Crystal labyrinth, Animas Creek
Sierra County’s Animas Creek may be best known as the home of a beautiful strand of Arizona sycamores, sustained by the Rio de las Animas (the “River of Spirits”). Nestled in a grove of the white-barked, sinuous trees is a lesser known, but no less enchanting attraction: the meditational labyrinth at the center of this magical photograph.
Animas Creek’s labyrinth, which is on private property but open to the public, consists of 11 concentric circles bordered with local crystals and stones. It takes its inspiration from the Chartres Labyrinth laid out on the floor of the famous medieval cathedral in Chartres France. Built in the early 13th century, the Chartres Labyrinth was a stop on the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Sierra County pilgrims may find it more convenient to undertake a spiritual quest by walking the paths of the Animas Creek labyrinth leading to what appears to be the enshrined stump of a sycamore. (Call 575-649-3424 for an appointment).
This photograph is a more than satisfying substitute for an in-person visit. Artfully anchored, the large white rock in the foreground directs attention to a vertical line of stones leading to the shrine. Then, drawn by the yellow glow on the far horizon, one lifts one’s eyes to the heavens. Imagine how many times the labyrinth’s architect (who is the author of this image) went outside at sunset to look for cloud formations whose flamboyant colors, sky-filling fluidity and concentricity were the perfect complement to his eternal, earth-toned creation.
On Jan. 18 the miracle occurred, and he was there to capture it for us.
—Commentary by Tom Hinson, editor, Photograph of the Week
Editor’s Note: Click on the photograph to view it in a light box for even greater clarity.
Professional, amateur and phone-camera photographers alike are invited to submit images to the Sierra County Sun for possible publication in the Sun’s “Photograph of the Week” feature. The deadline for consideration is every Friday at 5 p.m. For further information, click on the Help Us Report button on our home page and then check the box labeled “I want to submit a photo to Photograph of the Week.”