Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ludlow Creek State Forest

A small rock pile site in a high spot surrounded by swamp and a creek. This is in Chenango County, NY. I visited this site in the fall and didn't get around to finishing up the post right away, so I'll just go ahead and post without much comment.

That's a piece of bark at the top of the rock pile (although it looks like a stone, it's not):This next picture is trying to capture a long, low to the ground pile that was at the end of a row of piles, near the edge by the swamp:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Perch lake mounds, with notes on other New York mounds...

Click on the title of this post for a link to the book that contains this text. The text quoted below starts on the very bottom of page 31 and continues on page 32. Plate 12 is on page 99.

"A curious spot 1 1/2 miles west-southwest of Unadilla may be described here, having never been mentioned before. For the account and chart, thanks are due to Mr Harry B. Cecil of that place. It is on the farm of Enoch H. Copley and in a woodland of about 33 acres, the whole of which is a series of moraines and kettle-shaped hollows. In the largest of these hollows is a shallow pond, marked A in the diagram, plate 12, figure 1. The shaded part B has been partly filled in for the Delaware & Hudson Railroad. The pond is surrounded by moraines, C C C, about 100 feet high, and a road D, follows the north and east margins. At E, F, G, are rude stone walls from 2 to 4 feet high. Mr Cecil said:

At one time I supposed these had been constructed to get rid of the rocks that were in the way, but this could not be the case, as the stones could have been dumped into the pond very much more easily, and it would have materially helped to widen the road D. The oldest residents say that these piles and walls have always been there. At IT, until a short time ago, were two circles made of rocks loosely thrown together. They measured 10 feet across and were contiguous, having openings at the remote parts of their circumferences. I turned these over carefully, but failed to find anything of Indian workmanship and the soil beneath was apparently undisturbed. At I was another stone wall. At J is a heap of undisturbed rocks. At K is a carefully made road, about 8 feet wide and extending about 300 feet in a westerly direction, gradually ascending to 50 feet above the pond level. No explanation can be given of this unless it was part of a trail. Below this road and above the wall at E, is a stone heap, and above the road is a large hollow filled up with stones of all descriptions. I am positive that these heaps are not natural. All these remains are included in about half an acre.

This account is free from extravagance and suggests the use of the spot as a pound for deer, terminating a driveway. These and other animals would naturally resort there to drink. With or without contracting hedges they would follow their own paths, and the roadway would turn them toward the double walls, I, F, when driven. Some would escape only to encounter other hunters at the wall G. In the press others might turn back and meet hunters at the wall E. The circles may have been the foundations of hunting lodges, and the season of wild fowl would afford a secondary use. The usual course was to make a pound of stakes and branches, but the primitive hunter was quick to avail himself of natural advantages, and was not sparing of work."


Plate 12.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Downsville rock shelter - part 2

This is a short video of a portion of rock wall along an outcrop above the rock shelter. At 19 seconds into the video is a split and pulled forward slab boulder (other examples are here, here and here) but this one has an obvious wedge between the slab and boulder below, which is something that isn't present in the other examples.

Some still shots of the stone wall. The first one is looking over that split-and-pulled-forward slab, in the direction of the rock shelter.Then, looking in the opposite direction, it looks like the wall ends there.But later, you can see it continuing on top of this outcrop in the distance.Here you can see some rocks on a boulder with a portion of the stone wall in the background.This definitely adds to the mystique of the rock shelter.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Downsville rock shelter - part 1

This is right along a well used trail, so there's no doubt about the fact that this is a frequently visited hang out. It is complete with a modern day fire pit inside.

First, the outside of the rock shelter from the side where you can walk in:Once you walk in, there is a natural window through the rock, looking out:A view of the outside from the opposite end of the window:Looking through the window from the outside, into the shelter:If you click on any of the images above, you might be able to see scratches and initials in the rock from one of the recent visitors (or vandals, as the case may be). But, what about these deeper, older scratches right at the entrance? I don't know if they man made (possibly ancient?) or natural, but they piqued my interest enough to take a close up:Here are the same marks from another angle (looking into the shelter).Even more exciting than this rock shelter is the stone wall above it. I'll have more about that in part 2.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some turtles

One I've posted before...well, actually two, but the first video is edited to stop at the turtle because I hadn't noticed it the first time I posted the video.

The turtle in the end of the stone wall in the video above faces down toward a creek. It bears a resemblance to this turtle, which is right next to a swamp. Notice how both turtles are near (but not on) the bottom of the wall?

Then, this turtle is at the top of the wall between the two rooms in the chamber.
Or maybe they are shim rocks. I could see why you might want the two shims on the bottom, but what's that little shim at the top doing to stop that giant slab from rocking? Incidentally, when I took that picture, I wasn't looking at the turtle, I was looking at the small amount of surface area of rock which was holding that giant slab up off my head!

West Trout Brook Rd

Here is a little site next to a spring that I found while riding down West Trout Brook Road. The rock piles are visible from the road.

