Lugnasad sunset from Sheriff’s Mountain

The most bewildering aspect about alignments seems to be the problem of how to establish with some certainty, if a possible alignment was an intended or unintended one. Having been able to see the sun setting behind the monument for two months by simply walking with the sun, a display, that in it’s full length will be visible from Beltane to Lugnasad, would most likely be considered by many as an unwitting by-product or fluke.
Having had doubts myself but also time to let everything settle, I have come to the conclusion that despite it’s unique length and the most unheard demand for constant movement, this alignment, after all, may not be as accidental as it first appeared for the following reasons:

– It covers the summer months from Beltane to Lugnasad.

– The terrain has to provide the possibility of walking back and forward for this duration, which needs a ridge or two.

– The position of observation can not be too high or, and as I found out last year on Holywell Hill, the sun will be setting behind the Fanad Hills and not the Grianán.

– The position of observation can not be too low either or the sun will be setting behind the little ridge, which seems to run off Holywell Hill, when standing on Minkey Hill. The same does not apply to Sheriff’s Mountain, which provides a clear view towards the Grianán.

These points leave me under the impression that pure coincidence under such circumstances is suspicious, since the very possibility to observe this breathtaking demonstration asks for a location fulfilling certain requirements and has in particular to overcome geographical restrictions within the very curvy terrain of Inishowen.
And if a sky observing novice, like myself, can find such spot of the most glorious vision, a literal demonstration of the connection between the monument and the sun, for the three months of summer, when her might is perceived as being at it’s strongest, than it is improbable if not impossible that such an advantage would have slipped the attention of a people, who laid out their very lives to the movements above.
Once the natural benefit of this location had been discovered, by accident or observation, an utter disregard of it seems unconceivable.
As such this possible alignment may be both, the very fortunate arrangement of two ridges by nature and the use of it, intentionally, by men.

Sunset August 1

Sunset August 1

Sunset August 1

Sunset August 6

Sunset August 6

Sunset August 6. Clouds moved in between the Grianán and the sun at the crucial moment.

August 26. There was no clear sunset for 20 days but the point where the sun was setting had by then moved too far to the south despite my attempt to adjust.

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