Sunday, January 22, 2017

After The Snowfall

First came the sleet, a wet snow that melted upon touching any surface. It went on for a couple of days. Days that were gray, damp and misty.

On the night of 11th, dry snow started to fall and kept going until the night of the following day. Thick fluffy snow clusters floated in the air and daintily landed on our window panes, on the trees and on the ground. The shadowy nights become illuminated with the immaculate whiteness of the snow.

Friday, the 13th, came to be a beautiful day to wake up to.  My eyes were instantly drawn by the luxurious whiteness that seemed to beckon me to come out to the balcony and view the singular snowy freshness that winter had lavishly provided this day. My first impulse was to grab my camera and perpetuate this day's gift to those whose appreciation for this season never wanes.

views from our balcony

on my way to the bus stop across the street from our apartment

I went to work afterward with that nagging restlessness to get the job done earlier than usual so that I would have plenty of time to roam about the riverside and get lost in all the exquisite whiteness that prevailed.  I did have the job done in a short time.

And so I strode down the river, not minding the insanely icy air, and took another batch of myriad pictures of anything that my eyes interpreted as having aesthetic and intellectual merit.

picturesque views on the other side of the city river

my side of the river

my attraction to snow-coated tree trunks, branches and twigs

I just love the sight of snow that hardened to ice dangling from the birch twigs and glittering in the sun.

The great tits were merrily flitting about too!

My exploration into the world of white led me to a festive party of a flock of waxwings pecking merrily and noisily at the shriveled crabapples. My camera went clicking away, zooming in to the ones in plain view, capturing them in the act of pecking. They didn't seem to mind this intrusive photographer sneaking for candid shots.

Having eaten their fill, they chilled out for a while before lifting off from the small crabapple trees in unison. They circled in the air repeatedly before soaring away to the next phase of their day's itinerary.

I have had the chance to shoot one or two of them basking in the intensifying glow of the midday sun feigning as a sunset but was actually just hovering above the horizon for most of the day. (No filter used in these photos.)

My ramblings on this snowy day culminated here. I went home totally replenished after getting soaked in the downpour of this season's beauty. 

That day proved to be another reminder that our Creator will never neglect his cherished "little ones" who implicitly trust in Him. He will never fail to provide for their needs even in the thick of "wintry" situations.

"Observe intently the birds of the heaven; 
they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, 
yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not worth more than they are?" 
- Matthew 6:26

My jaunt in the cold also brought to mind the fact that even amidst the coldest of days, the fire in our heart may keep burning fiercely, the passion unquelled by all the snow of winter. This awfully cold world where we are presently inhabiting cannot defeat us as long as we keep our inner fire ablaze. And we can joyfully ramble in life without missing the countless gifts that are awaiting to be discovered.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Another Day of the Sundog

I'm scribbling this while my blogging juice is flowing, which is not always the case. Or, may I say, while I have a few minutes to spare today.

This is an event from the other day, January 6. When I woke up in the morning, which was late, since it was a holiday, the first thing I did was glance through our balcony door to check how the weather was and how the trees and foliage looked like. This is actually my morning ritual. A quick glance showed that it was a frosty day. Every atom in my body leaped with delight!

As I sipped my coffee and nibbled my apple strudel slice while checking some mails and messages, something in the sunshine persistently drew my eyes like a magnet. I stepped out to our balcony and looked over where the sun was supposed to be at that time. I saw only this rainbow pillar of light with what seemed like a sun halfway through. I couldn't see more to the right as the side of our building blocked the whole view.  That was definitely not the sun, but a mock sun!

Uh-uh! A sundog of epic intensity was afloat!  I frantically got dressed and rushed down, anxious that the phenomena might fade out before I could see and capture it in its full glory, as it only lasts in a few minutes. The biting minus 20 degrees Celsius air, or something around that, whooshed toward me the moment I was outdoor. Since I only slipped my thick jacket over my pajamas, I just kept myself within a short distance of our building, and took several pictures while watching the mock suns intensify and dissolve. That was the closest to perfection that I've ever seen so far! I went back to our apartment  when the sundog or parhelion completely evanesced.

left mock sun

the actual  sun

right mock sun

Over a couple of hours later, after eating our lunch, I went out again to capture the frost-coated trees that had become denser in a matter of hours. This time, I wandered toward the football ground adjacent to our apartment compound.

the cream-colored building behind the frosty trees is our apartment building

When I returned home, I saw this boy in green coveralls waiting for his playmates who later went romping under the silvery moon.

You might be wondering why I am so consumed with these natural things and phenomena that don't seem to  have practical values in life. Why do I frantically pursue them? Answer: Every time I'm absorbed in these things, time seems to stand still, and all the troubles in the world, let alone my own woes, fade into nothingness. I'm transported to a world of wonder and quietude where I can commune with our Creator who generously gave all of these amazing things that can lift our spirits. And then I feel afterward a sense of rejuvenation, a renewal of the spirit that enables me to deal with life's agitation with strength and joy. It's the healing power of the natural creation. A panacea for the soul.

"He made the great lights,
For his loyal love endures forever,
The sun to rule over the day,
For his loyal love endures forever.
The moon and the stars to rule over the night,
For his loyal love endures forever."
- Psalm 136:7-9

Linking up with
Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
Skywatch Friday