If my memory serves me correctly, there were 7 little rock piles in all, just off to the northwest of a spring.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More from Google Earth

I've been going around Google Earth, zooming down to eye level where sites are located and then switching on the "show sunlight across landscape" feature.

Here is a site I've been keeping an eye on for a while. This image is a satellite view from Google Earth. The circular things in the field are rock piles, overgrown with brush.Here is the same satellite view, but I've added a color code:
-Red: Summer solstice sunset
-Blue: Winter solstice sunset
-Purple: Spring and fall equinox sunsets
I also put a green circle around the rock pile in the far northeastern corner. It lines up with the winter solstice line of rock piles, but it's not in any of my photos here.I should also add that I have not yet investigated the line that juts out into the field, highlighted in purple. From a better (birds eye) view, it looks like two rock piles and then a depression, but it's safe to say that whatever is there is not tillable, hence the tree. Also, of the piles I looked at, I did not notice any stacking, but it is hard to see with all the brush.

There are better rock piles in the northeast corner of the field, in the woods. When I first found this site, I posted pictures of those rock piles and also of the stone row along the eastern end of the field at the Rock Piles blog, link here.

This past fall, I took some photos in the field. This view is standing next to the rock pile in the satellite view that has all 3 color circles around it, red, blue and purple:Zooming down with Google Earth, a similar angle with the June 21st sunset on the horizon:Standing at the same rock pile in the first photo, but looking to the southwest (blue line of piles):Eye level with Google Earth on the 12-21 sunset:This last one is hard to see on Google Earth because the pine tree doesn't show up. I do think there is some relationship with the equinoxes here. First, the same photo as above, but with a red arrow drawn from the top rock pile to the pine tree that is at the end of the untillable row:The Google Earth view on March 21st and September 21st (using the horizon as more of a guide than the pine tree):So, here it is again:While you may not agree with the way I'm presenting this (it's definitely unscientific), just looking at the evidence (photos and images) sets up a better argument for alignments rather than "coincidental field clearing piles". There are stone walls around the north and east ends of the field, so why would a farmer align rock piles in the middle of his field this way?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Playing with Google Earth

It lets you show sunlight across the landscape, for any day you choose. So, going to June 21, 2010 at one of my favorite sites, looking at the sunrise over Steam Mill State Forest looks something like this:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Overlooking the West Branch Delaware River

These little piles are just off a trail, on the south side of a mountain peak that overlooks the West Branch of the Delaware River. I didn't have time for exploring, but thought these rock piles might be worth blogging about. I saw about 7 to 10 of these in this area. Some were more obvious than others.

At the base of the mountain, near the river, there are some old stone walls, presumably from a farm.
Here is a direct shot of the wall above. I see a turtle, do you? He's a bit similar to this guy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stone U

I went up to the stone U by the creek last night. It's a few days before the spring equinox, but I may try to get out someplace different to hike this weekend, so a quick visit while I had the time seemed in order. Plus, there's no guarantee that the sun will be shining Sunday night.

Just a couple of pictures of the sunset. First, taken right near the ground at the back of the U. It looks like the U is facing the sunset...

...but it's offset a little, as this next picture shows.

So, I've added some lines to enhance the stone structures. There is a stone wall or row in front of the U. For a video of part of that row, click here.

The wall is outlined in red and the U is outlined in blue. The sunset is offset from the U but looks like it comes through the break in the wall if you're sitting at the U. I wonder if that's intentional or a coincidence?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Melondy Hill SF

I did not find much this weekend, even though I took a couple of long walks. The first was downhill. I was going to cut in to the east, back to the main road where I saw a rock pile near a foundation, but I ended up wandering around near a creek bed. It was pretty, but not a lot of rock piles between the plantation pines and the creek. Here is one of the few rock piles I found. I am not convinced that the most prominent pile in the background is not a recent construction.Then, this one, near the road. There is a small concrete cistern nearby, so I don't know what to make of this. It's nice looking, but I doubt it's ancient.So, I went to another spot along the road, to hike uphill (where I generally have better luck). I followed a nice stone wall along the border of state land to the summit.Again, there were plantation pines at the summit. I found a descending stone wall further south and found this as I headed back to the car.A hunter's seat unwittingly disguised as a niche.

Riding home, craning my neck like an owl, I spotted this just off the road, above a pond. It's about 5 feet tall.
A picture with a backpack for scale, this is taken opposite from the photo above.Then, this photo is taken looking toward the pond. On the right side of the photo, the profile looks somewhat vertical faced, but it's hard to say for sure with all the snow on it.Just below the large rock pile, I walked to a stone wall that runs roughly north/south, seemingly into the pond, but instead it ends at the pond. Here is a view with the in-flow to the pond in the background. Notice anything in the end of that stone wall?Look closer:
There it is!Thanks to Tim, from Waking Up on Turtle Island, I am now seeing turtles in walls, too. Maybe it's a coincidence, but isn't it strange that when you look for them, they appear!