Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas Day

Christmas Eve night was COLD! We got to Delgany and back safely, although some of the motorway coming home was a bit hairy, and the windscreen washer was frozen up the whole way in spite of the fact that there was quite a high concentration of screenwash in it. Not high enough, obviously. With that cold, dry night Christmas Day was beautiful and frosty and sunny. C was battling with a cold, and we didn't feel like taking the car out, but at some stage he decided he was up for a short walk across the green just to enjoy the scenery. Once we were out, we walked down to the Twelfth Lock and then back along the canal. Boxing Day was warmer, no frost and grey, so we were really glad we'd got out on Christmas Day.
Morning, end of our road

Out walking

Footprints on the canal.

We presumed these were also some type of print, which snow or loose crystals had then drifted around. Except that even most birds don't seem to put one foot right in front of the other, and there were places where we saw a similar formation but just one or two, not a trail.

In the evening the sun tinted all those white trees at the end of the road a lovely pinky/orange.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A few from Christmas Eve...

...which was when I went to the park, not having checked that their were memory cards in my cameras. I have to admit I almost found the snow there too much, and was disappointed with the photos I came home with, but such as they were, here are  a few of the best.

This was just inside Castleknock Gate: normally it would be bumper to bumper traffic.

Over by one of the ponds - the one where I've often taken photos of the heron. The poor ducks didn't have much water left! And the next photo is the trees that grow around that pond.

Between the Ordnance Survey and Farmleigh - behind the lantern you can just see one of the cones they had laid out to mark the road.

And back near the gate again, a lime tree: I loved the swirl in the leaf.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas

Yesterday in the park.
I rushed to get the bus in case I could get the same bus as C, who had given up on the train because the points were frozen. I forgot crumbs for the birds and forgot to check there was a memory card in the camera. Yikes - thank goodness that just this week I put an xD card into the second slot, so even though it's small capacity and slow to write to, there was something in the camera. I keep a spare Compact Flash card in my handbag, but I didn't have that with me yesterday.
But I did remember a foil blanket to kneel on which was put to good use taking close-ups of frosty grasses :D.

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas season.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Built-in thermals...

but I still feel sorry for the poor little birds in this weather. I heard on the radio that this year there are fewer robins than usual, and it's probably after last year's hard winter.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Another mixed bag...

A few more from yesterday, a couple from today. On holidays now till the 3rd, and looking forward to a quiet Christmas. Weather permitting we are meant to be going to my aunt's tomorrow - the one whose house and dogs we looked after in May/June - and meeting my sister there. Here's hoping the snow stops overnight!!

From yesterday; a bird who didn't really belong in the cold bird miscellany, although he was pretty puffed up, what little I could see of him. I'd stopped on a corner to take a photo of snow on the berries, and as I rounded the bend I saw this little beady eye peeping out - he was snacking away on some berries growing in a little hollow in the hedge. This photo is un-cropped - blackbird and I were up close and personal.

The marina down at the Twelfth Lock, and the railway line.

Snow-ward bound, I'm snow-ward bound...

And from today - waiting 20 minutes for a bus in the morning, which then took over an hour and a quarter to get in to the city.

Pre-chilled beer, no cold room required!!

And when I got home again: you can see in the robin photo it was snowing yet again! It's not just that I need to clean the back door, although that also is true.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A cold bird miscellany

Before going shopping today I walked on down to the Twelfth Lock. I was sorry I didn't have anything to feed the birds, but at least someone arrived with crumbs.

What ya got there - gonna share?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

And still it snows...

We have a CD by The 2nd Chapter of Acts called The Roar of Love, based on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It has some lovely songs in it, but the one that comes to mind at the moment is the track Christmas, where are you:
Oh Christmas, where are you,
The snow keeps hangin'
On and on and on and on.
You never come and it always snows,
We can't take much more white snow...

We're lucky in that we are staying here for Christmas and don't need to travel, but my sister has the turkey for her in-laws and is now starting to think that they may not make it up to Dublin, and a lot of people are going to wish it wasn't a white pre-Christmas week! England is suffering a lot more than we are, but there were no flights out of Dublin for several hours today.

On our road - a neighbour shovelling, but at the rate the snow fell he should have saved his efforts for tomorrow!  I think they bought two snow shovels  - we may be going down to borrow one tomorrow.

This is what the end of the road looked like just a couple of hours later

This was earlier in the morning - the sky was still dark from the eclipse, I think, although I didn't venture out to a point where I could see the moon. I settled for enjoying the look of the light snowfall on a roof.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

An odd pair

Robin au naturel, from Birr last week:

And from the sublime to the ...The photo challenge on SCS this last week was snow white. Hmm - all our snow has melted. There are some dirty muddy piles still in work where it was cleared from the yard, but that's not white by any stretch of the imagination. And the light dusting we had on Friday night was pretty, but not really enough to turn anything white, and luckily not enough to cause any traffic problems. We are still having our water cut at night in rotation through several areas. It was meant to be back on at 7 this morning. At 9.30 I rang the out-of-hours number and got a recorded message saying it would be back at 11. I was annoyed with myself because all week I'd meant to check if we had another scheduled outage and when it would be, and I kept forgetting.
Anyway, back to my photo - the challenges are meant to be current photos taken after the challenge is posted, so I used some lateral thinking and pulled out this old Pepys card game which belonged to my mother when she was young. It was issued in 1938, so just the year after the film came out.  They even say By Permission Walt Disney - Mickey Mouse Ltd, so he wasn't just Walt Disney plain and simple back then.  I think I remember my mother saying it was the first film she saw, and she was really frightened by the Wicked Queen. I don't think I can remember the first film I ever saw. I know that for my half-brother it was Oliver, because my mother said he spent most of the time looking backwards watching the light coming from the projector.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Bare Beauty 2

Birr, again...
I heard someone on a gardening program last week saying that she would always have mahonia for the scent. Well, the one in our neighbours garden that I hang all my feeders from definitely is not scented, and neither was this one - just beautiful.

 I am not overfond of hydrangeas and only spent some time trying to get a good picture of one in the summer because I wanted a photo to make a card for a friend. This time of year, though, I think thre are really beautiful - I'd have them happily if they looked like this all year round.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Bear in a Bag

When I was ordering the wool for the last jumper I knit C, they had some Bear in a Bag kits on clearance. I only got one as another would have put me into the next rate for postage, but I had fun making him over the last week, and will look out for some more wool suitable to knit another. That is even though it is so hard to keep track of the stitches in amongst all that fur; when I accidentally dropped a stitch while decreasing, it took something like 8 rows of ripping back carefully one row at a time before I ended up with the right number of stitches on the needle. He was also meant to have embroidered eyes, and there was some shaping over his nose that you were meant to embroider them on - but I took the easy option of using buttons like the little old boot buttons. He's going to an adult, so I wasn't worried about the child-safety aspect.

 He was going to a new home today, so I made him a new bag from a large envelope.

Bare Beauty

More photos from Birr. It was lovely to see the structures of the trees so clearly, and to have views that are normally obcscured by all the growth.