December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays / I’ve never seen anything so magnificent

Snow in Belcarra

You may have noticed I really like adjectives. They’re useful, and today they’re piling up in abundance: magnificent, incredible, beautiful, bright, amazing, powerful, crunchy, quiet.

This is the most magnificent sight I’ve ever seen. In my twenty years of living here I’ve never witnessed such detail of the view across the water. Somehow the snow and sunlight bring out every branch, roofline and curve of the shore.

Sunlit snow in Belcarra

Snow-topped trees reflect in the water

Photos do it no justice, but I took 100 around the yard anyway. Later in the afternoon I went to mail a card and had a clearer view of the mountainface, dyed pink by the setting sun. Anything white turned pink: a large plume of cloud above the hill, a small twist above the SFU campus on Burnaby Mountain.

Sunlit snow in Belcarra - panorama

Panorama: view larger

We’re expecting a rare White Christmas which, according to the news, hasn’t happened in a decade, but I remember a snowy Boxing Day in the Valley last year. All over the province record-breaking temperatures have been recorded, but who knows if that will be enough to prevent another year of pine beetle destruction. In Vancouver, the coldest temperature on record in 40 years is followed up by the whitest Christmas… ever? At least since the ’50s or ’60s. So I feel very lucky. I’m also fortunate to not have to drive anywhere to be home for Christmas, but my oldest sister, due to arrive in about an hour, is braving the trip tonight to be with us. My other sister’s family, meanwhile, has been caught in the air travel chaos and we expect them belatedly tomorrow evening. We are lucky to be all together this Christmas and not experience too much havoc, but wish we could have dined together tonight! More snow is to fall tomorrow night on top of the existing 20 – 25cm on the ground over here, making it indeed a very White Christmas. Ahhh, wonderful!

Shovelling snow

Dad tricked me into volunteering to shovel, but it was more fun than I make it look.

Birch tree Decorations in window with snow

Happy Holidays

Berries in snow

Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!