Chimney

Old Chimney atop a rocky outcrop in the Moose Hill reservation

Please excuse the late post. Between the holiday and recovering from my flu, last weekend didn’t produce any interesting photos. And I’d hoped to get something this weekend, but while I had a good walk and took some photos, this one from my trip to the Moose Hill reservation several weeks ago still stood out, so I decided to go with it in the end.

When I saw the word “chimney” on the trail map, associated with a scenic overlook, I assumed a natural feature of the kind appreciated by rock climbers. I wasn’t prepared for a literal chimney growing out of solid granite.  You can see a bit of concrete on this side, where it used to attach to a wall or other structure, and there’s a bricked-up opening on the right side, which was once a fireplace. Likely this was once part of a hunting lodge for some rich city-dweller back in the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. At that time, Sharon Mass. wasn’t a suburban bedroom community, but farmland and a few factories, and the rail line ran through it, making for a convenient weekend getaway. Before cars, summer vacation homes often weren’t very far from the city.

The overlook here is quite something. The land to the south drops off more than a hundred feet in a short distance, and you can see treetops all the way to the horizon. Today the view is slightly broken up by the stadium used by the Patriots football team, just a couple of miles away. But once upon a time it would have been open farmland and scattered trees as far as the eye could see, which is probably a dozen miles or more.

Getting there was quite a hike. I did roughly five miles, and this was at the far end of the loop I walked. It was a relatively gentle walk: from the entrance the climb to the ridge rises more than a hundred feet, but it’s over the course of several miles. And the outlook is on the far side of the ridge, so I did a bit of up and down in the end, but only in short sections. It never felt like I was scaling a mountain, as some of the more vertical trails in the area seem to do. The rocky ridges and outcrops left behind by the glaciers are often quite steep, and in many places there isn’t much dirt above the bedrock. But this one is gentler, at least on the north side.

I like this photo for the stone structure, enduring decades after its original function ceased.  It looks like it still gets used for fires too; part of the bricked-up opening had been knocked out, and there were bits of charred wood inside. You couldn’t have much of a fire there, but perhaps enough to cook over.

This image is an HDR, made from a set of four photos. They had originally been taken as a set of five at my usual one EV offsets, but for some reason the middle image was very blurred. Rather surprising actually, as it was taken at 1/125th-second, with the lens at 24 mm (at ISO 400, and f/11). I’m not sure how I managed to blur that. But removed from the set, the other four still made a decent image. Post-processing was minimal. I took a “dark” preset, backed off the saturation (the software usually overdoes that and this image didn’t really need it at all) and made a minor change to exposure and highlights to lighten the image while keeping the dramatic clouds from blowing out. The usual Edge Sharpening was also done.

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