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.
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! 😉
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.
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! 🙂
But we still don’t have everything connected to the new WiFi network. 🙁 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!
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.
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.
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.