When my hard drive gave out, I didn't lose any irreplaceable pictures. I learned my lesson about that years ago. I did lose one partly written story. I'll briefly summarize it here, not actually the story, but what it was about. It was about collecting rocks for my garden. I don't like the idea of purchasing rocks, not even precious ones, but particularly not the ones I stumble over - the ones placed by forces of nature long before I stumbled along. I have purchased rocks anyway, but my car and I really can't carry more than a very few at a time. Mostly I find rocks and carry them home. Surprisingly, when you look for something like rocks (or used disposable lighters, combs, hair ties, or flatware,) it appears without explanation in your path. There are good sized rocks sitting in city streets. There are rocks in the wild and rocks in gardens. I try, for the most part, not to take other people's landscape rocks. Nevertheless, I lift rocks sometimes right from someone else's garden. I half expect someone to emerge from a house, and shout stop thief! That's my rock! I have my rationalizations, but that's all they are. And I have some rocks. Not nearly as many as I need, and I still think I may have created a small depression in the surface of the earth. Things and animals roll down hill toward my home.
The stone structure depicted here was a watering trough, built in 1906 and 1907 and much later designated South Pasadena historic landmark number 7. It was a place for tired and thirsty horses and travelers to rest and hydrate on their way from Los Angeles to Pasadena. Before people built lovely structures out of rocks, there were many more rocks just sitting around on the ground.