Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A pond overlook site

This is, without a doubt, the most complex site I've ever seen. The size and number of "Native American looking" structures is matched in size and intensity by an equally impressive number of "Colonial looking" structures. I'm putting this in quotes because I'm not trying to infer which is which or "what it is" versus "what isn't". It's just a way that I look at it to try and make some sense out of it.

There are some additional photos from this site at the Rock Piles blog.

First, a map of the site, drawn from photos and my memory, as both times I've been out it got too late to stay and draw a map. There are some question marks on the map because I did not follow every fence row or cairn row until it ended. Circles are cairns, elongated circles are stone walls, X's are very small rock piles, and oblong or circular markings with jagged lines are large rock piles or stone heaps.

Letter A on the map is 3 cairns on a bank.

Letter B is a view of this structure, that has one well stacked cairn and a rock pile or stone heap attached to it.

Letter C on the map, this is an interesting view of 2 cairns, one just above the other. This part of the site has 5 very nicely stacked cairns that are placed randomly on a bank. There is also at least one small stone pile here.

As somewhat of an aside, this site, to me, had an amazing ability to give a view of one cairn which, just above it, could be seen a second cairn and/or rock pile on the bank. Some of the photos I have demonstrate this, but none as well as the previous photo.

Letter D on the map. This is a tall, somewhat thin cairn that is on a boulder or outcrop. From this view, there is a rock pile is visible in the background. That rock pile does not connect to the piles to the east, but it does appear to be a continuation of those piles.

Letter E on the map. I was right next to the rock pile attached to a cairn and from here you can look to the east and see this strange line of rock piles or maybe this is just a very disorganized row of stones, but either way this view definitely shows the line of rock piles curve to the north.

Letter F on the map, this is another view of the rock pile attached to a cairn. The cairn is stacked over a small, upright boulder. This is the first of 3 "cairns attached to a rock pile" at this site.

Letter G on the map, this is something like a rock pile with a vertical face. It is very large looking from this angle (looking up at it), but appears much smaller when you are standing above it. It's very near to both the "enclosure" and the cairn in letter D, which is on a boulder, just below it.

This is letter H on the map and is part of the "fence row" that makes what I'll call an "enclosure", although I have yet to find the western wall or fence row of the enclosure. If it's there, it does not connect with the northern end of the fence row of cairns. This section (southeastern) has some of the most impressive cairns, with a stone row connecting them. There are also "holes" in many of the fence row cairns, to accommodate wooden fence rails. In some cases, the wooden fence rails were still present, although highly deteriorated. In at least one section, where there was a stone wall connecting cairns, there was also a wooden fence rail that extended between the cairns and was still lying on top of the stone wall, so at least one section had both a stone wall and a fence rail connecting cairns.

Letter I on the map, this is approximate in position on the map, as there are several rock piles and rocks on large boulders within the enclosure. This one caught my eye because of the stone leaning against the structure.

Letter J on the map, also approximate, just based on what I can remember. These are two very nice stone piles within the enclosure. The enclosure "fence row" cairns can be seen in the background.

Letter K on the map, I do not recall if this is the very end cairn of this row, but it is definitely near the top, if not the first one. The majority of the cairns in the east/west row here are smaller than the cairns in the other (southern most) east/west row.

Letter L on the map, this is a close up of the stone on top of the cairn.

Letter M on the map, these are the 3 largest cairns in this east/west row and there is a very low stone row connecting them.

Letter O on the map, this structure is an "L" shaped cairn or small row, and is the second of 3 cairns with a rock pile attached to it. The rock pile is to the far left in this picture. In this case, the rock pile is smaller than the cairn. The portion of the cairn farthest to the right is stacked on top of a boulder or outcrop. Just to the left of the rock pile there is a gap or space between structures that is at the corner of the "enclosure". The other unique feature is that this structure is in a line with the north/south row cairns so that it is incorporated into the "fence row".

Letter P on the map. This is another view of the same structure above, attempting to highlight the "L" shape of the structure.

Letter Q on the map. This is the third of 3 rock piles attached to a cairn. The short cairn is to the right hand side of the picture. In this case, the cairn is part of the row of short cairns that changes into a stone wall and goes all the way to the road.

Letter R on map, this is the stone wall among a row of short cairns. It goes over a low outcrop and a boulder. There are short cairns attached to each end of the stone wall.

I might add, also, that the pond this site overlooks is an impoundment. It is a Delaware River headwater. If you go just a short distance north, over the next mountain, the Delaware River basin ends and the Susquehanna River basin begins.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NYC DEP Land open for hiking

"A New York City Department of Environmental Protection permit will no longer be needed to access approximately 13,000 acres of city-owned land in the Catskills.

State and city officials completed an agreement Thursday to allow hiking, hunting, fishing and trapping without a city permit on city-owned parcels that are adjacent to state Forest Preserve land."

For the full article, visit The Daily Star by clicking on the title.

Maps showing the affected areas in parts of Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties are available by clicking here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

To Effigy or not to Effigy

I recently posted a new site on Rock Piles, a place I visited last spring, but missed the best site on the top of the mountain.

This is a structure I found in this same general vicinity. Leading up the mountain, some rocks on a boulder. Here is a side view. When I find something like this, I'm always looking for an effigy:

Here's a view from the top. For a long time, I thought this doesn't look like anything I can relate to:
But now, I'm wondering...
...if this looks like:

This image is from Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Well, it's known commonly as Orion, but some call him Long Sash.