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Posts Tagged ‘Marlborough New Hampshire’

I just finished reading Monadnock, More than a Mountain by Craig Brandon. In it he tells of how, throughout history different artists have painted the mountain from different sides, and how a few had traveled around the mountain painting it from all sides. That sounded like a fine idea to me and, since I have never seen it done before, over the last few weeks I’ve traveled to several towns that surround the mountain to take photos from each one.

The unusual thing about 3,165 ft high Mount Monadnock is that it can be seen from each town in the area, which collectively make up what is known as the Monadnock Region. The purpose of this post is to show how much the mountain changes from town to town-sometimes after driving just a few miles down the road. I’ve lived here nearly my entire life and even I was surprised by how much it changed.

1. Monadnock From Jaffrey

Much of Mount Monadnock lies in Jaffrey, New Hampshire so I thought I’d start off this post with a view from there. This is the south eastern face of Monadnock.

 2. Monadnock From Jaffrey

At this spot in Jaffrey you are just about as close to the mountain’s south eastern flank as you can get without actually being on it. This is where you get a real sense of how massive Monadnock really is.

 3. Monadnock from Gilmore Pond in Jaffrey

This view of Monadnock’s eastern face from Jaffrey can make you wonder if you’re looking at the same mountain that you saw from other directions, so different is its outline.

 4. Monadnock from Perkin's Pond in Troy

Perkin’s pond in Troy, on Monadnock’s western side, is the place someone with a new camera goes to try landscape photography. I can’t imagine how many photos have been taken of Monadnock from this spot, but the number must easily be in the millions. On a weekend at this time of year you almost have to wait in line for your turn. On this day there was an artist here painting the mountain and she had the best viewing spot. 5. Monadnock from Troy There are other fine views to be had in Troy. I was surprised by the even separation of foliage colors here, as if someone planted a row of maples, then a row of oaks, then a row of pines, etc. all the way up the mountain. I’m not sure what would have caused this.

 6. Monadnock from Fitzwilliam

Just down the road from Troy is Fitzwilliam, with a few good views of its own. This was taken at Rockwood Pond. Mount Monadnock is so loved by the public that, each time over the years that it has been threatened by loggers, developers, radio stations and others, money has poured in from all over the world to buy the threatened acreage and protect it. Though never 100% safe, the mountain will be well protected in the future. Most of it is now owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

 7. Monadnock from Rindge

The view from Rindge is a very pretty one of Monadnock’s southern flank. I just discovered this view while taking photos for this post.

 8. Monadnock from Mount Caesar in Swanzey

Sometimes you have to climb a mountain to see a mountain as I did one morning just as the sun broke through the dense fog on top of Mount Caesar in Swanzey. Swanzey lies to the northwest of Monadnock.

 9. Monadnock from Harrisville

Harrisville has some beautiful views of Monadnock from the north. This one is from a place called Child’s Bog, known for its great fishing.

 10. Monadnock From Sucker Brook in Nelson

I had heard stories of a great view of Monadnock to be had at a place called Sucker Brook Cove Sanctuary in Nelson, New Hampshire so I went there and found that it was indeed an excellent view, with Silver Lake in the foreground. The light would have been much better if I had gone there in the morning though, rather than in the afternoon. This view is from the north.

 11. Monadnock from Pitcher Mountain in Stoddard

This view of Monadnock is from the top of Pitcher Mountain in Stoddard, which is the northernmost point in my travels around the mountain. The weatherman said we would have wall to wall sunshine on the day this was taken, and I believed him. When I started this trip I saw sunshine but once I had climbed to the top of Pitcher Mountain there wasn’t a sunbeam to be seen.

 12. Monadnock from Marlborough

One of my favorite views of Monadnock is from this spot in Marlborough, New Hampshire. The sun breaking through the clouds made a patchwork of colors on the western face of the mountain on the afternoon that this was taken.

 13. Monadnock from Dublin

This is a view from Dublin. This is another good place to see the mountain’s great mass. This is the first photo taken with my new cell phone to appear on this blog. The phone camera has a much wider angle than either of my other cameras and it does a pretty good job. Speaking of cell phone photos, if you’d like to see some amazing ones you should pop over to Marie’s blog. You can get there by clicking here. You won’t believe her photos were taken with a cell phone camera, but they were.

 14. Monadnock from Dublin

This view of Monadnock from Dublin is a favorite of photographers. I took this photo with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7, which is the camera that I usually use for macros.

 15. Monadnock from Dublin

Some days you just have to wait for Monadnock to peek out from its blanket of clouds, as this view from Dublin shows.

 16. Monadnock Summit

When he climbed it in 1860 Henry David Thoreau complained about the number of people on the summit of Monadnock. Nothing has changed since. On a typical Columbus Day weekend in October it is not unusual to find that it is standing room only on the summit. It is estimated that 100,000 people per year climb the mountain, making it the most climbed mountain in the United States and the second most climbed in the world after Mount Fiji in Japan. On the afternoon that this photo was taken you could see climbers on the summit, just as you can on most days.

 17. Monadnock from Keene

My favorite view of the mountain is of course the one I grew up with and have seen each day for the better part of a lifetime. I’ve lived in other places but you don’t miss the mountain until you can no longer see it, and I’ve always come back. To me this view from Keene is the best one, but anyone in any town in the region would probably say the same about their view.

 18. Monadnock Region Map

This map of the Monadnock Region might help you see how the towns that the above photos were taken in are related to each other, and to Monadnock itself. The town names are underlined and Mount Monadnock has a black triangle beside it. It is about 19 miles (30.6 Km) from Keene to the mountain.

If you’d like to learn more about the towns mentioned in this post you should take a look at Laura Mahoney’s blog Touring New Hampshire. I think you’ll find excellent photos and descriptions of every town here. You can get there by clicking here.

Those who climb to the peak of Monadnock have seen but little of the mountain. I came not to look off from it, but to look at it. The view of the pinnacle itself from the plateau below surpasses any view which you get from the summit. ~Henry David Thoreau.

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Quite often when I go here and there searching for plants that are new to me I see interesting and beautiful landscape scenes. I always take pictures but they don’t always make it onto the blog for whatever reason, so I decided to show some of them in this post.

 1. Meadow

I’ve shown shots of a meadow that I visit a couple of times recently on this blog, but this is a different one that I found just the other day. Even though it’s a different meadow, it is still dominated by several species of goldenrod and purple loosestrife.  I can’t help taking a photo every time I see something like this because the color combination is very appealing.

2. Ashuelot on 8-14-13

People who have been reading this blog for a while know that one of my favorite places to hunt for plants is along river banks.  The river that is easiest for me to get to is the Ashuelot, which runs north to south from Pittsburg to Hinsdale New Hampshire for 64 miles. This photo shows boulders out of the water in this section, which means that the water level is about as low as it’s been all year.

 3. Stream

I also follow streams and this one seemed especially photogenic. Sitting beside a stream out in the middle of nowhere is just about the most serene and enjoyable way to pass the time that I can think of.

 4. View from High Blue

Recently an old friend came to visit from California where he now lives and we decided to hike a trail called High Blue in Walpole, New Hampshire. At 1,588 feet it isn’t very high but it is always very blue. When I sent my friend a copy of this photo he thought it looked a lot bluer than it did in person. I’ve noticed this too and, even though I’ve taken this photo of Stratton Mountain in Vermont with 3 different cameras, the view is always as blue as you see here.  I’ve even looked at photos online that are also just as blue and I can’t figure out what causes it, other than the atmosphere itself.

5. View from High Blue Trail

This is another view looking across the Connecticut River valley to the surrounding Vermont hills from High Blue trail in Walpole. I like the various shades of blue and how they fade into one to another. I think I’ve seen this same thing in photos from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’m anxious to see what it looks like when the trees change color, and wonder if it will still be as blue.

6. Lone Tree

 Last spring before it had leaves I visited this lone tree and thought it looked a bit like an elm. Now that I see it fully clothed it looks more like an oak or a maple.  When you live in what is essentially a 4.8 million acre forest any tree that stands alone is a real eye catcher.

7. Hill Deconstruction

I’ve been watching a construction company gnawing away at this hill for over a year now. I’m sure they know more about what they’re doing than I do, but I think I’d be careful about getting under the large over hanging area on the right. It’s hard to imagine what the view will be when the hill is gone.

8. Half Moon

I was disappointed about not seeing the meteor showers and grabbed a few shots of the half-moon instead. I think the craters show better on a photo of a half-moon than they do on one of the full moon.

9. Marlow Odd Fellows Hall

A few posts ago I showed a photo of the church in Marlow, New Hampshire, a small town north of here. This view is of the nearby odd fellows hall in the same town. It’s a shame that the power company put their poles and wires in front of all of these buildings. You can see similar photos online where the photographer has taken great pains to “paint out” the wires and poles. I thought about doing the same but then if a tourist saw this post and came here to see the real thing, they might be disappointed to find the wires in the way.

 10. Monadnock

This view of Mount Monadnock from Perkin’s Pond in Troy, New Hampshire is well known and so cherished by local artists, photographers and residents that the power company didn’t dare block it with poles and wires. Last fall they, at what must have been considerable expense, brought in machinery that pulled the wires under the pond somehow. I saw the machinery but never saw it in action, so I’m not sure how it worked. I imagine it was similar to the process used for installing in-ground irrigation systems, but on a much larger scale.

11. St. Francis Chapel

Another well-known view of the mountain is found on a private road that follows the shoreline of Stone pond in Marlborough, New Hampshire. The road used to be part of a large private estate and the building in the photo was once a private chapel. The Saint Francis Episcopal chapel, built in 1926, is open to the public for weddings and other events. There have been many weddings here, and many photos taken of this view.

 12. Trail

 This is the kind of place I hope to visit today. Happy trails!

Boy, Gramp! Nature’s so much bigger in person than it is on TV! ~ Dennis the Menace

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