I found a spot relatively free of any obviously recently added stones...
        I look for more or less "matching" types of stones laid out in a row behind a larger stone that could be said to resemble the head of a snake, especially if I see the suggestion of an open or closed eye, either something that could be natural or even sometimes pecked or polished.
I found what I consider a good example in that little segment:
Top: the original photo; bottom: an enlargement and overlay.
Below - Further Fooling with the Paint Program:
Another segment:
And another:

Monday, August 29, 2016

Madison Mastodon Maybe (CT)

(Fuzzy cropped and enlarged image stolen from Google Earth)

     I’ve pondered over two stones that I suspect to be stone representations of a mastodon:
  “What is it? I don't really know. I don't think it's a turtle, but could it be a bear?” I wrote back in 2009, thinking, “Stick some tusks on it and maybe it's an older creature from way, way back...”
I thought about it some more:

and some more again when I came across another, which back in the days when the mastodon roamed, would have been perched on a high spot on the same glacial lake – or the resulting floodplain after a geological event, reflected in local Indigenous Legends about the Sleeping Giant:
   Well, if one stone mastodon is an accident, then two stone mastodons could be a possible coincident. A third stone mastodon, briefly viewed from a moving vehicle, perhaps under closer examination, might be considered a stone mastodon conspiracy. I don’t have my own photos (yet), but Google Earth Street View allows me to recreate the unconfirmed sighting. I was peering out the windows from the back passenger side of the car, looking at the edges of the bulldozed home lots, some with new decorative stone work, here and there an old wall, often rebuilt or possibly sprayed with a defoliant, killing all the old moss and lichens as I suspect at the home of someone who is collecting wooden fences:
Two interesting triangular boulders - possibly part of the original row of stones:

 Yet one more triangular boulder still attached to a remnant of a “stone wall:”
Is there evidence of "sculpting" of these three boulders, yet more snake-like head stone boulders at the end of a row of mostly cobbles??  
   Eventually, in the distance I noted the exposed spine of a big bedrock out crop and many boulders, sprinkled with cobbles as well:

I can’t recapture the view I had of the seeming “face of a mastodon” but I immediately was reminded of the “eye” of the Woodbridge Mastodon, shown below:

  The best I could do is a not the head one view I wished for (blocked by a tree and the utility pole in the GE captures), so this distant view will have to do:

     A depressing view from the sky, the bedrock ridge in yellow, the suspected mastodon in red, surrounded by the modern developments of various kinds slowly erasing possibly related stone features probably of various kinds:
    This could be a possible Ceremonial Stone Landscape with a hint of Mastodon Hunting Magic made by the Ancestors back when the ice was melting...
   As they say, “Further Investigation is needed,” but then again this is on private land in Connecticut where Stone Features of what once was the Indigenous Garden at the Eastern Gate of Turtle Island, a form of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Ceremony, going back to the time of the Ice Giants and continuing up to Contact time, disappear everyday...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hammonasset Line

I was looking at the Hammonasset Line Chapter 1: A Summer Solstice Sunset Line; A Field Report by Tom Paul (2001) New England Antiquities Research Association

     Rather than a line, I see Indigenous Stonework as more like a spider web, connecting yet separating the Sacred Landscape - a big New England sized rock garden...

Look at the oldest of maps, before the Indian Place Names were “ethnically erased:”

   Maybe “Where the basket trees are” in a Algonquin dialect becomes 'Black Ash Swamp'
Until it’s dammed and called Foster’s Pond

“Hill of the Stone Turtle” becomes Buell’s Hill
        And those Guarding Stone Serpents slowly disappear
And another bit of the Great Eastern Garden is forever gone...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Park Rd. by CT Trail (Watertown CT)

Obviously a turtle:
Also a Serpent:
(I've been taking note of a sometimes repeated pattern of a flat slab directly behind the head-like stone, as well as the two double smaller cobbles also sometimes found behind the snake-like head-like stone - and here's both!)
Maybe the turtle is also a single backward pointing single horn?
Where did I just see that??

Here it is: