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Dancing in the solstice light

Winter solstice in the northern Chihuahuan desert is filled with sunlight, though temperatures are a little on the chill side.

Because overnight lows are now regularly dipping below freezing, all the aloes and succulents have migrated inside. Fortunately the two south facing rooms have plenty of windows, allowing light to stream in.

Throughout the year, the sun rises into my bedroom on the south east corner.

A few weeks ago I made space, alongside my bed, for some of the smallest of the Garden of Earthly Delights plant nursery aloe offsets, destined for the market sometime in 2023. They enjoy low angled winter sun almost all day and, while they are looking a little pale, it's the best I can do.

The better part of my solstice day was spent enjoying the sunlight outback, assembling a mail order wooden garden planter. This picture bride of a piece of garden architecture arrived in around twenty five flat pieces, along with 50 screws of varying dimensions, and a cryptic set of non verbal assembly instructions.

I treated the wooden pieces with an oil wood preserver about a month ago and since then they have languished outback. Online reviews claimed this item was hard to put together, that the assembly instructions were wrong and following them would result in "things not fitting together".


I allowed these reviews to intimidate me, especially since they were written by people with names like Thomas, Jake or Jack, conventionally associated with masculinity. I have been putting off attempting to assemble the planter for a long time now.


In the end though, I think I did just fine today. Following the cryptic map very carefully, I did not go down any badly fitting dead ends. I still have a few screws to tighten before I call the assembly complete. That will be when I find a different screwdriver as wielding the little stubby one which was on hand, has given me a blister.


This planter is Plan A in my attempt to foil the Skunk Who Dug Up All My Root Crops. Plan B is an electric fence. For various reason, not least being that I personally don't like electric shocks from fences, I don't want to have to implement Plan B

Then I went for a solstice evening soak at The Charles, my favourite mineral hotsprings bathhouse.

Came home to enjoy the dance of light, both natural and staged, around the interior spaces which I inhabit.

And which spaces also inhabit me.

There are even flowers at winter solstice here. The Fucaria tigrina just doesn't want to give up on blooming.

The zygote cactus has been blooming marvelous a month or more now, in spite of the heavy pruning it was given last spring.

And that, as the movie makers say, is a wrap.

Happy Solstice to all, whether summer or winter. May we all dance in light.


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