Over the past twenty years or so, our Christmas celebrations have shifted away from presents towards presence. This year our celebrations included preparing and enjoying several meals with extended family and friends, movie and board game nights with our young adult sons, and plenty of nature walks for the two of us! It was a Merry Christmas, indeed!
For the benefit of readers who play board games, our family Christmas gift was a copy of the multiple award-winning strategy game, Terraforming Mars along with the Prelude expansion. Our second match ran almost 4.5 hours and kept Mr. GeoK and me up past our usual bedtime! We took that into consideration when scheduling our next match for the afternoon of New Year’s Day. 😉
In terms of movies, we finally watched Deadpool 2, Black Panther and Ready Player One, which we saved for family Christmas holiday movie nights. Do you save movies or TV series to watch at a specific time of year or with a specific group of people? Deadpool 2 triggered the most laughs, while Ready Player One provoked the most discussion – mainly about the many and significant differences between the book (which we’ve all read) and the screenplay.
As for this month’s challenge, here are five photographic highlights:
1. Frozen Waterfall
One way we mark the passing of the seasons is by observing the ebb and flow of ice on the largest of waterfall on Three Sisters Creek in Canmore, Alberta. This year I did a solo hike along the creek (the white spot center torso is the top of a holstered can of bear spray), where I discovered the thickest ice across the width of the canyon that we’ve seen over the nine years since we first discovered this spot. The only visibly flowing water on the main drop is on the far right.
2. Wolf Tracks
Whether walking in Calgary, Canmore or elsewhere, we stay alert for possible wildlife sightings: usually deer, coyotes, squirrels or birds. On one of our Christmas season walks, we spotted wolf tracks in Canmore and followed them for more than 15 minutes. Fortunately, we never saw the wolves! We did see a pair of healthy-looking coyotes and plenty of deer and elk tracks. I included one of my heavy-duty mittens for scale; this was the smaller set of tracks (presumably the female). We pretty consistently carry bear spray with us between March and November, but after spotting wolf tracks in several areas in and around Canmore, we’ve concluded it should be a year round habit.
3. Christmas Morning Nature Walk
Mr GeoK and I have gone walking on Christmas morning for enough years now that I guess it’s become a tradition. I think it started when our now young men reached their teenaged years and the appeal of sleeping in overpowered the excitement of unwrapping gifts. I guess we slept in a little this year, too, since we started a bit too late to catch the sunrise. 😦
We missed holding a full family get together last year (some kind of virus going around). So it was past time to use a tripod and delayed shutter release to take a full family photo. Missing this year, our sister-in-law who was visiting her family in BC. Added this year, our cousin, who joined us for Christmas for the first time in about 40 years!
Finally, here’s one of Lego minifig me on a nature photo walk. Throughout a long afternoon walk, real me kept a lookout for a spruce seedling of just the right size, poking through undisturbed snow. I finally spotted this one less than 5 minutes from getting back home. Long-time readers know that Lego has been part of our family Christmas celebrations for more than two decades: Lego makes great gifts, building Lego creations is a rewarding family activity and Lego decorations look good on the tree and the fireplace mantle!
To see how other participants embrace the spirit of Feliz Navidad, head over to our Photo Blogging Challenge host’s blog: a ‘lil Hoohaa’s (NOTE: I’ll update this link when his post is published and I’ve linked up at the bottom of the page).
While you’re there, please consider joining us! This photo blogging challenge is like a low-stress photo assignment, which you can use to refine your photography skills. Any camera will do: your phone, a pocket-sized point and shoot, the DSLR that’s been gathering dust somewhere or a film camera. For each month’s theme, you’re asked to share five photos; the amount of accompanying text is up to you. The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa in early January.