Holly Jolly

This month’s photo blogging challenge theme: Holly Jolly. Despite the ever-changing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we enjoyed some holly jolly experiences this December:

  • There were five seated around our dining room table for Christmas dinner (compared to just three last year);
  • I got in a couple of short walks with my parents, who stayed with my sister for two weeks over the holidays;
  • While we were never all there at the same time, the five members of our household went for short, masked-up indoor visits with Mr. GeoKs’ parents;
  • Mr. GeoK and I got boosted, and our (no longer) GeoKids have appointments to get boosted in January;
  • Mighty M was discharged from the hospital in time to do an impressive amount of Christmas prep; and
  • Santa brought a new Lego set for each of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

We continue to appreciate our freedom to split our time between the city and the mountains. And we’re doing our best to keep things fresh by creating little challenges for our photo walks: specific themes, specific lenses, specific subjects, etc.

I’ve had mixed feelings about my Lensbaby Sol 22 selective focus/tilt lens since I bought it almost three years ago. This month, it was my everyday carry, so most of these photos show its characteristic edge blur/Christmas light bokeh. Those that don’t were shot with my Pixel 4A native camera app. And, BTW, I have enjoyed figuring out how to use the Sol 22 to best effect. ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Mighty M is home!

Last month I mentioned that Mighty M was in the hospital for recuperation and rehabilitation following a serious surgery. In mid-December, she was discharged home, where she continues with all of her exercises. She did an amazing amount of pre-Christmas prep and we enjoyed an outdoor visit with her just before Christmas. We continue to take Lego minifig Mighty M along on our outdoor adventures, to share punny photos while she’s still got limited mobility.

lego minifig wearing superhero cape in the snowy woods

2. Jolly Well Seize the Moment

One a morning when we were in somewhat of a hurry to walk to downtown Canmore, I spotted this huge, clear, slightly turquoise-coloured block of ice along the Bow River shoreline. Despite the time pressure, I decided to make my way down to the gravel shore and take a photo or two. Good thing I did, because when we went back the next morning to spend more time photographing this beauty, it was gone! The river level rose enough over night to wash it downstream – a good reminder to take the shot when you see it!

ice block on the Bow River

3. Who You Lookin’ At?

Our usual route through the big meadow in Canmore was blocked by a herd of about 50 elk. We carefully skirted around them. For the most part, they were disinterested, as accustomed as they are to humans. But just as we passed closest to this young bull, his head came up as if to say, “Who you lookin’ at?” I snapped the shutter and then jolly well hustled along before he took a closer interest!!

not so holly jolly elk in the meadow

4. Walking (and Talking) in a Winter Wonderland

So many fresh snow days this month! And since we’re not skiers, we enjoyed winter wonderland walks. Occasionally, they turn into talks and walks if Mr. GeoKs’ phone rings. ๐Ÿ™‚

Including our 10 long walks this month, we finished out 2021 with more than 70 hikes: 712 km (442 miles) total hiking distance and 25,540 meters (83,800 feet) total elevation gain. Our definition of a hike? At least 5 km (3 miles) and at least one hour. Anyhow, those are some holly jolly stats that will be a challenge to match in 2022.

If you’d like to virtually join one of our winter wonderland walks, check out this Relive video recap created by Mr. GeoK.

man walking while on phone call

5. Lego Build Day

Santa reliably gifts us each a Lego set, so there’s always a Lego build day over the holiday season. I took a break from building to photograph the child Grogu and The Mandalorian. Who doesn’t feel holly jolly after seeing Baby Yoda?

lego minifig grogu and mandalorian

Bonus Pics

For the first time in a long while, I want to share some extra photos…

holly jolly feast
Our Christmas feast, with all five diners also acting as chefs
Masked and distanced driveway visit
Our youngest (on the left), enjoying a masked, outdoors and distanced visit with both sets of grandparents ๐Ÿ™‚
holly jolly face in the snow
Snowmoji, the fun and temporary way to create some holly jolly

That’s it for me this month. Hop on over to to โ€˜lil HooHaa to see what holly jolly things the rest of the crew came up with this month. While youโ€™re there, please consider joining our small but mighty community of bloggers for the first PBC of 2022. The theme is Black and White, which is pretty straightforward. You need to post five photos. The amount of accompanying text is entirely up to you. And for what it’s worth, I’m usually the wordiest! ๐Ÿ˜‰

4 thoughts on “Holly Jolly

  1. Your LensBaby shots are so interesting! I love the effect. Looks like you had a holly jolly time of it last month. That is one BIG ice cube by the water! And, you are so correct….take the shot when you see it or risk the opportunity slipping away forever. I hope 2022 is wonderful for you and yours. I’m very happy you were able to get together with loved ones this Christmas. โค๏ธ

  2. As always a great set of photos for the theme. The ice one … the photo is really cool. But I truly love the words to go with it. We really do, as people and photographers, have to stop to take the photo when we see something unfold. I’ve started to do that a lot more with Harper … things don’t always stay around, as you proved with this slab of ice. The lensbaby shots were interested. I’ve rented a lensbaby a few times and I’m always tempted to purchase, but I end up sending it back as I never get out of it what I hope. Maybe one day again in the future I’ll see if it works for me again.

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