Brighter by the day

Today may be the shortest day of the year but to me it has seemed interminable.

Esteban is ill and the weather is crappy, so I’ve spent most of my day in the apartment. And in doing so I’ve learned three valuable lessons: (1) cable TV sucks; (2) beer tastes better chilled; and (3) refried beans are not actually food. (Though they’d make an excellent industrial adhesive, I think.) So many things about our culture suddenly make sense.

On the bright side, I did get out for a lovely walk this morning.

Today, I left the highway for a bit of scrambling among the rocks. Along the way I met two overheated English setters, one avid hunter, a covey of quail, and about 3,000 scrubby, thorny bushes.

I loved watching the weather blow across the valley. At first I was sure I’d get drenched, but the skies never opened. So I spent an hour or two enjoying the wonderful changeability of the light.

I also wondered how some of the red rock formations had gotten their names. Bell Rock seems pretty logical:

Coffeepot Rock? Not so much.

I also came up with a few names of my own. I dubbed this formation “Bear Market Rock:”

… and this one, I called “Old Sentinel.”

How long has he been sitting there, I wonder, gazing toward the horizon? If only rocks could talk …

On the way home, I paused at one of the roundabouts to watch the traffic. Esteban told me yesterday that the cops love them: Not only do the roundabouts reduce accidents, but they’re also an excellent drunk-driver trap. Apparently more than one inebriated motorist has been found driving endlessly in circles, unable to figure out how to exit. Yowser.

Well, that pretty much sums up the day.

Tomorrow is supposed to bring more rain — but also another minute or two of sunlight. Can I get a hallelujah for the latter?

Happy winter solstice.

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