But a day or so later came a new phenomenon, one that I love to see. It's known as Ground Fog. From a distance, you can see the cloud of fog (sorry about that) clinging to the earth with clear sunny skies above it. It looks like this.
And more stunningly, like this.
In StoneRidge, where I live and where I shot these photos the sun had already burned off the fog. But in downtown Prescott Valley it was still clinging on. I can imagine that it was a dreary, gray sight there. But from a distance and a bit of elevation it is simply beautiful.
Now to the subject of landmarks. Yesterday I noted that the low cloud was even obscuring Thumb Butte in Prescott. A couple of my commenters thought that was a funny name. So let me explain.
It is pronounced Thumb, as in thumb, and Butte, as in Beaut. And it's a volcanic plug that resembles, from a certain angle, an upraised thumb. Take a look.
See, it's a photo taken from the side with the right side being the thumbnail and the left being the pad on the thumb. Some early pioneer/gold digger/mountain man/cowboy, perhaps a bit hazy from some "likker" gave it the name back in the day. It has become Prescott's official landmark and appears on signs, stationery and in local business names.
It is part of the Sierra Prieta range just west of Prescott. Incidentally early cowboys called the range "the Sierry Petes". And they are featured in a piece of cowboy poetry by the late, great Gail Gardner.
The Sierry Petes (or, Tying Knots in the Devil's Tail)
Away up high in the Sierry Petes,
Where the yeller pines grows tall,
Ole Sandy Bob an' Buster Jig,
Had a rodeer camp last fall.
Oh, they taken their hosses and runnin' irons
And maybe a dog or two,
An' they 'lowed they'd brand all the long-yered calves,
That come within their view.
And any old dogie that flapped long yeres,
An' didn't bush up by day,
Got his long yeres whittled an' his old hide scorched,
In a most artistic way.
Now one fine day ole Sandy Bob,
He throwed his seago down,
"I'm sick of the smell of burnin’ hair,
And I 'lows I'm a-goin' to town."
So they saddles up an' hits 'em a lope,
Fer it warnt no sight of a ride,
And them was the days when a Buckeroo
Could ile up his inside.
Oh, they starts her in at the Kaintucky Bar,
At the head of Whiskey Row,
And they winds up down by the Depot House,
Some forty drinks below.
They then sets up and turns around,
And goes her the other way,
An' to tell you the Gawd-forsaken truth,
Them boys got stewed that day.
As they was a-ridin' back to camp,
A-packin' a pretty good load,
Who should they meet but the Devil himself,
A-prancin' down the road.
Sez he, "You ornery cowboy skunks,
You'd better hunt yer holes,
Fer I've come up from Hell's Rim Rock,
To gather in yer souls."
Sez Sandy Bob, "Old Devil be damned,So Sandy Bob punched a hole in his rope,
We boys is kinda tight,
But you ain't a-goin' to gather no cowboy souls,
'Thout you has some kind of a fight."
And he swang her straight and true,
He lapped it on to the Devil's horns,
An' he taken his dallies too.
Now Buster jig was a riata man,
With his gut-line coiled up neat,
So he shaken her out an' he built him a loop,
An' he lassed the Devil's hind feet.
Oh, they stretched him out an' they tailed him down,
While the irons was a-gettin hot,
They cropped and swaller-forked his yeres,
Then they branded him up a lot.
They pruned him up with a de-hornin' saw,
An' they knotted his tail fer a joke,
They then rid off and left him there,
Necked to a Black-Jack oak.
If you're ever up high in the Sierry Petes,Gail I. Gardner, 1917
An' you hear one Hell of a wail,
You'll know it's that Devil a-bellerin' around,
About them knots in his tail.
And that, as a certain radio commenter used to say, is the rest of the story.