Mystery Rock

March 30, 2022

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Along the path that skirts the Western Maryland section of the Tawes Garden is a large boulder, one of many brought in from other parts of the state as part of the original landscape design. It sits proudly alone, like a piece of sculpture, and despite its size is barely noticeable in summer in the deep shade of the surrounding trees. In the bright, slanting light of winter and early spring, however, it becomes an altogether more fascinating object: Etched across its surface are geometrical patterns, multiple rows of roughly concentric triangles and circles deeply indented in the stone. Highlighted by the moss outlining their crevices, they look for all the world like a cryptic message from some ancient, unknown people. However, the Maryland Geological Survey, which unromantically refers to the boulder as a "waffle rock", has a neat, scientific explanation for the strange markings posted on the nearby sign. It's quite an interesting one, and when you're in the Garden we recommend checking it out. But we really prefer to make up our own explanation...