Handshake at Sunset

Imagine the two Mitten Buttes in Monument Valley standing regally next to each other for millions of years.  Twice a year, the setting sun casts the shadow for West Mitten Butte onto East Mitten Butte.  It is as if they shake hands during this special occasion.

As the sun set the shadow grew taller and taller,then it was gone in a heartbeat. Yes, I could feel my heartbeat while photographing this special event!  You can see just how low the sun’s rays by the illumination of the sage brush in the foreground.  I could step right over the special sun rays right next to my tripod.

Watching the shadow line up as the sun’s rays skimmed the horizon was amazing.  It really gave me a feeling of respect for nature to witness this.  I wonder how many different human generations watched this event unfold?  Was it just an accident for the first observers to witness this?  Best of all, independent of man, it happens each year.  As long as their is a setting sun, the Mitten Buttes shake hands twice a year.

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