Tag Archives: Navajo star ceiling

Starry

A spring in a big rincón, westward-facing. Water, with help from prevailing winds, had carved out an arching cave in the sandstone perhaps 30 feet high. Its ceiling was dotted with grapefruit-size nests of cliff swallows. The birds flew over us, alarmed and crying.

On the arch is a Navajo “star ceiling,” probably Cassiopeia. Look for the stars, red ochre Xes. Then look more closely: there are faint, perhaps earlier black stars as well.