Before I left Victoria for the trip home, I took some photos of the Provincial Parliament Buildings which are usually all lit up with white bulbs. During this time, the buildings were outlined in a more seasonal display. Quite magical.
As the door of one year closes, another one opens :)
I shared a wonderful Christmas with my sons and four others ~ lots of fun, food, gifts, family games, and laughter. Everyone has returned home; the house is back to some semblance of order, and the tree is left standing!
There are a few Christmas goodies left (I just finished off the last of the steamed pudding and custard), some turkey for sandwiches and soup or pie, and various little bowls of this and that. I even sent turkey and sandwiches away, and there is still more left. I don't mind :)
Tomorrow will be a relaxing day, and on Wednesday I plan on travelling to Victoria to see my brother and friends and relatives down there.
I also have to deliver a Persimmon tree to my son en route. In order for them to locate this present, I created a 'Treasure Map' and then cut it into puzzle pieces. Once they had remade the Map, we all donned our coats and boots, and followed the trail to find the 'surprise'. We didn't open gifts until after dinner, so we had to go out in the dark with a flashlight! What fun!
During the day, the dogwood tree was aflutter with tiny kinglets ~ my little ruby-crowned kinglet must have brought his extended family together for a Christmas treat. I was only able to capture one out of the front window.
By the way, I received an e-reader for a gift. I love books, (and also technology) so this will be a most interesting transition!
Again, I'm so happy not having to think about going back to work after the holidays. I think it's taken a year for this to finally sink in!
Soon we will be starting 2011! Isn't that just simply amazing ~ as the saying goes, "Instead of counting the days (weeks, years), make the days count!"
Here's to a terrific new year! All the best to everyone :)
I have been busy puttering around the house lately, so not many photos. My brother had mentioned that he was trying to finish up some projects before the end of the year, and I thought that was a great idea, so I have been attempting to do the same. Much better than thinking up new resolutions...finish off some of the old ones!
I see the little ruby-crowned kinglet nearly every morning at my front window, which always brightens the day, however no new photos. He seems to be the only one of his kind around, whereas there are many dark-eyed juncos flitting around in the tree with the suet sticks.
On the way home from shopping last week, I stopped at a beach as the twilight approached and have stitched together a few photos for this shot.
Since it is a week until Christmas, I am busy wrapping, baking etc. and it is so lovely to have the time off to prepare.
I have spotted a new visitor in the back garden recently. I don't know if you can spot him, but he was attempting to feed from the suet block on the apple tree. By the time I had the camera aimed at him, he had jumped onto the cherry tree. Hard to see him, but he's there... Spot the Squiggle. Sorry the photos are not very clear.
*Edit to add: After Flighty's comment saying he had washed his glasses twice and still couldn't see my visitor (which is a grey-black squirrel) I have attempted to point him out (not Flighty, the squirrel). As mentioned, somehow my camera had put itself (nothing to do with me ;)) on a weird setting and my photos were all out of focus. So perhaps you don't need new glasses after all, Flighty. Now can you see it? (Eek, it looks like my cherry tree is wearing glasses and peering in the window)
Meanwhile, at the front, there have been squawkings of Jays, the presence of Northern Flickers and many little Dark-eyed Juncos flitting about, frequenting the suet feeders and gleaning nature's offerings.
But the best surprise of all was the sweet chirpings of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet that has visited here before. (there's a clickable audio on the link as well as info) He's such a little sweet thing that I couldn't believe he had such a warbly chirp. It was his call that brought me to the front window. Yesterday, his bright red head was very visible, but my camera seemed to be at the wrong setting, so I wasn't able to get a good focus! I was slightly perturbed! This is the best I could do:
Here's a clearer photo I took in October. I was pleased to know he had survived our snowy cold spell.
Today, I heard his chirp, and there he was in the window box once again, but this time he decided to have a quick bath. No sign of his red hair when he was splashing.
He is just the cutest thing and makes my day! When I glanced at my horoscope in the local paper today it read: "A red head surprises you!" That brought a chuckle.
The woodland garden that is close by is hosting a winter wonderland of lights. It was a nice clear night for the walk there and back, and quite magical. The Gardener's cottage is filled with teddy bears ... a toy train runs through their midst.
I hope I have another surprise visit from my little red head tomorrow because I think I've figured out what was up with my camera :)
Now that my Christmas tree is up and twinkling, I can get on with the rest of December's excitement, such as mincemeat pie making, shortbread...oh, and I probably need to do a bit of Christmas gift buying for my sons ;) Well, that was my plan until yesterday dawned bright and blue...frosty, but clear. So, packing up my camera, off I went to check on the Trumpeter Swans. Although my finger ends became a little numb, I managed to get a few shots I was happy with.
This really is a superb location to see wildlife. There were so many different kinds of sea birds ~ and, as usual, the patrolling sea lions popping their heads up every so often. There were a couple of eagles about, but not as many as usual. Maybe they took one look at those very large Trumpeter Swans that winter in this area, and decided to head for other locations.
Here is a video I made of "Mostly Trumpeter Swans" - try full screen and make sure your sound is on!