I recently visited the Serra da Estrela natural park in central Portugal, a region dominated by the highest mountains in the continental part of the country. Its highest point is in Torre, reaching 1993 m above sea level. The park was created many years ago to preserve its wild fauna and flora and the rich human, cultural, and geologic heritage.
Through millions of years, the area underwent the closing of oceans and the rise of mountain chains; more recently, the human occupation (dating back to around 20,000 b.C.) has left remnants of pre-historic, Roman, Visigoths, Arabs, and Christian settlements. One such area is the necropolis of Sao Gens, located a few km north of the town of Celorico da Beira.
This is a classified archaeological and geological heritage site, where neolithic tombs, plus Roman and medieval housing remains, can be found. It is a fascinating place where the wind incessantly cuts through the granitic outcrops scattered in the plain. One such outcrop consists of a round granite block that rests over a larger granite block.
Normally, this type of rock suffers spheroidal erosion, but in this case, the base of the block was subjected to more substantial erosional effects. The result is that the top boulder rests on the bottom outcrop via a much thinner than normal contact area, creating a unique relationship.
I spent some time walking around the area, waiting for the sun to break through the heavy cloud cover. The afternoon progressed, and I could see the clouds covering the mountains in the distance. When I looked at the Raw file during its development, I decided that conversion to monochrome might work well, and I was happy with the resulting image.Upload YOUR Picture • WIN $200 Cash
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor