Monday, December 31, 2012


If you are given snow, make lemonade ... or something like that.

Weather forecasters, who had provided dire predictions of a green Christmas, were proven human after all. On top of the 25cm/10" we received just before Christmas, we were 'blessed' with another 30cm/12" the day after, and yesterday's forecast of 'flurries' added another 10cm/4". I consider my request for a good dump of snow during our time up north to be fully satisfied.

And as with so many situations in life, we can accept if not entirely embrace what befalls us, or we can cry foul and bemoan our fate. Life can be viewed as being a cup half full or half empty. I have a great admiration for Job's faith, although I would not want to see mine tested like his was.

May you see beauty in God's good creation each day in the New Year. And put your trust in Him.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter's arrival

As we left home late last week to celebrate Christmas with family that lived some distance away, we also left behind a worsening winter storm - exactly on time for the official start to winter. Fortunately, along the way the weather turned from wet snow to rain and then even that ceased - perfect winter travel weather. We returned last night in the darkness, but even so we could see that winter had settled in.

This morning the pale sun did its best to brighten the day, and I had to go out - after acclimatizing the camera and lenses (and myself) to the -15C/5F temperature - to record the beautiful winter landscape. Everything was frozen under a thick blanket of snow.

And as I'm writing this, the wind is swirling around the house ushering in the next thick layer.

The winter sun ...

Quietly awaiting the warmth of spring ...

Sasha in her element ...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Looking both ways

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

2012 is rapidly drawing to a close. That dawned on me as I was looking back on my blog and realized that my 3rd blogging anniversary had flown right on by. What started off as an 'experiment' back in Dec. 2009 is now in its 4th year (and I realize that it's still in its infancy compared to some stalwarts). I'm no longer posting at the torrid pace of 2010 (a Project 365 year), but God's wonderful creation continues to inspire.

It's good to look back also to see where God's hand has guided, and conversely where we have decided we knew the way better. Looking back provides a good perspective on life if we have eyes to see. I'm reminded of these words:

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

And 'time' for each of us is different - some are given much, others relatively little (think of last week's event in Newtown, CT). Relative to eternity our time here is barely a dream, and who among us will be well-remembered in a couple of generations ?

And yet we may look forward with confidence:

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while life shall last,
And our eternal home.

Since we will be celebrating Christmas with family over the next week, it's unlikely I'll post during that time. [I'm still slowly visiting your blogs as our internet connection permits]. Thank you each and every one for your visits and kind words over this past year.

I wish all of you a Blessed Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2012

One last look

Before we head back up to colder climes, I thought I'd share a last glimpse of the wildlife we've encountered down south. On our way to a friend's home recently we had to stop as a group of 4 sandhill cranes strolled nonchalantly across the street. Against my better judgement, I was dissuaded from grabbing the camera to get some shots.

Later that day as I toured the neighbourhood in our friend's golf cart, I was rewarded for my earlier contribution to marital harmony by spotting another couple of cranes. These are frequent visitors to the golf course and are quite accustomed to people. I have read, however, that they can be aggressive if they feel threatened (and especially if defending their young) - they can stab with their sizeable beak and kick with their feet. No problem this day - they were focused on eating and I was focused on them.

[I will again be MIA for several days as we brave the increasingly cold elements on our trek north. I hope to catch up with y'all again next week]

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Harbour

[after the shock - to some - of the subject of the last post, I was asked if I would post something a little more pleasant. Alright then ...]

I went down to The Harbour (yes, that's the spelling of the name of this place even though it's in Florida) to catch a sunset. We shall soon be saying a temporary goodbye to places like this for a long, but brief, trip up north to celebrate Christmas with family.

Given the late hour I'll share just a few shots with you - will post the sunset in a few days.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly ...
(Lucy In the Sky ... The Beatles)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

They lurk among us

We're approaching a cumulative couple of years of living in the sub-tropics. During that time we've become acquainted with some of its wildlife, and I've been fortunate to be able to capture some of it. As a northerner I find the variety of living things here fascinating and I try not to miss an opportunity to capture and find out more about them.

Another such opportunity presented itself this week as I was preparing to do battle against a relatively new strain (to Florida) of whitefly that fancies ficus plants (I'll let you know the outcome in a few weeks). I spotted this beastie on the driveway as it looked primed to invade our home. After deciding it might wait a few more moments, I ran and grabbed the camera, got prone on the driveway, faced the alien and made a few photos of it. Turns out that this nasty and destructive bug is a mole cricket. It's normally nocturnal, and those 'paddles' you can clearly see are for digging (hence 'mole'). Sometimes it's better not to know what's crawling around out there in the dark !

Since my bug philosophy is to dispatch first and get information later, he was quickly consigned to bug purgatory. Somehow the song 'All things bright and beautiful' didn't come to mind as I later saw the photos on the screen. Judge for yourself.