Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Bear's Den, Upper Connecticut River Valley, MA

The Bear's Den

For me personally, I have two significant reminders regarding the outdoors during early May: black flies and allergies. With inclement weather rolling around New England, I set out to see just how far I could get on a somewhat gray day. Heading up north to meet with the Mohawk Trail, I then continued my journey a bit farther north ending up at Pelham Brook about 5 miles south of the border with Vermont. The Stone Face/Profile Rock was my goal and I hoped to solve its mystery once and for all. A number of visits to this area, including the local historical society, have been made and finally last Fall a likely candidate was found in a stream side boulder. The first problem (after locating it) are the two postcards depicting it are quite different. Sure, certain shapes and striations on the rock are similar, but that's about it. The rock I gave careful examination to has some similarities with the two images but not enough for me to say definitely this is it. So it seems it will have to remain the likely Stone Face/Profile Rock.

On the return to the Mohawk Trail, I quickly looked into an old copper mine then headed on east into the northern portions of the Connecticut River (or - Pioneer) Valley. Turning north once again, I ended up at the Bear's Den, this time less than a mile south of Vermont. This is an ongoing project to revisit some old sites around northern Franklin County that haven't been seen in a few years and update my information. Bear's Den is formed in argillites where the bedding plane is tipped nearly vertical. Weathering has taken out a significant mass of rock making for a large chamber in the hillside.

Working my way farther south, I ended up again in the location where I've been researching the history of local rock formations in the Connecticut River Valley region. I proceeded to investigate the new set of ledges discovered on my last visit a week and a half earlier. Some natural chimneys, along with very small gravity slide and weathered out shelter caves were found. I've been looking over ledges one by one to see if I can find a match with historical data. On this day, I looked into another nearby ledge in search for "Warner's Ledge", but once again I came up empty handed. Nearby was Etta's Nook, so with the rain beginning to fall, I wandered on in to shoot a quick set of photos for my HDR (High Dynamic Range) project. Castle End is the gateway to this set of ledges and on my way out I did photos for a panoramic picture.

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