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.


Country Girl said...

Oh, the bird shot! Incredible. Thanks for sharing the golden light from your neck of the woods. Happy Hanukkah, Hilary.

Brian Miller said...

and isnt natures light best any how it makes everything golden...merry christmas!

Leah J. Utas said...

Such wonderful honey-rich hues. Your bird pic is magnificent.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

That shadow of the sparrows is absolutely amazing HIlary. Seriously, I've never seen anything like it! Can I nominate this one for a POTW? :)

Unknown said...

I love these walks with you Hilary! I'm usually not a morning person but did haul myself out of bed yesterday to capture some of that morning glow. It really does make for beautiful photos as you have given us here. That bird shot ... Wowza!

Ruth Hiebert said...

THese golden light are so much prettier than any electric lights.I loved every one of them.

DJan said...

These are so beautiful. I tried to take a picture similar to your tree roots reflected, but it just didn't turn out very well. These, however... are wonderful, as usual. :-)

Daryl said...

the bird shot is the money shot!

TexWisGirl said...

these are all beautiful. i loved the brown leaf shot. :)

Nancy said...

You have such talent, Hilary! You have inspired me. For the new year it is going to be about that golden time of day and my camera.

Kerry said...

Oh my gosh, these are breath-taking. What an eye you have. LOVE the birds!

Karen said...

Lovely. I think the leaf stuck in the boards can really tell a story. I seem to have some connection with "quirky" things. :)

sage said...

That is a magical time of day and this is a season of lights. Thanks for taking us along with your walk!

ADRIAN said...

Wonderful absolutely spot on. The last one needs a crop but is my favourite as it is.

Frank Baron said...

I like. Especially the silhouetted birds and the spindle berry. I must have taken 50 spindle berry shots and not got one keeper in the lot.

Happy Solstice. :)

Anyes said...

The light you always find comes from within :-)

ellen abbott said...

Love them all but the last two are really wonderful.

Glo said...

Nature may provide the light, but you have the eye to notice and celebrate it! Thanks for brightening up our lives with your magical photos.

It looks like one sparrow is offering a holly sprig to the other :) Beautiful as usual, Hilary ~ wishing you and yours the best as the days start stretching out their light. Do you ever get called 'Bright eyes'? Somehow, I know your eyes are very twinkly :)

messymimi said...

The roots reflected in the water are beyond belief beautiful.

Enjoy the holidays!

Lynne with an e said...

Oh yes, let the light shine in, soak it up and revel in it whenever you can, as clearly you have done here. Heightened moments of awareness glow through the images you've captured. That first picture of the silhouetted birds is simply astounding! Thank you for bringing so much light into my world throughout the year with your blog of great photos, observations, and bright sense of humour.

L. D. said...

It is a great time of the day to get great mood photos. Your compositions and color is wonderful.

stephen Hayes said...

You have an excellent eye and I greatly enjoy the glowing Rembrandtesque colors.

Suldog said...

As I've said before (so many times that long-time readers of yours probably wish I'd shut up by now) you are the absolute best. Magnificent shots, all of them.

Anvilcloud said...

Your photos are golden.

Red said...

Great photos taking advantage of late afternoon sun. Now I hate to rain on your party, but the days don't increase in minutes for a few more days. The sun still comes up later each day for another 7-10 days. That's right check sunset and sunrise charts.

Mental P Mama said...

Wonderful...That first one took my breath away!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Each of these is well composed and has its own beauty, but that first one, of the birds silhouetted against the striped background is an award winner, for sure!

Dan said...

They are all great! The one that speaks to me loudest is the leaf between the wooden plank.

Peaceful and calming images.

Geraldine said...

Just beautiful Hilary! And it's true, the best golden light comes from nature, you've captured it so well.

Best wishes for the holidays and many golden days to you in the new year. It's going to be a good one!!!

Joanna said...

Oh my, what beautiful golden light.

