Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Part 2 - More from BPSF, NY

by theseventhgeneration

On the boulder, from the previous Beal's Pond State Forest post, was a nice Manitou stone:

When I first saw it, I thought it must be positioned somehow to a point on the horizon. It faces east:

Then I looked at it from above the closest, upper cairn.

Even looking through the vertical stone leaning against the cairn, the Manitou stone was visible, but it was uncomfortable to look at it this way.

After a hike around, I stopped back at the stone later in the day. I was glad that I did, because I was able to get a nice photo of the afternoon shadow, cast by the stone, against the snow.

And I decided to take a photo of the side view, to show how it is propped, how thin it is, and to take a picture with the half meter stick.

When I got home, I was still confused about the arrangement. I thought about the East/West facing of the stone and how there seemed to be no reasonably comfortable place to sit and look at the sunrise or sunset while looking at the stone.

Then, I looked at this next photo and I could see it. There is a stone at the top of the cairn that has the same shape as the Manitou stone, when viewed from this angle. Also, the horizon is just visible between the cairn and the vertical stone leaning against the cairn.

But, there's one more thing. I enlarged the photo above, focusing on a small stone, pointing down, in that cairn. The stone is pointing to a hole in the cairn, where the horizon is visible. I believe that the sun, depending on the time of day and year, would also be visible through that hole.

The spot where I stood right next to the boulder, to get this photo, was reasonably comfortable. I think it is possible that there is a nice sunset viewing spot by standing next to or in front of the boulder.


JimP said...

My opinion on interpretation.

After exploring dozens of sites over the years just like this one, I prefer to think of this type of site as a place of convergence -- where spirits of the Sky World, Middle World, and Under World co-mingled.

So I wouldn't think so much of what one can see out on the horizon, but rather what on the horizon might be directed in to other landscape features on the site, or even what might be blocked from those features.

I don't think I'd necessarily call that a manitou stone. I'd consider it more of a niche. Although it is more upright than similar types of niches I've seen in Southern New England, it still bears identical characteristics. In fact, I'd say that feature served a dual purpose as both a niche and a standing stone.

theseventhgeneration said...

That reminds me of something I forgot to mention. The larger stacked stones that are in the January 25th post are approximately 500 feet away from this site, and at a lower altitude (200 to 250 feet lower). That pile may have been visible from this site at one time, but now the thick pines block the view.

pwax said...

What is that camera you are using? You have great depth of field.

pwax said...

I want to say: keep looking around, especially after the snow melts, to try to figure out if there is a viewing position - or maybe more than one. I think you are on to something with the parallelism between the top stone on the cairn and the "manitou" stone, but this topic of identifying viewing locations is interesting.

theseventhgeneration said...

It's an HP R717. It's very durable. At almost 2 years old, I've left it out overnight in the rain, and dropped it a couple of times, and it still works great!

I will look around when the snow is gone. I do think there are some relevant things under the snow there.

pwax said...

Dang! I have an HP R827 but it appears yours has a better lense than mine.