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It took me nearly 15 years of driving by Chimney Rock in SW Colorado during the early morning hours enroute to work to figure out that during a couple of weeks or so on either side of the summer Solstice, the first light of the rising sun shone upon the exposed sandstone through a small gap in Mesa Verde.
That light only lasts about three minutes and then fades away as the sun angles upward and back behind the mesa, to be replaced later by much weaker overall sunrise light.
It only took five more years to get near perfect conditions in which to photograph this event.

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