Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Solstice

Early morning shadows cast on some boulders in the Chaco Canyon area in the northwest region of New Mexico. Behind me, as I took this photo is the infamous Fajada Butte.

All I had to do was to turn around to take this shot of the Fajada Butte.

I can't think of anything more appropriate to post for this week's Shadow Shot Sunday since it occurs on the summer solstice in this region of the world.

Fajada, in Spanish, means belted or banded. This refers to the black seam or layer of lignite coal exposed midway up the butte.

Many of you have probably never heard of Chaco Canyon except in the references I've made to it in past posts. It is a State Park here in New Mexico. It preserves what is left of an ancient civilization, The Chacoans. You can find out more about the Chacoans and this ancient site here.

There is a 'movie'/DVD production made about the mystery of the Chaco Canyon because scientists somewhere along the line started to unravel what looked like a very complex site that aligned with astronomical occurrences, such as the solstice and equinox. Initially, it seemed that the astronomical observation point was limited to this butte. Over time, a research team revealed that the entire site marks different occurrences. The geographical area that this center spans is extensive. The Fajada Butte has three rock slabs on the top of it slanted just so. It captures a dagger of sunlight on a spiral drawing on the day of the summer and winter solstice. You can find out more about this at the site called The Solstice Project. The section with all the relevant info on this butte can be found here.

This is from the sign that faces the butte. I've included it so that you can see just where on this butte the site is that marks the solstice events.

I do hope that you take the time to check out the links I've provided. There are no repeat links on this page. Every single link is different (to assist you in this info treasure hunt!). It really befits our meme for today.

Every week, a group of us from around the world post our shadow shots over at Hey Harriet. Entertain your muse by stopping by to see what others have posted!


Sylvia K said...

Marvelous shadow shots! I love the canyon, have been there and it is beautiful! Thanks, too, for all the really fascinating information. I'm going to check out the links now.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Joanna said...

Isn't this the most amazing place? Love the shadow shot. We were in the Gila Cliff dwellings a year ago and I'd love to go to Chaco Canyon the next time I'm in the southwest. Thanks for sharing this information.

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

This is facinating Paula! Thanks for the links - we love stuff like this! What a perfect place for shadows too! Happy Summer to you!

Hey Harriet said...

You do visit the most amazing places! I'm so glad that you share your finds here. A very happy summer solstice to you! Once again, your post has left me gobsmacked ;) It's funny to me that you've not heard the term 'gobsmacked' before. Maybe it's an Aussie thing...

An interesting cultural exchange isn't it? You give me exquisite images & I give you silly words...hehe

Rosebud Collection said...

What great pictures..will check it all out. Very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to post all of this, as well as the wonderful shadow shots..Happy SSS.

Sweet Repose said...

I can almost feel the heat off the rocks...dry heat of the desert, I love it and would love to visit again someday...beautiful shots!

SouthLakesMom said...

We took our kids to Chaco Canyon when we lived out West. Totally wasted on them at that age (preschooler) but we really enjoyed it!

Nice photos, and nice linking for folks.

srp said...

The colors in relationship to the shadows are amazing... nothing like it anywhere else on earth!

Dorte said...

Very interesting post ... I would really love to visit that part of the world one day!

twinklestarart said...

The Chaco Canyon makes an amazing shadow shot. I recognized the rock but didn't know its name. Thanks for the information. Really gets me thinking about stuff that goes beyond my brain's usual daily capacity, or as Miss Harriet puts it 'gobsmacked' ;)

Richie's 2ts Inspires said...

You always got fantastic shots, Lady! I love them. Looks like post cards.

Informative SS shot... I can't ask for more.

Happy evening!

Judith. Santa Fe said...

Perfect timing ... .
with your Shadow/ Solstice shots .. .
can't wait to see you later this week!

Catherine said...

Gorgeous shots of a gorgeous landscape..


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