Eastern Sunsets


When we first were planning to build the dome we debated about which way the house would face. We were building right on the ridge of the mountain, which runs in a northeast/southwest direction. At the time we had forests surrounding us but had visions of clearing the trees all around so we’d have a view of the forested eastern view and the pastoral view of the farms to the west, both views with mountains and valleys as far as the eye could see in either direction.

Logic said to have the house face the road on the east side. However, after much deliberation, we chose to have it face the ridge to the southwest so we could see the views in both directions from our upper deck – from east to west, from sunrise to sunset.


Sunrise reflections







View of Hoye Crest, the highest point in Maryland

We never did get around to clearing the west side and have never regretted it. I love the forest. It’s like a friend we can count on, always close, always hugging us, always visible even in the heavy fog when we see nothing in other directions. It breaks the prevalent west wind, and its shade and breezes provide our summer air-conditioning. We made walking trails through it years ago and had picnics on the moss-covered boulders. Over our 4th of July family gatherings the grandchildren, nieces and nephews race down through the trails and they each have claimed a boulder of their own.

Our winter sunrises with their warm golden sunlight, are also reflected on the icy branches of the forest. But our sunsets are only seen through the trees.  By mid-December we see it silhouetting Hoye Crest, the highest point in Maryland, which our deck faces.

However, the sunsets bring us the most special and unexpected bonus–their beautiful reflections on the eastern clouds.

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Dear Denny, this is so beautiful. You are positively poetic in both your language and the way you have laid out your page. What I am hearing as I look at the photographs and your heartfelt text is someone grieving. The remembering is so important a part of that, remembering all that you and Mark have experienced there: its beauty, the joy you have taken in it, and the peace of your lovely and so original home — and the land. It is a tear in the heart to contemplate leaving all that the dome and its surroundings have meant to you–to all of us.

I send you blessings, I send you love,


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