Thursday, December 29, 2011

It Was Merry and Bright

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Solstice. I have a few simple images from Christmas evening.

There were lovely decorations.

A delicious turkey dinner was followed by incredibly yummy treats.

Elliot cookie monster
Which was pursued by this little wise man a.k.a The Cookie Monster.

lily tiger goof
Where there are wise men, there must be angels and this little sweetie is always angelic even when she's being a goof in her tiger hat and Rapunzel dress.

Maeve whistle
The littlest angel is their one year old baby sister who is about to blow the whistle on her older siblings.

guitar hands
Of course, where there are angels, there must be sweet music. Guitar playing was courtesy of my son.

candy house
And speaking of sweets, the kids sure went all out in decorating their gingerbread houses.

Christmas window
Thank you again, Amanda and Colin.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Icy Creatures and Posts of the Week

A couple of weeks ago, I took Benny for a morning walk. The temperatures had dropped below freezing overnight and into the day, causing puddles to begin to freeze over.

ice dolphin
This particular one caught my eye. I liked the swirls and breaks, and the more I looked at it, the more I thought it looked like a couple of different animals. Taking in the fuller picture, I thought I could see a dolphin.

Moving in a little closer though, I could see the face of a blue jay. Can you see it?

How about now?

I don't have too many Posts of the Week this week as we've all been pretty busy with the holidays, but few are better than none so I decided to post this small collection rather than skip it until next time.

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.


My Christmas Eve Peeve
by Dianne
at Forks off the Moment


Colorful Dream
by Laura
at Shine the Divine


No Turkey for Christmas
by Hilary
at Crazy as a Loom


An Everyday Occurrence
by Mami
at Unknown Mami


I'll Never See Them Again but...
by Pearl
at Pearl, Why You Little..


Recommended by: Grayquill
Making Christmas Brighter
at Stories From Real Life

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you wonderful people a very Merry Christmas, if you celebrate and a Happy Holiday, if you do not.

christmas tree
May colour, light and the beauty of trees surround you.

May you share many smiles with family and friends.

May you enjoy the wonder that comes your way. (Many thanks to Jinksy of Napple's Notes for crocheting and gifting me with the wonder of unique snowflakes)

May there be many sweet moments in your life. (A big thank you to Hilary of Crazy as a Loom for baking and sweetening my season with these delicious honey cookies)

silver cracker
May you all have a cracker of a holiday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Golden Season

This is the season of light. Hanukkah candles, treetop stars, flickering bulbs or the glint off of the unadorned Festivus (for the rest of us) pole... And of course, the hours of sunlight are now growing longer, once again.

I don't have photographs of electric lights or candle flames but I do have some of Nature's best golden light.

All of these photos were taken late in the afternoon, during that golden hour when sunlight spills onto every surface, and ignites magic. Perhaps you'd like to join me while I revisit Nature's golden light.

Walking past a house in the park, we notice the sunlight striking its back wall, creating this golden, striped backdrop for these silhouetted sparrows.

colours hanging on
Spindle berries still shine a brilliant orange but their petals have faded to a pale pink. Their leaves, once supple and green, have become a mottled gold, but glow in the last rays of sunshine.

gold leaf
We've not had any significant snow yet, this season, and many of the days have been quite mild. Fooled into believing it's still autumn, the fallen oak leaves have retained their golden hue.

These floral dead heads seem to radiate their own golden light.

lakeside sunlit roots
Across the pond, a jumble of tree roots catch the light. The water's surface reflects their fiery glow.

leaf dock
Look downward at the dock beneath our feet. A solitary leaf, caught inside the crack between the boards is basking in the gleaming sunlight.

sunlit tree
On our way home, this majestic, golden tree stretches its limbs and bids the final rays of sunshine "goodnight."

However you celebrate the season, may you always find your golden light.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chappy Chanukkah and Posts of the Week

Today is day two of the Jewish festival of lights. Wishing those of us who celebrate, a very Chappy Chanukkah and many, many menorah. ;)


And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.


All is Calm, All is Bright.. Or IS IT?
by Susan
at Wild Life in the Woods


Where You Put Your Hands
by Brian
at WayStationOne

The Gift
by Jim
at Suldog

Two Coats
by Cricket
at Cricket and Porcupine

How to be Right, While Dead Wrong
by Cloudia
at Comfort Spiral


Getting the Bird...
by Reena
at Missing Moments


'Tis the Season
by DJan
at DJan-ity

Christmas Story
by Lisa
at Where Peaceful Moments Flow

Silent Saturday
by SueAnn
at SueAnn's Journey


Thanks for Di for pointing out this very clever video. Women will probably appreciate it more than the men.

Thank you Mage for sharing this Canuckian high school kid's unique rendition of a Christmas classic.

Thank you to Dianne for pointing out this fun Hanukkah tune by the Yeshiva Boys Choir

Thank you to Lime for sharing this very funny, and hopefully only mildly offensive video.

Thank you to Beth for sharing this fun video.

