Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Large Rock Pile with Quartz

Large rock pile with quartz on top, in center , located in a deeply wooded area. 
Side view of the quartz rock. The base of this pile is a large boulder, which has been covered by at least 20 rocks. Leaves and forest debris have filled in between so it is difficult to recognize. About 35 years ago while on a hike, I met the then owner of this property. He told me that there were a great many rock piles throughout the area, and that each one had a Quartz rock in the center. He was collecting those quartz rocks to use in his new fireplace.  At the time I didn't give his remark a second thought. Today I cringe at the memory. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Group of Three

The Logger has ended his work for the season.  Today I walked further in to a new area of The Woods, where I found a dried up spring. On the knoll overlooking the spring there were signs of purposely placed rocks: 

Two large boulders, the space between  spanned by two large rocks. 

A row of rocks There are smaller rocks placed in-between, in a row, and one perched at the far end. 
 A single rock placed on a larger boulder, "pointing" in the direction of a trail that leads down to a  spring. The spring is curious. Although it is dry this September, when flush  the water wells up and flows off in two directions, north and south. The small  brooks thus created  end up flowing down  into the lake: one on the north end, the other on the south end. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stone Sculpture

A rounded  boulder with a deep split near one end. The split had long ago been filled with a series of smaller rocks, carefully placed and resembling the plates on the back  of a turtle.   Three of the rocks on the right have been recently disturbed and I couldn't be sure where the "head" was originally facing. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

1/2 Circle

A stone wall,  3 feet high and  6 feet long, when first viewed from the far side,  turned out to be a curved wall in the shape of the letter J.   A strange way to clear a field!

Was the space in the middle a  deeper at one point?
Evidence of Post Contact Settlement: Update July 19, 2016: Just returned from a trip to the UK: In the highlands of Scotland I spotted  similar structures and learned that they are evidence of habitation of men who raised sheep, and were used to catch one or two particular sheep from a flock.The small flock would be driven along the wall by a Sheep Dog, and held there in a tight little group. The man would be able to grab one at a time, for shearing. So was this construct  a late 8th century when the area was first settled?  Has anyone seen something similar? 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cummington, MA

Out for a drive today: Spotted an interesting ledge:

Stone wall on top of a Cummington MA Ledge. A  historic Hunting Blind?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rock Pile

I decided to stay out of the woods today, and  walk instead  along a 3/4  mile  private drive which
had been cut through a heavily wooded area from the "main" gravel road,  about 50 years ago .
 It provides access to a single lake-side cottage.
Half way along, off to my right,  200 feet into the woods I spotted
this interesting pile of rocks.  It is located on a knoll between two  rocky, spring fed brooks.
In the immediate area there were two other rock piles made up of a single flat boulder with several smaller rocks
placed on top.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Logger is Back for another Season

Today I  headed out  to walk along  a 1/2 mile section  of the Old Indian Path which is  lined with effigy shapes and rock piles on both sides.  It was a jolt to discover  The "Forrester" has downed dozens of Ash and Oak trees. He doesn't want the Hemlocks but cuts the ones that are in his way.
Currently these downed trees  are lying across The Path.  He will drag the logs out with his heavy equipment, which crushes and destroys. Everything. The Path. The Rock Piles.    I have marked most with pink tape.  Their survival is now  out of my hands.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rock-arrangement petroglyph.

I try to imagine myself placing this  arrangement; the heart shaped rock on the left, then four
smaller rocks of equal size and shape to the right. The correct view would  be  from the  right  side.
This is located on a  wooded hill side,  hundreds of yards away from any path or trail. Nearby is a large erratic that has been "decorated" with round  basketball size stones, starting with  a single row  along it's top, and ending at the south end with a cluster.

Looking down upon a foot high, flat topped Boulder, about 4 feet across.

• Effigy: A large boulder with several smaller rocks arranged on it.  Often these rock arrangements seem to form a symbol or animal shape.  These are interpretative as to what they might be representing, but there is no doubt that they exist, and by the hundreds.  They appear to be rock-arrangement petroglyphs. For more information on Effigies (and rock piles in general) see Peter Waksman's Indian Rock Piles website.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Cache in a Large Split Boulder

A unusual arrangement of small rocks on top of a large split boulder

While on a  walk in the  Woods, following the remnants of an
old deer track, I came upon a large split boulder. An unusual collection of various size rocks on the top of the boulder caught my eye; not stacked to create a wall, but placed, sort of a "door" in front of a space or shelf.

 Reaching  into  an open space  at the left side, created by some of the  placed rocks tumbling down,  I felt a pile of smaller, irregular shaped rocks. I pulled out some. They were colored by the soil in which they were nested.

It was a collection, not unlike the small pile building outside my own door; pretty shaped things brought home from my walks.

I placed them  back as close as possible to how I found them.
Reaching around into the crevice  behind the arrangement of rocks:
I retrieved an assortment of  perhaps a dozen smaller rocks gathered together into a pile.
They were colored by the soil in which they were placed. 

