The wonderfully painted rock juts up out of the ground along a wooded road in Marlborough, Connecticut. Not only are the roadside wonder’s origins a mystery, but its form remains a question as well: Most call it Snake Rock, but some refer to it as Turtle Rock, insisting that the small clumps of stones on either side are meant to be clawed feet.
No one seems to know the identity of the artist who painted the rock. But a local history website lists it as a landmark, and everyone in town knows it. Strangely, the rock has been secretly repainted several times. Many believe it was originally done by Jason Sawyer, the artist who painted Eagle Rock, another animal-shaped site a few miles down the road in Hebron. In 2002, Tara Graham took over the repainting of Eagle Rock. Many believe she also repaints the reptile rock as well, but no one knows for sure.
There is something fascinating about art created not for accolades, but for the enjoyment and viewing of the general public. These types of art become beloved landmarks that many simply take for granted as permanent, not considering that the paint does need to be renewed over time. It is art such as this that becomes part of the local identity, a constant just like the seasons.