Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Raven Speaks at 1:02...

...and I am babbling about compass directions toward the end of the video. The compass readings are 12 or 13 degrees (call it 12 1/2), and 310 degrees when I say something like "this other way" is "327". When I finally got the GPS compass to hold level, it definitely sat at 310, but this does not account for the azimuth. The raven is the best part of the whole video! This is the last video I have from "The Bowl".

Laurel Hill Walks

Another recently started blog from Johnstown, PA is Laurel Hill Walks from the Conemaugh Gap area. Welcome L!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A new website at has excellent photos from Massachusetts. Click either of these links to stop by and have a look. Welcome Walter Long!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A video of the northern end of the bowl

Volume alert: The wind was high and a couple of places in the video are very loud, so you may want to turn the volume down.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A few videos from in and around the bowl

I've taken a few videos lately from in and around the bowl. Here's the first one, of a large rock pile (one of three) that is in the bowl, near a curved stone row. There is something interesting I noticed when I listened to the videos: the first video (this one) is taken in the bowl and you can hear the wind and the trees groaning and cracking. Yet, the wind doesn't come across in the video, against the camera mic like it does in one of the other videos, which I will post later.

I took this video to show how this one rock pile in particular is collapsed and may have had a niche opening, also now collapsed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Steam Mill near the Mormon Hollow Spur

I didn't find much on this last hike before big game rifle season starts. I resorted to following some stone walls in an area that looked promising. After hiking for quite a while (and kicking up a sleeping deer in a warm spot along a clear cut, now overgrown), I found two rock piles near a stone wall.That stone wall in the background is typical of the walls I was following.

A close up of the upper rock pile:Looking in the opposite direction, downhill, over the two rock piles:
When I crossed Mormon Hollow Spur and headed uphill, I found a very different looking rock wall. At first, I thought "cairns", because I could see the very obvious gap between the wall, making it look like separate structures. Walking up to it, the sun just above the wall (in the morning) created a dramatic effect, but didn't do anything to help the photos turn out better. A cloudy day would have been better. These pictures were taken with the sun to my back, opposite the way I walked up to the wall.
I believe that gap was created by part of the wall tumbling down. But I can't help to ask myself, why was the wall constructed that way? Wouldn't one over two and two over one prevent this from happening?

The end of the wall on the eastern side (near the gap):
The end of the wall on the western side (far from the gap):

As I walked down Mormon Hollow Spur to get back to my truck, I found this along the side of the road, in an area slated for logging (note the blue paint):

I have a couple of videos, but I'm having trouble getting them to upload, so I will try to put them in a separate post.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Some additional photos of Barbour Brook

I posted about this site on Rock Piles today.This is a close up of the pile in the background in the photo above:

The hole in the tree makes an interesting background for this rock pile:

A little blurry, but an interesting small pile:

Facing roughly southeast, overlooking part of one of the ground structures, up toward the boulder with the wedges:
Facing roughly west, overlooking the creek branch, the large rock pile is in the background:

These are all west of the creek branch.
Two photos of the same pile, but from different angles:

From the side:Overlooking the creek branch:
This is one of my favorite.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Arctic China hilltop

I posted about this site at the Rock Piles blog. Here are some additional details.

First, a close up of the wedge or middle rock inside of that nice rock pile that is just a short distance away from the clear cut.

I really like this rock pile. It has a red wedge which I've seen a lot of, as well as something like a niche closer to the ground. I've seen that type of construction in a few places, both within rock piles and also (in at least one case) at the end of a stone wall.

There is also what appears to be a standing stone on this same hilltop. This view is looking toward where the boulders are located (you can just make out the clear cut in the background). If this standing stone is intentional, there is a combination of shapes here that can't be ignored with the smaller rock in front.

Looking at the standing stone from the opposite direction, there is also a rock pile nearby, but I could not make out good construction of that rock pile, so I can't say whether that's a man-made rock pile or something else.

Then, here is a panorama of the last structure I found up there. At first, I thought it was a foundation. However, the square part of this structure (to the far right in the photo) only has 3 sides.

Here is a video of that structure. The white paint on the trees about halfway through the video is the trail marker. The Finger Lakes Trail goes right through the middle of this structure.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stone walls - some with end stones

There's been some discussion about stone walls lately at the Rock Piles blog, so I thought I'd post a few of the ones I've found, in one post. All of these pictures, with the exception of the last photo and video, have been posted here before.

