Magic of the Season (PBC December 2020)

Whether intentional or accidental, I’m glad this month’s photo blogging challenge theme doesn’t specify “holiday” season. Why? Because many our magic moments in December related to the winter season, not Christmas. Add in a couple special Christmas memories and narrowing it down to just five photos is hard!

1. Magic of Creating New Traditions

COVID-19 health rules meant the three of us living in our household were the only family we spent IRL time with over Christmas. But we found a few creative ways to get together with family across three time zones and seeded new family traditions. For one thing, most of us ended up growing Amaryllis bulbs. We compared notes on how to care for them, how they were growing and shared photos as they came into bloom.

amaryllis blossom at Chrstmas
First time growing an Amaryllis at Christmas, we had three buds in full bloom on Christmas eve and the fourth opened on Boxing Day.

Another major success? Our Zoom get together for the first annual family reading of a radio play version of A Christmas Carol. We held a random draw for parts, had a sound effects engineer and howled with laughter at some of the costumes created using Zoom filters.

2. Finding Fun in the Every Day

Last year’s family Christmas photo featured twelve. With just the two of us in front of the camera this year, we saw eye-to-eye on the opportunity for Mr GeoK to magically become taller! Even funnier, after we sent a copy to our family chat, it took a while for some to realize what we’d done! πŸ˜‰

christmas portrait
Using an app as remote shutter for a tripod mounted camera to capture the “magic” of Mr GeoK suddenly towering over Mrs GeoK

3. Sunrise after Sleeping In

Sunrise is late this time of year (8:45ish). So it’s possible to get out for a sunrise photo walk even after sleeping in ’til 7 or 7:30 (yes, we’re early birds). One morning the accumulated snow was top-dressed with beautiful ice crystals. A shallow depth-of-field (f4) focuses on one group of crystals and blurs the distant mountains and sunrise.

snow crystals and sunrise
Snow crystals backlit by a late December sunrise

4. Problem Solved After Technology Upgrade

Does Black Friday mark the start of technology upgrade season? It does for us! In 2020, Mr GeoK ordered a new mesh WiFi system on Black Friday. By mid-December we felt prepared enough to try setting it up. And we did have WiFi in the advertised 10 minutes! πŸ™‚

But we still don’t have everything connected to the new WiFi network. πŸ™ So it’s felt kind of magical each time we solve one of those troublesome connection problems. One success? Downloading new drivers for the Intel WiFi chipset in my laptop. It’s kind of hard to do when the laptop doesn’t even see the new network! Thanks to a neighbour who shared their WiFi network credentials, I stood outside, between our houses, with my laptop perched on their A/C unit in howling wind at -15C and downloaded new drivers that solved the problem. Here’s hoping the New Year brings enough magic to help us get the last unconnected device re-connected!

installing new wifi drivers
Any season when a software update fixes a major problem is magic in my books

5. Magic of Exploring a New-to-Us Hiking Trails

No matter the season, there’s always a sense of anticipation when exploring a new-to-us hiking trail. This month, we explored a trail network in Bow Valley Provincial Park. And we enjoyed it enough the first time that we went back again the next day!

Highlights included ice formations along the Bow River, sunrise hitting the south face of Yamnuska and a large flock of trumpeter swans. For more details, Mr GeoK created recap videos using the ReLive app: Day 1 and Day 2.

man along river
Mr GeoK scouts for trumpeter swans on the Bow River, just after sunrise on an early December morning

Bonus

With sanctioned, live NYE fireworks celebrations few and far between in Canada this year, it was truly magical to watch Canmore’s 9 pm fireworks show. We heard voices of other excited viewers calling out through the night air, and scattered applause when it was over. But since the launch location was kept secret, no large crowds (that we know of) gathered and physical safe distancing was maintained. Our best guess on where the town would launch the fireworks was wrong, but we still ended up with a good line of sight.

Canmore’s 2020/21 New Year’s Eve fireworks finale, a few minutes past 9 pm

To experience the magic of the season through the lens of other Photo Blogging Challenge participants, head on over to A ‘lil HooHaa. While you’re there, please consider joining us. I tend to think of the monthly theme as a low-stress photo assignment – an excuse to hone photography skills. Each month share five photos taken with any camera. The amount of accompanying text is up to you. I look forward to seeing your photos and blog post in January!

NOTE: Beginning with January 2021, we’ll publish our PBC post the first of the following month. This aligns with the change host PJ made earlier in 2020. And it frees up the last day of each month for a recurring post that hits on highlights of our out and about adventures every month.

6 thoughts on “Magic of the Season (PBC December 2020)

  1. I love your take on the theme. All magical experiences in and of themselves. Happy New Year and may 2021 bring much happiness to you and yours. xoxo

  2. Happy new year, Geoks family!
    Absolutely gorgeous fireworks, love it!
    Technology – which is supposed to make our lives easier – can be such a bitch. Glad you sort of sorted things out.

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