Chimney Rock, captured!

If you’ve dropped by this blog more than a time or two in the past, you likely know I’m a bit of an archaeology buff. Here’s a shot through my 60mm crystal ball of Chimney Rock, in southern Colorado:

Chimney Rock, captured!

The Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is home to some ancestral puebloan ruins, nearly 1000 years old. They were built at this site due to the two rock pinnacles in this image — every 18.6 years, the moon rises between the columns (the geometry is called a Major Lunar Standstill). If you’d like to see this event in person, there’s good news and bad news. Good news: the site has public viewing events for lunar standstill. Bad news: the next one won’t occur until 2022.

So patience is the key…

Looking out from Balcony House

Balcony House is one of the “marquis” attractions at Mesa Verde — you can only see it as part of a group, you have to get a timed ticket in advance, etc. But oh, is it ever worth the bother! Here’s the view looking out from just short of the “exit:”

Looking out from Balcony House

Right in the middle of the frame you can *just* see the 30-foot-tall ladder you climb to get into the site.

This shot is actually a panorama stitched together from two portrait (vertical) frames; I tried to pull as much of the resulting “fisheye” distortion out as I could, but as you can see, there’s still a bit left.

Fajada Butte — captured!

Coming to you from Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, it’s Fajada Butte:

Fajada Butte, captured!

Fajada Butte is the site of an ancient “Sun Dagger” solar clock that marks the occurrence of the solstices and equinoxes. It’s too delicate for visitors to see in person any more (it was damaged by tourism-induced erosion, and closed to the public in 1989), but still inspiring to look at from a distance.