Now What?

After all the excitement of the holidays there is a bit of a lull.Sometimes when I am not sure what to do , the answer is the next indicated thing. I was exploring my blog site and realized that I still did not have the apostrophe in my blog site title. I solved that problem, though I had to go to two places and it worked when I went into the  site page,  and then the theme, not this page that I write on to enter the blog for today.

How, exactly, did I do it? That is one of those “woulda,  coulda, shoulda” moments because I “shoulda” taken notes because I do not remember. Also, on my header for the site, I still had a photo for the fall, nothing to do with the “featured image” on this page.Now there is something more appropriate to the season.

It’s a new day and the beginning of a New Year. I will get out and explore with the eye and camera.But first, it is time to do the dishes.It can only get better.

Sunrise, taken with a cheap point-and-shootpicture-013

First Night-A Night and Year of Celebration

First Night-A Night and Year of Celebration

I have not gone downtown to celebrate New Year’s Eve for six whole years but decided to join a friend and her family for the early fireworks display at 8:30, what I nick-named the “kids and Grannies hour.” I arrived before they did and went to city Hall which is a real people place and joined hundreds of others as we watched various entertainers indoors.

Beginning the entertainment were the “Yellow Ribbon Dancers” from Paul Band First Nations outside of Edmonton.  This is very fitting after last year’s being the year for Truth and Reconciliation and the public is continually getting educated about  Residencial Schools and Indigenous history and culture. Both the regalia and dancing of these Nakoda Sioux people delighted me.

Outside were stilt walkers dressed as New year spirits, I suppose, and free skate rentals which many took advantage of to go for a skate on the rink in front of City Hall. Winston Churchill Square is a big open area where people gather tonight to eat and drink (non-alcoholic beverages for this family event), buy light  toys and gather to watch the fireworks. There were two fireworks displays  this year due to a big grant from the federal government because it is Canada’s 150th year as a country. This is somewhat humbling because I can remember going to Montreal as a kid with my parents to celebrate 100 years of Confederation in 1967.

I had a good time, sharing the fun with people of many generations and cultures. I wish all my blogger friends a good and peaceful year.

Inside city hall ,  people with their glowsticks sitting on the steps to the city chambers untitled-63-3

front entrance of city hall from insideuntitled-49-2

Yellow Ribbon Dancersuntitled-37-2

Traditional Danceruntitled-39-2

Spritesuntitled-17-2

Good-bye to 2016 and Hello to 2017untitled-30-4

The people in Winston Churchill Squareuntitled-86-2

The Christmas tree in Winston Churchill Squareuntitled-87-2

the fireworks!untitled-144-2

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My friends , standing behind meuntitled-143-2

Happy New Year! from me to you15844223_10154000044875940_8221522833921046248_o-2

photo by Diane Cherwonka

Fresh Air and Sunshine

Fresh Air and Sunshine

The thing I love about the holiday season is that I have time to get together with friends and we can go outdoors together for walks. The weather has been warm and the skies sunny so these conditions beckon us to the outdoors. It is meant to be enjoyed!

I liked how the lines were accentuated by the snow on the branches.christmas-14-2

I call this group of trees “the dancing sisters.”christmas-2-2

I like the shape of the hills beside the trail.untitled-26-2

My friend Frank wandering in the river valleyuntitled-14-2

Contrast between light and shadowuntitled-17-2

 

Snow Sunshine and Friends at Christmas

Snow  Sunshine and Friends at Christmas

Hoped it would be a White Christmas yet I better watch what I ask for;  although I like the effect of snow not sure that I want TOO much-there’s a point when driving in it is treacherous and shovelling it gets monotonous but we had a couple of inches on Christmas Eve that helped create the magic of the season.

It was a joy to go to a local park with my friend on Christmas Day and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, get some walking in and take photos of the scenics and birds.The fresh fall of snow made it all so pretty with the flakes sparkling in the sunlight.The temperature was -16 so it wasn’t a long walk but a welcome respite.