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful shots.

Anonymous said...

Wow - what fabulous honey light! That first shot is amazing.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season.

Bob Bushell said...

Splendid series.

the Bag Lady said...

I love the bird picture.
You have a fabulous eye, Hilary. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

christopher said...

Excellent capturing of the light in these wonderful photos...along with the message.

Enjoy the season.

Anonymous said...

The solitary leaf is divine.

May your holidays be Golden <3

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Oh sweetie, you capture the light in all it's glory. Just spactular!

God bless and have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you hold dear and near.


Reb said...

Beautiful golden colours. Happy Chanukka Hilary.

Anonymous said...

Breathtaking.... Love the golden touch.... Happy Hanukkah Hilary! - SD

Grayquill said...

Your shots are always great but I think what I like most is your unique ability to catch the unusual within the normal. Good job once again. I always enjoy me visits here.

Hilary said...

• Kate, thank you so kindly. You're the bird shot queen so that means a lot to me. Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear Kate. :)

• Brian, you're right. Nature's light is always the best. Thanks for the kind words and good wishes. Right back at you! :)

• Thank you so much, Leah. I was so enchanted by those little posers. :)

• Elizabeth, thank you so very kindly. I'm so pleased that you like it. But no.. no POTW for me. ;)

• Reena, thank you. I love having you along on my walks. I encounter the morning light far less often than the late afternoon light, so I understand your hesitance but every now and then, you know it's worth the effort. Thank you so much for your always kind words. :)

• Ruth, thanks very much. Natural lighting wins out every time in my books too. :)

• DJan, thank you kindly. Keep on snapping and you'll be getting more and more shots which will please you. I promise. Play around with that shutter speed for different effects on bright days. For spotlit areas such as the roots in this post, go for a high shutter speed. The well lit area can take it and the surrounding areas will darken. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Daryl. :)

• Tex, thanks so much. I'm glad to hear it. :)

• Nancy, thank you very much. I'll look forward to seeing your own golden images. :)

• Kerry, thank you so kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Karen, if anyone can tell its story, it's you. You have a way of finding inspiring lessons in everyday occurrences and images. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Jeff, thank you so much for joining me. :)

• Adrian, that was cropped! ;) Thanks always for your visit. :)

• Frank, I'm glad you like. I think those spindle berries can be difficult to photograph as we've discussed before. Still they keep drawing me back. The birds were a treat as you can well imagine. Thanks, dear. :) (C)happy (C)hanukkah to you! ;)

• Thanks kindly, Anyes. :)

• Thank you, Ellen. :)

• Glo, you're very kind. Thank you for that. You're right about the sprig. In reality it just appeared that way in shadow. The bird's mouth just happened to be near it in the shadow. I don't think I've ever been called Bright eyes. ;) Squinty eyes, tired eyes, crossed eyes.. maybe but not bright eyes. ;) Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, MessyMimi. Happy holidays to you, too. :)

• Ah, Louciao, you're a gem. Thank you so much for such kind words. You make engaging in punmanship so much fun. You're one of this year's great finds. :)

Hilary said...

• Larry, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Stephen, thank you so much. I never would have thought of them as that but I see what you mean by the colouring. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Jim, I for one am glad that you don't shut up. You are too kind.. thank you so much for that. :)

• Thank you kindly, AC. :)

• I'll take your word for it, Red. I don't mind if the sun wants to rise at the same time as long as it opts to hang around a bit later, each day. ;) Thanks always for your kind words. :)

• Thanks, MPM. Now breathe! :)

• Linda, you're so kind. Thank you, my friend. :)

• Daniel, that's my personal favourite in the bunch, also. Thanks very much. :)

• Geraldine, thanks so much. I wish more of the same to you and yours. :)

• Thank you, Joanna. :)

• Thanks, Gillian. :)

• Lady Fi, thank you very kindly. Wishing the very same to you and yours. :)

• Thanks, Bob. :)

• Baggie, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

• Christopher, thanks kindly. I'm pleased that you enjoyed. Happy holidays to you and yours. :)

• Christine, thanks very much. And right back at you. :)

• Nezzy, thank you so much. I wish the very same to you and yours. :)

• Thanks very much, Reb. Merry Christmas to you. :)

• Thank you, SD. And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. :)

• Thank you, Grayquill. I'm so glad you enjoy my offerings. Much appreciated. :)

yaya said...

