By now, mosty all of the New England woods have melted out. Here, our winter coats are headed to the laundry room. No more snow shoes, winter boots or long underwear, I'm hiking light. Sneakers, aahhh... sweet release, such freedom of movement.
The past few weeks have been full of season's firsts. First skunk cabbage, first peepers, first crocus andf daffs, first ticks and as of this weekend, first hummingbirds!
I know how my cats feel. Like them, I want to bolt from the house and go outdoors. Spring needs exploration. There are so many places to see. During the work week, I stick to my home ground. It is in the familiar that I can best see the season's changes. Over the past year, I have found something else to fascinates me in the woods. Rocks. Piles of rocks, stacked rocks, stone walls, foundations.. evidence of past occupation. Some of them have traceable history, others not. This quote I found online from Jan Brennan from the New Maine Times a few years ago, says it well.
There's some weird stuff hidden in the forests of New England.
And no, we don't mean Bigfoot, or some backwoods entrepreneur's marijuana field.
We mean things — ancient things — made of stone: cairns, underground chambers, walls that go nowhere, pictographs, stone circles with astronomical alignments, and other constructions whose origins and purposes are unknown.
And so there are.
I've been hiking where there are hundreds of these scattered throughout the woods. So much history. If only the woods could talk.