Grinding Stone Revealed

This is how it happens. I wrote of how things turn up in the forest like a stray coin on a city street. (Potsherd Ponder) And this is how it happens. A casual discovery.

We make our rounds checking seasonal change. I take the kids and we look for turtles and newts and we stop to notice creek flows, clarity and water levels and the blowout of creek mouths into ocean.  

Rocky Nook Park features prominently on the itinerary. The other day we stopped to check the creek after recent rains, as we’ve done there for years, in the same spot, and by way of the same short scamper down the rocky bank into the creek bottom.

But this time, lo and behold, a boulder turned up I’ve never seen before in all those years, which appears to be an artifact of some sort. 

The stone seems to have been prepared to some degree, as a flat surface, upon which the darker oval was then ground out forming a shallow dish. The bottom of the dish is remarkably smooth and not rumpled in the slightest.

The dark stained surface is similar to the surface of the bowl I found on the beach: Chumash Stone Bowl. The stain of the bowl was much more prominent when wet.

At the same place on the beach as the bowl, in the wash of high tide surf, another boulder has a shallow, round grinding slick that is also colored by dark staining. It looks remarkably similar to this one here in Mission Creek.

These things turn up. Along my thin and crooked way afoot in the wild places of Santa Barbara County, for some odd reason or maybe for no reason at all.

And then the question becomes, what does a person do? 

December 20, 2022

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4 Responses to Grinding Stone Revealed

  1. Diane Siegel says:

    Hi there Jack, Back in the 70s my ex and I ran a farm-school on the other side of Rocky Nook Park. During this time of year when there were intense rain storms we would hear the boulders moving down the creek! I could not believe the sound. Oh well , it was a long time ago in an SB that is being destroyed by greed. Happy Saturday, Diane

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. cahikerchick says:

    What a magical find, it’s beautiful.
    I’d plop more rocks on top of it. Hide it from the scavengers.

  3. Jack Elliott says:

    The stone is gone. The torrential rains and runoff of January 8,9,10 swept it away.

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