With my back to the boulder,  I looked north.
I have to remind myself that there may be snakes hiding in crevices. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Another Unusual Arrangement

My feet sunk deeply into an area that looked flat; a hollow of sorts, filled with woodland debris.
Stopping, I noticed an interesting collection of rocks tucked up against, and under two long flat stones. This is located about 30 feet from several  "turtle" piles of stones, and the face of this arrangement faces west-south-west.   Last  August, 2015,  I discovered  that the small white quartz rocks tucked into the stone piles glow bright like lanterns  as the setting sun strikes them. I pulled the leaves away. There  is about 6 inches of  soft leaf debris filling the hollow.

Boundary Marker

The spring snow has gone and the Equinox winds have ceased. It is safe for this grandmother to walk in the woods...with loads of repellant because the ticks are out early.
I walked along the old Indian Trail, visiting some of the more interesting  stone features, before the Logger starts up for the season. At each one, I looked around,  wondering why each might be placed where it was; what it's relationship to the others might be. And it struck me that the "standing stone" on a knoll between two brooks, with no other "features" nearby,  might  be a BOUNDRY MARKER. Duh. But what boundary? No current (1770-today) property lines passed through this area that I have been able to find.

Working on the assumption that all of the features in this  40 or so acres  represents the site of a Native American Village, and keeping a map and nature of the features in my mind, it is easy to conclude that standing stone marks the boundaries between various family groups. Clans of the Village.  The Clans can be identified by the "effigies" or stone etchings that appear in one area but not another.  To the  south and west of this spot one could imagine the location of the Clan of the Bear.    Bear Effigy Near Old Spring

To the NORTH would be the  fascinating and unusual features of the Clan of the Wolf:

To the WEST is an area sloping down to the south and west, to a beaver pond and glacial lake:
The location of  the Clan of the Turtle.TURT

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bent Tree

Morning walk:   Surprised by an ancient  Bent Birch Tree,  located on town property, in the corridor of what was, until 1770, "unappropriated land" between the Westhampton Town Line and Norwich Lake.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Along the Trail

Old bent tree and a huddle of rocks grouped into a circle near the bent tree.
Boulder split by fire. The insides are black. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

"The Land from Where the Water Flows"


Land transferred by Native land owners  to Pynchon & company. 

Limited to 9 miles west of  the Connecticut River.  

SELECT the following paragraph to read Indian Deeds of Hamden County, and obtain reference pages. 
Signed by: Chickwallop alias Wawhillowa, Nenessahalant, Nassicohee, Kiunks, Paquahalant, Assellaquompas & Awonuske ye wife of Willuther all of Nanotuck who are ye chief & proper owners of all the land on the west side of the Quinetticot River at Nanotuck. 24 September 1653. 

THE Green and Walker Grant:
Between the Westfield River on the West and 130 Rods (About) westerly from the Westhampton Town Line on the East. The Indians appear to have reserved a corridor measuring "about" 130 rods wide, southerly along the west border of Northampton (Now Westhampton) from Norwich Pond, extending over 500 rods.  It excluded a pie shaped sliver of land between  it and the 1738 Ingersoll grant. The colonists deemed this "unappropriated land. 

The map below dated 1772  notes the Green and Walker Grant and  includes the Ingersoll grant as well. 


Land transferred by Native land owners: Eastern boundary was the Westfield River. It omitted the land from the Westfield River to the Westhampton Town Line.   This was still owned by the Indians. 

Map Dated 1772. Source: History of the Town of Murrayfield: page 15  :

NOTE: The distance from the north end of Norwich Lake to Route 66 is about 2.5 miles.
797 Rods is about 2.5 miles. Note also the diagonal formed by the north end of the Ingersoll Grant.
A strip of Land reserved by the Indians.

"One of the tracts given to make 
up an equivalent for their rights in Upper Housa^onnock was located
about 130 rods west of the west line of the town of Northampton,
and consisted of 2,000 acres of land. The southwest corner of this
grant, which was known as the Green & Walker Grant, touched the
north line of the Ingersoll Grant. The west line was near the east
branch of Westfield River, a part of which was included toward the
northwest part of the grant. The pond known as Norwich Pond was
for the most part within the grant, occupying the northeast corner;
the north line of the grant passed across the north end of the pond.:

Description of northern end of Ingersoll Grant.

By deed dated August 1-tth, 1738, Ingersoll sold the north end of 
his grant to John Johnson of Boston, a marriner, and described it as
follows :

" Beginning 800 rods from the southwest corner of Northampton on North-
ampton west line; then North 44° West 750 perch; Then beginning at first
bound running North 5° East on Northampton line 335 peich; then North 63°
West 900 rods; then South 15° West 150 rods; then turning and running 250
rods to the westernmost end of the 750 perch line." The quantity of land was
estimated to be 1500 acres.

Westfield River Watershed Link

History of Huntington  (History of Murrayfield.)