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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Walk to Midgley Moor to see the sunrise on the generally-accepted solstice.

At 08.23 approx. on Monday 21st Dec the sun rises.

Archaeologist Dave tells us the ancient locals dragged huge boulders into place on Midgley Moor to line up with the place the sun rises over the horizon after the longest nights.

I'm going up to try and see this.

Anyone who has the morning free, and would like to accompany me, meet at Luddenden Foot, just round the corner on the way up to Luddenden, at 7.30am. I'll look out for you. I'm in a red Berlingo.

Bring hot flasks if you can to keep warm. It's for the fairly fit only. The walk up is steep, wet and uneven. You may need a torch.

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Just two of us went up to see the sunrise. It was a fine, mild morning, but the wind got stronger as we climbed higher. Despite using the OS map (which fought back in the wind) and the compass, it took me quite a while to get us to the Miller's Grave pair of stones.

The sun was obviously going to clear the horizon before we got there.

Robin Hood's Penny Stone is within sight of Miller's Grave, and going over to it, we could see from the angle of climb, that the sun must have risen at the point on the horizon to which the arrangement of stones points.

So the expedition was a bit of a failure, except it confirms what we were told. Must try again next year.

On the way down we had time to enjoy the surroundings in the sunshine (before the rain rolled in again.)  I spotted the cowberry I had noticed on a list of sites Charles Flynn had once given me, and we heard pink-footed geese somewhere. I nearly always hear them first. There were 150 approximately going west in two loose chevrons and they came straight over us quite low as we were on the edge of the moor. The sun was catching their light bellies.

We speculated whether the geese might already have established their migrations in prehistoric times when the Solstice stones were being painstakingly dragged into place.


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