Those shots are so amazing..the first one of the birds is really beautiful and I love the tree roots too....wonderful. Nature seems to always have it's decorations out for us on every holiday! No store bought bangles needed! Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas!

Out on the prairie said...

What a nice setting to play with, it has caught my eye many times.

Magia da Inês said...

♫♫♫ Feliz Natal!!!

…………*./ | \ .*
………, • '*♥* ' • ,
……. '*• ♫♫♫•*'
….. ' *, • '♫ ' • ,* '
….' * • ♫*♥*♫• * '
… * , • Feliz' • , * '
…* ' •♫♫*♥*♫♫ • ' * '
' ' • . Navidad . • ' ' '
' ' • ♫♫♫*♥*♫♫♫• * ' '
Que o Natal não seja apenas uma data, mas um estado de espírito a nos orientar a vida.


Zuzana said...

Dear Hilary, lovely photography that indeed reflects the season.;)
Wishing you and yours a lovely week and all the best in the New Year - thank you so much for your kind visits and friendship in the past year,

Betty Manousos said...

oh my! what a feast for the eyes!
your lovely pictures have become an endless source of inspiration for me, my dearest hilray!

happy hanukkah!
lots of love.

Ruby said...

I love all the pictures! You have a great eye for capturing these precious beauties!

Pat - Arkansas said...

You've lifted my spirits, again, with your beautiful photographs. Thank you.

Wishing you a blessed Holiday season.

icedgurl said...

trekking your superb blog! keep blogging and inspiring people! happy holidays!


icedgurl said...

trekking your superb blog! keep blogging and inspiring people! happy holidays!


CiCi said...

Hilary, I like the first photo so much I would like to print it out and hang it on the cord across the wall that I clip photos that I love.
I would like your permission to print it out.
Enjoy your holiday!

Dave said...

Good pics Hilary. I specially like the last tree-trunk photo - Dave

Lisa said...

Gorgeous . Love the tress . So much character, texture and strength

Hilary said...

• Yaya, thank you so kindly. I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday. :)

• Steve, thanks very much. :)

• Magia thanks for the lovely tree. :)

• Zuzana, thank you so kindly. You know I wish more of the same to you and yours. :)

• Betty, you're much too kind and I thank you very much for that. Merry Christmas. :)

• Ruby, thank you kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Pat, so lovely to see you. Thanks so much for your kind words. Merry Christmas to you and yours. :)

• Thank you, Icedgurl. :)

• CiCi, I'd be very flattered. Thank you so much. You're welcome to any photo of mine that you like. Thanks for the good wishes and I hope you enjoy your holiday. :)

• Thanks, Dave. I'm glad you do. :)

• Lisa, thanks very kindly. Much appreciated. :)

Indrani said...

The leaf caught in between the boards is fantastic.

photowannabe said...

Happy Hanukkah Hilary.
I'm crazy for your Golden Light shots.
I call them masterpieces.

erin said...

no! that first shot is not real, is it? holy holy, the world is a beautiful place. and the leaf in the dock. what a cheeky little thing!


SandyCarlson said...

Thank you for this beautiful light.

lime said...

wonderful reflective post. you capture the golden hour so well.

Unknown said...

It's such a delight to have all of these 'gifts' to open long after the holidays are over. The best part about catching up on posts.
Thank you so much for being such a beautiful person as well as an inspiring blogger during these last few years of life.
Here's to 2012 !!!