Gazing Into the Past

Spider Rock overlook inn Canyon de Chelly, takes on various hues and the light in the canyon assumes many shapes. Shadows form and reform on walls and crevices as the sun dances across the sky. After staring at the scene for a while, I began to see familiar silhouettes. Was that a rider on horseback in the shadows? I blink and he is gone. Was he really there? Perhaps it was the spirit of a warrior from long ago who continues to protect his homeland.

I can feel his presence as well as that of many others who used to call these lands home. Archaeologists report finding evidence that people have lived in Canyon de Chelly for almost 5000 years. These include the Archaic people (2500-200 B.C.), the Basketmakers (200 B.C.-A.D. 750), the Pueblo (750-1300), the Hopi (1300-1600s), the Navajo (1700-present).

Spider Rock is a sandstone spire about 800 feet tall located in Canyon de Chelly, pronounced “shay” from the Navajo word tsegi, meaning “rock canyon. This is a National Monument and a vast park in northeastern Arizona, on Navajo tribal lands. The formation is named for Spider Woman, a key figure in Navajo lore. According to Navajo legend, Spider Woman lives at Spider Rock and was first to weave the web of the universe. She taught the Navajo how to weave, how to create beauty in their own life and to spread the “Beauty Way”; the teaching of balance within the mind, body & soul. 

Camera/Exposure Settings

  • Exposure: 1/50 sec at f/18
  • Exposure program: Aperture priority
  • Metering mode: Pattern
  • ISO speed: 100
  • Focal length 35mm: 32mm
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS
© 2021 - Carol Fox Henrichs | Nature Photographer & Photo Artist