Patsy and Mickey are back in a Sucker Bet
by Daryl's Ray
at Out and About in New York City


Recommended by: Suldog
The Running of the Grunions
by Stephen
at The Chubby Chatterbox

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Morning, Evening and Night

One good thing about the shorter days of winter is that sunrises happen a bit later in the morning, at a reasonable hour for being up, out and about. A summer awakening at 5-something is not likely to happen but a 7:30 stroll, I can handle

sunrise bird
It was around this hour - perhaps a bit later when I snapped this photo. It was awfully kind of the bird to land atop the tree just in time to give me a lovely profile shot. Morning had broken and the day way looking fine.

sunrise in the park
A view of the sun rising behind the clouds, over the roof tops across the pond.

morning has broken2
You can hardly tell by that fire in the sky that it was a cold, late-autumn day.

evening tree2
I'm sure you have figured out that I love this old, dead tree. With each wind storm it changes, losing branches and redefining its shape. Here it is again, one evening with dramatic clouds approaching. You can just make out the pond water shining at the bottom right of its trunk.

Evening falls and the moon rises. It was a hazy night and the effect made for a colourful orb in the night sky.

A different tree but the same old moon.

We've walked along these paths before, you and I - in daytime and night time. They just seem to hold a certain mystery in the near-dark.

night walk2
I've certainly shared these trees with you before - in summer and in autumn. Both photos appeared here. I will be taking photos of them again once the winter snow has kissed them but for now, please enjoy this nighttime encounter.

dock at night
Last but not least, this is a view of the pond's dock, taken from the opposite shore. I didn't think I'd get a clear enough image considering the shutter speed was slowish and the camera was hand-held. As the nighttime strollers walked into view, under the light of the lamppost, I decided to give it a try anyway. I was happy with how it turned out.

Thanks for joining me on my walks at all hours of the day and night.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Invisible Benny and the Treats

One day in October when we were up at the cottage, we went into town to stock up on a few groceries. It's not feasible to bring Benny with us on those one hour excursions so he stays behind waiting for us to return. We usually do so with a treat for him.

On this particular day, we found something he especially loved. Usually, one or two nibbles of a treat is all it takes to make life good again for our boy, but this treat was different for some reason. He REALLY liked it... a LOT.

Benny what
After his two, maybe three gulps of his new favourite treat, I placed the packet on top of the desk which sits between the living room and kitchen. They're not visible in this photo, but you can be sure Benny saw me place them there. It wasn't long before he made his way up to the back of the sofa so that he could get closer to them. He took a quick glance over his shoulder to see if he was getting away with it. For now, he was.

Benny sneaky
He casually sidled up to it and laid his weary little body down. It was merely coincidence that said action brought his nose pretty close to the package.

Benny guilty
Guilty much? Do you think he knew that I knew what he was up to?

Benny sniffing
Regardless, he continued to inch his way closer to the munchies. This time a little too close, and I reprimanded him gently. He responded in the way that all toddlers in trouble do when they want you to believe they're not misbehaving....

Benny you can't see me
"My eyes are closed so you can't see me!"

That cute face almost earned him another treat.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... No Posts of the Week

Sorry folks. I just haven't been making the rounds enough this past week in order to bring you a substantial Posts of the Week. I have collected a few and I will include those the next time I publish a POTW but for now, I hope you'll forgive me. Perhaps I can placate you with 1) a few Christmas lights photos and 2) the promise of a Benny post for tomorrow? What? That'll do? Thank you. I kind of thought Benny would save the day.

A couple of weeks back, my next door neighbours Jen and Mark sent out an email to our friendly neighbourhood. Clever people that they are, they came up with a good idea for an evening get together.

They had a fake Christmas tree that they no longer needed, but instead of throwing it out, they asked each of us to stop by with an ornament or two and make an event of decorating the tree. They had lights, tinsel and several ornaments of their own, to which we added ours. And there was hot chocolate, shortbread cookies and a nip of this or that to warm us - which it did but not nearly as much as the camaraderie.

Oh, I should mention that the tree was set up on their front deck for all of us to see each night when we walk by. And what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn't share that sight with you?

The tree was still a work in progress at this point. You can see a couple of our neighbours hanging ornaments.

tree star
A gold star for our efforts.

through car window
Standing back a bit, I snapped this shot a few nights later. I liked the way the some of the fence lights were visible through the car window.

And here's the reflection on the car's body. It's become a photo tradition around here since Frank photographed a similar image a few years back.

Thank you Jen, Mark, son Alex and mom Grace for inviting us to join you. Stay tuned for a Benny post, tomorrow.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It Could Be Verse (but it isn't)

Please join me now as I fondly remember
These scenes from a day trip we took in November.

bugs bunny
We filled up for gas first, and saw something funny
This passenger looked quite a lot like Bugs Bunny

rusty fudge
We traveled along 'til we reached Garden Hill
And left food for the kitty at old Fudge's Mill

Geese through winshield
Continuing along on our one day vacation
We saw geese headed south in their flying formation

old capitol
The Capitol Theatre - a blast from the past
I treated this image with an old-fashioned cast

mail call
Top-loading mailboxes 1, 2, 3, 4
All nestled outside of this heavy, black door

peeling paint
This aged building evoked a nostalgic feeling
The paint job so old it was crackled and peeling

sixties love
Still another ahead had a sign up above
Brought me back to the 60s - the days of free love

wet windshield
Dark clouds quickly gathered and it started to rain
We knew it was time to head back home again

I hope you enjoyed this little diversion
Thanks for joining us on our mini-excursion.