Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Winter 2021 Views Through a Henge


I don’t claim to be any expert on henges. I’ve simply always found henges to be intriguingly cool. So, one summer I built one, using hand cut stones from old farmhouse and barn foundations on my land.

We all know “Stonehenge”. But what truly is a “henge”? I did some research before building mine.  From my study of henges, I determined that most henges are basically a big circle of stones.  They are not all built the same way, but they share similar purpose. In a nutshell, it appears most henges are constructed to measure and celebrate the comings and goings of seasons.

Some henges, like Stonehenge, do this by catching the sun’s rays through precisely oriented windows at sunrise. Others use the exact solstice times (10:59 am this winter in the north country) to catch the sun’s rays and cast shadows or form momentary designs.

Mine is a simple henge, based on the Stonehenge design. I used a lensatic compass when building it, to ensure the window was sighted in properly.

I was out there this morning at sunrise, to celebrate this year’s winter solstice. It appears my “Monroe Henge” is pretty well aligned.

Welcome to winter! I wanted to share the view from my henge, celebrating Winter 2021. This year’s solstice sunrise.

solstice sunrise




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A veteran north country writer & story teller raised in Saranac Lake, Dick enjoys “Living in the Day I Am In”, and then writing about it. A severely speech impaired 3x cancer survivor, his pen is his voice. He shares many of his Adirondack Outlaw adventures & tales here. Read the rest on his blog @ adirondackoutlaw.com.

6 Responses

  1. Bob Meyer says:

    Thanks Richard. May you and your family have a safe, healthy and meaningful Christmas and New Year

  2. Marge Villanova says:

    Excellent! Certainly a creative and intelligent thinker! Thank you for sharing your project with us.

  3. JohnL says:

    Cool!! Very impressive. I could have all the lensatic compasses in the world and still not even come close. Great job!
    I too was in an airborne unit (101st) but at a time when you didnt have to be jump qualified. My buddies never let me forget that I was a ‘LEG’ but it was always in good sport. Hoo-ra!! Thank you for your service!
    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and I look forward to your future articles.

    • Richard Monroe says:

      It takes at least 10 uniforms on the ground to support every troop in the air. In the end, all that matters is the pride of the soldier wearing that uniform in the service of our great nation. I salute yours. Merry Christmas.

  4. Greg Keefer says:

    Great idea! Well written/researched article – thanks.

    • Richard Monroe says:

      Thank you everyone. For anyone who appreciates rocks, that henge building project was actually a great deal of fun. It somehow connected me to mysterious times past, and I will admit, when I’m in my henge circle, I do feel an energy emanating from those stones. It’s not clearly visible now due to the snow, but I actually built that henge in a 360 degree circle, all with the most massive old foundation stones I could dig up and move manually. There is an opening 180 degrees from the sunrise window, to catch solstice sunset on that side. I contemplated building a taller henge sunrise window opening, a` la Stonehenge, but given the fact that, A: I don’t have access to the druid magic, Merlin , or any of the extra-terrestrial technology rumored to have helped levitate their massive stones into place, and B: Given my inexperience in the henge building business, I feared that if I built it higher, it stood a chance of collapsing & injuring a family member, canine companion, or critter. So, I settled for a small sunrise peek window. I guess when it comes to henge building efforts, “know your limitations” would be my primary advice. Merry Christmas

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