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Old Oct 5, 2009, 7:18 PM   #1
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Default Blue Hills Reservation, greater Boston area

About 3 weeks ago I had a meeting in the Boston area, and since our son attends college nearby, we made arrangements to have dinner together. The meting ended earlier than we expected, and I had a couple of hours before my son's last class got out. So, what to do with a few hours in the Boston suburbs? I had heard very nice things about the Blue Hills Reservation so I decided to explore the place for myself. I don't know the history of the Blue Hills reservation, but it's a remarkable asset of the people in the greater Boston metropolitan area. It's about 6000 acres in size and is located only about 6 or 7 miles from downtown Boston. How it avoided being overrun by suburban development is a mystery to me, but it's truly wonderful to have such a nice chunk of forest and hills so close to a major city. The day was very cloudy with very flat light, so the pics are nothing special, but I thought a few were worth sharing.


I hiked up the Red Dot Trail, and when I reached the top of the hill I was surprised to find a beautiful stone shelter and lookout tower. I believe it pre-dates the CCC, so I have no idea who built it, or why, but it's a real delight. It's showing some signs of age, and it's been decorated by some graffiti artists, but it is still a wonderful old structure. I framed this photo very carefully to block the graffiti from view. You can see a jet liner headed in for a landing at Boston's Logan airport.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 7:19 PM   #2
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The skyscrapers of downtown Boston are just a few miles away. In this shot the downtown buildings look fairly distant but all I had with me was the DA 16-45 lens, so this shot was at 45 mm even with the 1.5 crop factor, only a very modest telephoto setting. What's interesting in this shot is that what appears to be forest between the trees in the foreground and downtown is actually very densely populated suburbs. But from this angle, most of the suburbs are hidden by the trees.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 7:21 PM   #3
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Whoever built the stone shelter and tower also built a beautiful stone bridge, but unfortunately the graffiti artists couldn't leave it alone. I tried to block the worst of it by careful framing and placing tree branches over the most annoying splotches, but I think I only partially succeeded.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 7:23 PM   #4
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I guess it's a good thing that cell phones are in widespread use, since it would be pretty difficult to get this old unit back into working condition.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 7:24 PM   #5
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As one who studied geology many years ago, whenever I see an old stone building, I see not only the building but also the individual stones. This piece of granite really caught my eye. This shot was going to be my entry for the September Challenge, but I've been so busy that I didn't have a chance to post it until now. That's just as well, since there are many other far superior entries in the challenge.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 8:56 PM   #6
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Mtnman, very nice shot of the Boston skyline.
The other shots bring back many memories for me. My wife and I used to hike up the blue hills when we were in our teens.

Before weather radar and satellite weather forecasting the Blue hills had a weather station on top that gave the wind gust data for the city of Boston as well as max snow depths in winter. The stone building could be the remnants of the old weather station.

Just two weeks ago I stood at the top of Holt Hill in Andover about 20 miles north of Boston (would be located in your photo just to the right of the city on the far horizon) and was amazed that I could see the Blue Hills form there.

The green space surrounding Boston was designed by the famous landscape architect Fredric Law Olmsted. It is called the emerald necklace as it encircles the city of Boston. The final jewel of the necklace is said to be the Rose Kennedy Greenway that sits atop the "Big Dig" Tip O'Neil tunnel.

Thanks for the nostalgia trip. Nice Photography!

Lou
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 5:30 AM   #7
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Nice series, lovely bridge.

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Old Oct 6, 2009, 8:34 AM   #8
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That bridge is a beauty
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 3:30 PM   #9
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Some great captures of the wonderful stonework. And lovely colorful views as well. Thanks for sharing!
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Old Oct 7, 2009, 11:14 PM   #10
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i like the view over the city
it was a good "choice" of lens
the stone bridge is a good one too
you did well to cover as much as you could
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