"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter solstice photo



For those of you interested in the solstice and Chaco...

This photo was taken by Chaco Park Ranger G.B. Cornucopia in 2004.

Christina Solstad in her spirit of Chaco blog posted the following comments about this year:

"Since I could not be there in person, I spoke to G.B. Cornucopia, park ranger extraordinaire, and dear friend. The photo is one G.B. sent me from a previous year.
"This morning at Chaco was clear and cold, with 43 hardy souls showing up at Pueblo Bonito before sunrise. They got to watch the sun's beam of light shine through a high corner doorway, and onto the wall. This is the only time it looks like this. 
"See how the sunlight in the photo marks a nice square shape on the wall? 
The changing size and shape of the resulting light on the stone wall would have allowed the ancient Chacoans to mark important events, such as the return to longer days. 
"Don't you think you would have wanted to mark and celebrate the return of more sunlight! 
"I have yet to see this with my own eyes. One day I will! 
"I was there one year for solstice, but it snowed, so we could not see the sun. Instead, I experienced another kind of magic. That will be another post!"

Clark's note: When she says it is cold, you have no idea how cold it gets at Chaco. I was there for spring equinox this year, and March in the desert night is bone-chilling and numbing. Get up to see the sunrise and sun markers at Rinconada kiva, and there is no way to get warm. 

And it is worth it and welcome to see the return of the sun, watching time slide down the cliff faces untilt he markers appear for a few moments on the old stone walls.

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