Yesterday, from 1 PM to 5, our jolly Fall Light photographic workshop group engaged Boston’s nearest mountain range, the Blue Hills, Great Blue the highest at 630 feet above sea level. We’d timed the climb to merge with sunset but we had a few problems: it was overcast, we couldn’t be at the summit at sunset because of difficulties hiking down in the dark, and we couldn’t find—or I couldn't visualize—a western vantage point. However, we discovered the meadow near the end of the loop, just off the Walcott Path near the lower part of the summit road. We all patiently lingered along the edge of the meadow watching as a somewhat feeble sunset presented itself to us. No sharp color, no dramatic curves, but a soft, gradual, subtle setting of our life-giving sun. I felt this was one of my two highlights of the journey. A few minutes later as we were about to reach the Audubon trailside museum, Pat noticed a brilliant red flare in the western sky. We missed it; the trees blocked a full view.
The second highlight? The observation tower at the summit. Not from the tower, but of the tower; not the terrain, but the people; not the solitude of summit, but the joie de vivre of many people enjoying a summit. I do not recall such a large crowd in the Blue Hills. So many on the trails, so many at the summit picnicking (it was near lunch time, about 1:40 PM), so many so apparently cheery (perhaps the last warm day of the year, nearly 70 Fahrenheit). Using my much-loved 12-24 mm wide angle lens I showed the crowd at the summit and, earlier, in panoramic mode I photographed from the base of the tower to show the many clumps of apparently happy people.