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 occurs 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

Friday, January 6, 2017

Year 2016's Finale

Another year has slipped by. A year packed with exciting events and new adventures. I managed to record some of those events, though I skipped others that I wished I had the time to write. But there are still some major events that are left unwritten, which I will definitely write sooner or later. Those memories are too precious to be left to oblivion. Although the desire to write them all in one sweep is nudging my heart with ever increasing impatience, I have to exercise restraint so as not to perturb the symmetry of life's main concerns.

For now, I'm going to photo-journal the concluding days of the year with reference to the natural world with which my life is entwined. I'm extracting from my voluminous folders the highlights of the last month.

December didn't give us much snow this time. We had just enough to coat the ground steadily. Needless to say, I've been missing the world of superabundant snow that I've come to love! Most days were ashen, the sky overcast, some days showery, which melted the snow that turned to ice when the temperature dropped. There had been glassy roads and pavements that made it difficult to drive or walk. Good, I had made up my mind not to slip anymore, and so I didn't! So far.☺☺☺

cloudy and clear nights as seen from our balcony

December sky was also the hangout of the flapping green lady. The numerous aurora hunters here missed the major auroral storms on account of the thick clouds that hovered above us. However, we were favored with some clear night skies when lady aurora flashed and fluttered across the sky.

Dec. 9

Dec. 23

The winter solstice fell on December 21. The sky was cloudy but it cleared a bit in the night as the wind blew wildly, revealing the gleaming northern lights. And so, patches of clouds raced against each other against the emerald sky.

Those days, the sun rose at around 9:00 a.m. and sank down between 2 and 3 p.m.

sunrises by the city river close to my workplace


Early afternoons looked like these:

My moon captures:

moonset at around 9:00 a.m.

moon at midday and a bird watching it

"lunar  alignment" with the street lamps

The waxwings are here to stay this winter too. I always see them perched on the birch tree tops, basking in the cool sunshine and bathing in the snow. After a while, they'd lift off as one huge flock, circling the area before moving on to another tree.

Some daytime shots from my workplace:

As the month almost came to its end, blustery winds came along, swirling, pushing me back as I walked, lifting off the snow and creating a whirl of crystalline dusts.

And then the month ended. 2016 was wrapped up with these delicate organza layers of the dazzling aurora.

Year 2017 arrived with these warm colors that progressed into a beautiful crisp day.

"Look! These are just the fringes of his ways;
Only a faint whisper has been heard of him!
So who can understand his mighty thunder?"
- Job 26:14