First, this one with the strange ending and "hole" near the bottom:

After looking at the photo above, it reminded me of this wall, which I looked at recently. This wall is purportedly near a burial ground:

Then this wall bulge is my favorite. It has been pointed out to me that the wall leading up to the bulge (that could make up a snake's body) is constructed differently than the wall leading away from the head (on the right hand side in this photo):

This is a straight-on view of the "head" at a different time of the year. The boulder at the base is easier to see here:

Then this one, which is at the border of State Land (the yellow paint on the trees). But which came first, the wall or the border? And what about those other stone walls that connect (perpendicular) to this one? If we can establish, with the wall bulge, that part of the wall was added onto at a later time, can we do that for other walls, as well?

That stone wall (above) is not far from the site with the rectangular rock piles:

This next stone wall runs east-west up a hill. It has no end stone, but starts at the edge of where a swamp runs out (downstream) and ends near the base of a steep incline up a small mountain.

Here is what it looks like on maps at

And here is a picture of the end by the swamp:

At the top of that mountain are different things, that I've posted before, but here is one of them:

This last "stone row that ends with a boulder" I haven't posted before. In the place where it is located there is an old farm foundation on the opposite side of the seasonal dirt road near this structure (and some farm equipment - abandoned - is even further down the hill). Also, quite a bit farther up the hill from this I found an old, abandoned, completely *invisible* cemetery (which really should be the subject of another post).

Here is the video of that structure, where you might be able to see the seasonal road in the background, at the end of the video:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Light up the Delaware River Party

This Labor Day weekend, on September 6, 2009, is the Light up the Delaware River Party. Click on the post heading above for a link to the party website. Although this is not directly rock pile related, there will be loss of sites that have yet to be discovered with the development of Marcellus shale gas drilling in the area.

If you live anywhere along the Delaware River, please take a moment on Sunday, September 6th to join the party.

On a side note, this post: Blogger gagged, at the Breathing is Political blog (related to the Light up the Delaware River Party) highlights the extent the energy companies will go to get their way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More from the area of the shell bead

This first picture is the best rock pile I found in the area, upstream from where the bead was found, but not along the creek:

The next pile is located downstream from where the bead was found. It is so close to the creek, I had to stand in the creek to photograph it from the west side. At first, I was pretty convinced that this is a field clearing pile, due to the small sized stones and no stacking at any of the edges.

A closer view of a few rocks on top that look like they could be stacked, although maybe unintentionally?

But then this arrangement of rocks at the "head", making the pile look testudinate and coming out from the creek. The rock behind the "head" is white in color (although the color is obscured by the moss).

Another view of the head-like rock.

So, although I feel like there is more compelling evidence that this is field clearing, could there be something else going on here? Is it possible there is a smaller, well-stacked pile underneath the little rocks and this is the product of "construction on construction"?

Closer to where there is a purported Indian burial ground (and also uphill and upstream from where the bead was found), I found a few short stretches of stone wall, some with rock piles preceding them, making them look like the rock piles used to be a wall but had either collapsed, were never stacked by the builder, or were sold off. But there was this one rock pile set off from the wall and I really took interest in the use of the granite here, whether intentional or not. This first picture shows the stone wall in the background:

This is a side view of the same pile, with the wall just off to the left, but not visible:

This is a section of one of the stone walls in the area. The void in the wall is interesting and definitely not practical from a field clearing point of view:

This area is in jeopardy of development for natural gas drilling. If they hit it big on the one well they have just started, they are planning many more for the area. Here is just one article at The Freeman's Journal on this subject.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A cellar hole from last year

I've been thinking about this cellar hole a lot lately, especially in light of the conversation taking place at the Rock Piles blog about cellar holes.
It bothered me when I found it, enough to take several pictures, many of which came out blurry and dark. The stick in the pictures is my 4 foot hiking stick. The hole is not very large, for a cellar hole. However, there is one gigantic stone in the center of the hole that looked to me like it was a doorstep or mantle. Yet, this flat stone is in the center, like it could have been a roof, instead of to one side as you would expect with a doorstep. It is also mounded up on at least one side of the cellar hole, or it might be better to describe it by saying the cellar hole was not built in an area that is flat all around.

I'm going to go back out here and look around some more, but if you're interested in what I posted about other features at this site in September of 2008, the link to that post is here. There are colonial features in this area, but what explains this strange cellar hole?