Sunday, November 17, 2013

Of granodiorite and conglomerates

Glacial erratics in the Williamsburg woods

A two stop visit. The first took me to the land of Williamsburg Granodiorite and schists intermingled with quartz and occasional bits of pegmatite. This was a geology hike and field trip put on by the Williamsburg Woodland Trails

A lot covered glacial geology (kame terraces amongst the features seen) but a healthy amount of those schists, with quartz, along with granodiorite was to be found. According to local bedrock geo maps, some marble is around but not in this immediate vicinity. Unfortunately, our hike fell upon the extreme northwest sections of the Easthampton Quadrangle and, to the best of my knowledge, no bedrock geology map was ever produced for this quad. Normally there would have been some fine views (indeed - the name of the trail is "Big View") but VERY gray, overcast, and drizzly conditions were the order of the day.

Finishing up, I continued over to the Connecticut Valley if only for a brief trip to work on my old project involving antique photography of rocky formations. Two more old stereoviews came into my possession and it was my goal to set up "Then & Now" views. With that accomplished, a leisurely bit of time was spent looking into fallen blocks of conglomerate rock that had formed a small cave. Probably that mentioned by famed geologist Hitchcock and probably the 'lost' Wild Cat Den.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

South of the Border

The traditional November Connecticut visit! In recent years, I've been able to slip in a little 'work' while making my way down to my eventual destination in the Waterbury area. On this occasion, a stop in the southern Berkshires. I had just enough time to make a quick dash into the woods to look over a giant erratic recently brought to my attention by two local historians. And good Lord was it ever big! A quick pace proved it to be probably over 80 feet in diameter. My estimate was seventeen to eighteen feet high. I cannot recall any other freestanding boulder in the Berkshires of this and it may sneak its way into the Top Ten biggest in Massachusetts.

Continuing my way on into Connecticut, I eventually looked up a number of other erratics lying about Cheshire and Wallingford. These probably torn from the Hanging Hills of Meriden eons ago. A stop at the restored lock of the old Farmington Canal was included.

Erratic at Wallingford

The second day included a look at a rock that was cut through as part of a trolley route that descended Southington Mountain into Marion by way of Merriman's Curve and a former bridge over the rock cut on Route 322.

The old trolley route heading down towards Marion

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Lost Cow

Sinkhole entrance to the Cave of the Dead (Lost) Cow

On a very cool and crisp autumn morning, a chance to bring things full circle after 45 - or so years. Joining eight other cavers, we were off to relocate the (somewhat) lost Cave of the Dead Cow. This is something my Father and I had sought out during the latter half of the 1960's.

Coordinates left to us from the 1980's got us to the general area. At least a couple more hours were devoted by the group to finally locating the modest sized sinkhole entrance. Once finally explored, it was discovered the discontented cow that fell in circa 1938 (or its remains) had now vanished since the 1983 exploration.

On the return - several other karst features were looked over including a resurgence, and two caves: Privacy and Crapper Caves.