Monday 24 December 2012

Christmas greetings

Christmas Eve dawned officially at 7:44 this morning as the sun crept above the horizon on a clear, crisp, cloudless day. We watched the shadows ever-so-slowly slip down the tree line on the far side of the lake as the sun climbed higher and higher in the Eastern sky. It was going to be a beautiful day.

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Later, all bundled up against the –17C temperatures, I grabbed a camera and headed out to the mailbox to post a few straggling Christmas cards which, for some reason, go out later and later each year. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

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Walking down our road I’m struck by the complete quiet. While lots of chickadees and nuthatches are at the feeders, they are silent but for the flutter of tiny wings not heard at a distance of more than a few feet. Crows circling above have also lost their voice. The snow and the forest absorb all other sounds but for the crunch of my boots and the swish of my snow pants.

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The imagery is spectacular. The sky is that shade of deep blue you only get in the winter, the contrast making the snow even more brilliant – a purer white cannot be imagined. My eyes involuntarily squint to reduce the brightness as I regret leaving my sunglasses at home. Branches bending under the weight of recent freezing rains and snows arch across the road. Visually appealing, some will probably have to be cut to give access to the snow removal people. And everywhere, tracks in the fresh snow standing testament to a pack of coyotes hunting overnight. I wonder how a photograph could ever come close to capturing the sense of this day and the awe it instils, but still I take several.

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The peacefulness seems appropriate for Christmas Eve and the solitude encourages some quiet reflection as I walk. It’s been a good year, and while I’m not a religious person I feel blessed in so many ways. I have a loving family, good friends, good health (now that the ribs are healed), a nice place to live, and even a Harley in the garage. There’s a fire in the fireplace, fresh bread in the oven, and our daughter is coming home tonight to spend a few days with us. Life is good.

And with that I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas. May you enjoy the day tomorrow with friends and family whether sitting on an Australian beach, gathered around a bonfire in the great frozen north, or lounging in the shade of an Arizona saguaro. Peace be with you and yours.

Merry Christmas!


  1. Canajun:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Thank goodness for healed Ribs, don't do any shoveling or heavy lifting. Save yourself for the new riding season.

    I love your snow photos. Bright and silent. Snow has a way of muffling the sounds

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

  2. Bob - Thanks for the comment and all the best of the season to you and yours as well. Unfortunately with the amount of snow we got over the past few days taking it easy wasn't an option - and I'm still feeling it a bit! But I'll be good to go by next riding season.

  3. Those are some great photographs Canajun, I hope we get some snow like that here....the stuff from last week is mostly gone. ;(

    Merry Christmas to you and yours....

    1. Charlie6 - Thank you. I complain a lot about long winters but I have to admit I like the snow when it's here. If you embrace winter, playing outdoors in the snow can be great, as you well know.
      Cheers, and here's hoping you get your Christmas wish.

  4. Beautiful pictures Canajun. Love that one with the red bow.

    I am jealous of your sunshine. When we lived in BC, I always loved seeing the brilliant sunshine and blue sky against a snowy white background.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  5. Trobairitz - Thank you. It's days like today that make winter such a magical time, so give me snow and sunshine over rain and cloud any day.

  6. Is this "my" storm? You sure got a lovely dose of snow. My area is still very icy. And we could use that sun.

    Merry wishes to you!

    1. Martha - It is. We got about 14" or so of snow Friday and Saturday with strong winds, so lots of drifting. Then a lighter dusting yesterday. It was the heavy wet kind so the trees are feeling the weight, but it did a good job covering up the ice from the freezing rain last week.
      And here's hoping for some sunshine to come your way for the holidays. Cheers.

  7. I miss the stillness you mention. Snow has become a much rarer experience in Missouri than it seems it once was. Growing up in Michigan I remember the stillness of which you speak vividly. Here there is a muffling of sound, but I've not tasted the stillness in rather a long while. There is talk of snow tomorrow night, but the blizzard warnings are to the south of us. There seems to be something wrong with that. Oh well, with snow you never know. If the temperature boundary moves a little it could get more interesting for us. I'll admit I don't expect much snow.

    Thanks for triggering a good memory and for sharing the photos. I'm glad your ribs are nearly completely healed. Broken ribs are no fun.

    Merry Christmas and may many blessings find their way to you,

    1. Keith - Thank you for your comments and good wishes. I expect Michigan winters are very similar to ours although with weather patterns changing so dramatically that may not be the case much longer. But I'll enjoy it as long as I can.

  8. Canajun - your snow photos are awesome. I love walking in the still, with no sound but the crunch of the snow under foot. Thanks for sharing. Merry - White Christmas.

    1. Thanks Karen. I hope you had a great Xmas as well, and all the best for 2013.


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