As the afternoon waned I joined other friends for a deliscious Christmas dinner followed by the classic “Christmas Carol” with Alister Sim. It was a great day filled with happy times and good company.

A light dusting of snow on the trees…christmas-10-2

Close-up of dry crystaline snow christmas-1-2-2

A lone skater on the pondchristmas-3-2

A fluffed-up Downy Woodpeckerchristmas-33

My favourite treechristmas-8-2

After the cool outdoors a warm meal  and warm hearts await…christmas-81-3

 

 

Lighting the Bridge

Lighting the Bridge

We used to have “water falls” pour out of taps on the High Level Bridge in Edmonton for special occasions, but the passage of time brought leaks and costly repairs so when the thought of lighting the High Level bridge came up, it was not a popular idea at first. After talking back and forth about where the money would come from it was decided to publicly raise funds for the purchase of LED lights  rather than have the government pay for it. Some people thought this was a “silly” idea but not all, because the money was raised. The LED lights are programmed on a computer and sometimes set to music which you can listen to on a local radio station usually on “Canada Day”. Since we are a “river city” tens of thousands of people line up along both sides of the river to watch the display.

It is fun to drive through the bridge when the lights are on, too. I  have taken long exposures while going through the bridge, (as a passenger, mind you).One of my friends informed me that there are special displays for the holiday season so I made sure to visit -the colours are varied and pretty! In the second image the red lines are from the tailights of the cars driving through.

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Alberta Legislature Lights

Alberta Legislature Lights

After laying low due to a bug that just wouldn’t go away, and keeping activity to a minimum, it gave me great pleasure to venture outdoors after the temperature rose twenty degrees and life became manageable again. I enjoyed taking photos and found myself experimenting with exposure modes, composition, zooming and panning and white balance.

The Alberta legislature grounds is a great place to explore, with a wealth of subject matter during the holiday season. When I felt cold I went into the front entrance under the dome and listened to a men’s chorus sing seasonal and Christmas hymns and carols, followed by a handbell choir. That made the nostalgia and tradition of Christmas come alive for me.

There is also a menorah on the grounds of the legislature that will be lit in observance of the Jewish holiday Hannukah, starting , I am guessing, on the eve of the 24th.I have always wanted to attend the ceremony and hope to make it this year.

Here is a sample of the wonder of the lights. I went two nights, the first after 5:30 p.m. when it was dark and the second just after sunset at 4:10p.m.

This view is looking at the front entranceleg-lights-64-2

This is the opposite view left of the front steps.leg-lights-6-3

from the east side of the treeleg-lights-55-2

panned view of display in front of the main buildingleg-lights-27-2

zoomed-outleg-lights-38-2

This is from the second night, an hour earlier and taken a little more to the left from the previous night.However the dome lights were not on.img_0145-3

I love the sky when it is this shade of blue.img_0178-2

Reviewing Photos

Reviewing Photos

I have been looking for photos that I could put on cards and send to friends and have procrastinated about sorting them so it always is a mad dash as I rush to find them so I can get them printed. At the time that I take the photos I think it will be easy to find, but after accumulating about 30,000 (how did THAT happen?) it is not as easy as I thought. I find myself thinking, ” I really like that photo of such and such…now where is it?”

My files are chronological as well as categorical.My biggest folder is the collection of Birds then sub folders of species.Admittedly I lose some in the process of uploading when one file will wipe out another one with the same number. I also have folders for my favourite locations with sub-folders of different dates. I do find that to be a good way to find files rather than just trying to remember what month I went to a certain location or took a photo of that duck.

After a bit of searching  and deleting I  have a new folder named “Greeting Cards” that consist of pleasing images that might look good  on a card. It sounds simple but I have to stay on top of it, letting go of some and adding others.Also cards could be put into groups for gifts.Maybe you would like to share with me how you manage your folders and files.

Now that this much is done, I wanted to share some of these images with you.They are a mix of animals, birds and landscapes.

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