94: Merry Christmas!

(The Northern Flicker.)

Merry Christmas to those of you out there celebrating it!  I’m more of a Solstice gal myself, but any excuse to celebrate the day will do since each day we’re given, it seems to me, is a gift.

(Or is it a Common Flicker?)

Two unusual things happened today.  I would be flippant and call them Christmas Miracles but I don’t want to offend anyone so let’s just call them two unusual things.

(This morning’s view of the pond.  See the blue in the sky???)

The first unusual thing was a glimpse of blue sky.  It didn’t last long.  Maybe a half hour or so.  We even had a few moments of sunlight to go with it.  It has been cloudy and gray here for a while now, with snow flurries every day.  It was nice to see a little blue for a change.

(Blue jays.)

The second unusual thing is that the birds allowed me to photograph them.  This occurrence was almost as fleeting as the blue sky.  There is a possibility that it might have lasted longer but I was shooting from on my knees and there came a time when my knees decided, “Enough already!”

Most of my shots are not that great but at least you can see the birds well enough to identify them.  If, that is, you know how to identify them.

The day has been pretty full.  M and I opened gifts shortly after we rolled out of bed, had a delightful and delicious breakfast (that involved some leftover tempeh hash I made for lunch yesterday, recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food), and then went our separate ways for a little while.  He brought in some firewood and I took pictures of birds.  Then we got together again to go cross-country skiing out at Quail Hollow State Park.

(One of the trails at Quail Hollow.)

Quail Hollow is what we’ve been training for the past two days.  (lol!  I’m not sure anyone who knows what they are doing would call what we’ve been doing training.)  It was great fun.  For the record, I fell once.  I tend to fall backwards and to the right.  My right hip is not pleased.  But that’s what the disco tub (the whirlpool) is for.

(Two trees and a picnic table.)

I went for a short walk when we finished skiing, just to take a few photos.  I think the walking may be one of the reasons I’m not as sore as I thought I would be from the skiing.  Since I haven’t been taking the camera along on my ski trips, I go for a walk when I give up on the skis.

(Gold in a blue and gray atmosphere.)

And now I’m off to enjoy some time by the fire and, maybe, a glass of wine.  After which I will probably fall into a deep sleep that will last until spring.

(A good place to picnic when spring comes back around.)

I’m kidding, of course.  As pleasantly exhausted as I feel, I don’t believe hibernation is in my nature.  There is more snow coming tomorrow and I’d miss playing in it if I hibernated.

(Seeds, waiting for spring.)