Wednesday, December 31, 2014

White Winter After All

My fear of living through a dark snowless winter evanesced when at last, the sky opened up and spilled upon us its pristine fluffy treasures that eventually blanketed our whole city in delightful whiteness. Last year was not my ideal winter, with a snowless December and not much snow that came thereafter. This year's winter was threatened by the successive rain showers that felt colder than the snow. I just kept wishing that snow would replace the rain soon. And my wish was granted.

Here are some excerpts from my other cyber journal about the development of the season within the month of December.

Dec. 5
Yesterday afternoon at the city river. Another awe-inspiring sky show!

The all-white Umeå Culture building was painted gold by the sinking sun.

More "gems" from yesterday; all in just a day: the golden sunset, my friend Josie's's ufo by the river, the silver moon, and the emerald aurora at midnight, which concluded the 4th of December. What an awesome day! More glory to our generous Creator!

Dec. 10
A photo from yesterday. It was frosty, chilly, yet sunny. A pleasantly cold day for me. Today is completely different: dark, rainy, windy, chillier. The worst weather I have ever been through since I came here. It feels like the rainy days in Baguio except that here is 2 degrees C. Would have been better and warmer with snow. I'm not complaining though. I like the cold better than the heat. Sounds like channelling Elsa (Frozen)...hehehe...

December 12
The day started dark and rainy. At past 10:00 a.m. after my first 2-hour job, big clusters of snow began to fall, replacing the rain. As snow came more and more, I felt going up, up, up....euphoria!!! I think I'm forever in love with the snow! Finally, the storehouse of snow broke open. And the winter darkness turned to white.

December 17
A fine frosty day in the city. "It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it." ( from Winter Sunshine by John Burroughs)

December 19

Yes! Winter wonderland is in the making! Let the snowfall go on. "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow?" (Job 38:22a) Well, their gates are apparently open now. 

Let my soul bask in the whiteness of the landscapes!

December 20
snowfall last night

this morning after the snowfall

more finds this morning outside our backdoor

December 21
It's been another day filled with sunshine that kissed the snowy landscape.

December 22
Today is the exact date of winter solstice in Umeå (universal is Dec. 21), which marks the shortest day and longest night of the year in northern hemisphere. This official start of winter came murky and a bit snowy here, but beautiful nevertheless with the immaculate whiteness all over.

December 23
Today I finished my last job for this week. I snapped a shot of this scenery close to my work place as I headed to the bus stop. Time to relax for some days.

I was shooting this scene when a cyclist dashed past the trees. And the photo became more alive.

December 25
A lovely morning to wake up to, a promise of a fine relaxing day.

That's for today's post. I'll have one more blog about December which I will post later.

Do I still love winter? I'll say 100%! No matter how long I have lived with winter, I could never find in my heart the expressions "It's too much!", "I'm tired of it" or "I loathe it" such as some keep saying year after year. I always feel that same novel feeling like it's my first time to see the snow and all the whiteness all over. I just love it, and that's the long and short of it.

More pictures can be viewed here: Scenes from December, Part 1

Linking up with

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Late Goodbye

Funny that I haven't officially said goodbye to fall yet when winter has already taken over. Funnier still that I insist on saying goodbye to a season that has already left this corner of the planet. But my sentimental self has that  irresistible urge  to eulogize the faded beauty of a season gone by.

So I'm going to wheel back over a month ago when autumn was beginning to shed off its gilded glory. Or maybe even before that, at that point where I left off in my previous fall blog, Autumn in Full Blast. Some trees turned colors much later than the others, while their predecessors had completely lost their foliage. I'll let the photos tell the story of the fading season.

Who is not bedazzled by a thick carpet of golden leaves? They're just so exquisite!

The autumn berries and other ornamental fruits

City landmark vistas in autumn

Autumnal skies

Snow dusting and frosts

The cranes flying south

Lighting up the dark late autumn days

In this time period, we had our company's annual gathering, with dinner and games, held at a restaurant along the city river. Our team won the game and received this sparkling wine as a prize, which we shared to those who could drink. (Drinking and driving is prohibited here, so they could unfortunately not partake of this drink.)

AND....I neglected to blog about November 27, which marked my exact five years of staying in this country, which has become my endeared new home. My feet are now firmly rooted here.

This is actually my sixth winter now, and I'm glad to say that I've enjoyed each and every winter that I have experienced as much as I've taken pleasure in all the other seasons of the year.

Now, even if it's late, this season that has always warmed my heart still merits a parting tribute. It has been charming just like all the past ones I've seen. 

More events that took place and I've photographically preserved within this time frame can be read in these blogs: