Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, July 04, 2009

A view of Boston

Late in the afternoon, I was looking for a place to wander, a place not too far from home. I didn't need to look too far.

I headed to Ward Reservation, a short two miles from my door, a place that I've never visited before. My goal? To meander up the trail to the top of Holt Hill. Its low 420 foot elevation is the highest point in Essex County, a point that provides a view of Boston in the distance.

solstice stones atop holt hill

The top of the hill is the home of the "Solstice Stones". Now I think I need to visit again on a solstice or equinox day to see if the stones actually perform their stated function:
The "Solstice Stones" form a compass-like arrangement of stones. The narrow stone in the NE quadrant points in the direction of where the sun rises on the longest day of the year - the summer solstice (around June 21) - and the narrow stone in the NW quadrant marks sunset on that day. At the time of the spring equinox (around March 21) and autumn (around September 23) equinox, the sun rises due east and sets due west. On the shortest day of the year - the winter solstice (around Dec 22) - the sun rises and sets along the narrow stones in the SE and SW quadrants, respectively.

Quote courtesy of The Trustees of Reservations, Ward Reservation