Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Rush


When sunny, North Carolina blue skies turn to gray misty rain for five days in a row, it’s time to learn to take photos in the fog. Ugh.

And when the temps range from teens and twenties to near seventy within a week, I shrug and go. I’d rather have winter weather stay than to have a mix of weather suitable for either beach volleyball or hibernating indoors in front of a fire.


During the darkest day, a Goldfinch flew in.


A sweet sight, one that I took for granted for a long time.

On the first day of my Christmas break, I put the pedal to the metal to purchase one special gift. By 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, it was wrapped tenderly with merry sparkles and tucked into a taped box ready to go on its way to Maryland.

The one-stop postal shop was entertaining enough to raise my blood pressure a bit. A wealthy elderly couple chatted on how to use that dang electric screw driver to secure their seven foot by three foot by three foot wooden crate. There were screws flying across the floor that customers kindly retrieved for them. Why not purchase a power screw driver and do that at home?

A merry gentleman about my age followed his wife’s orders and hauled in two large gift bags ready to place under the Christmas tree. For packing and shipping. Yes. And he reminded the young woman behind the counter about the glass ornament that needs special treatment. I mean, how lazy can you get? If I were tending to his business behind the counter, I would have completed his transaction and said, “Ok. Here’s your complimentary calendar. Now, do you want me to go pick up your lunch and eat it for you, too?”

After my brief, two-minute transaction, I was compelled to applaud that wonderful, patient, young woman behind the counter, “By the way, I admire your patience and professionalism. Merry Christmas.” Behind me, a line of customers mumbled, “Amen.”.

For the next few days, I’ll catch up with life away from the office and that inevitable holiday rush. I’ll hope for the sun I saw almost a week ago


while I puttered around the pond.



I’ll look for the sparkle in a Chickadee’s eye


and watch those darn Carolina Wrens I always find too close to the house. Again, I rescued this one who flew into the sunroom.

Napping with the Licker Sisters will have high priority.


Chloe, the queen of NAP.

Bella, the snoring Licker.


Anonymous said...

I love taking fog photos. It isn't always easy. I love your feeder birds and those "darned Carolina Wrens" and chickadees. I'm "having a day" too over at SMU. We've got a storm coming in.

Dawn Fine said...

Very nice photos and story..your pups are adorable....
did that goldfinch fly in feet first?
cool shot

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

That is a very cool picture of the goldfinch flying in feet first. Take it easy on you long work break May. Unbelievably, I'm off until next Saturday! And NO night shifts! HURRAY!!

Smooch your girls for me.

your word verification is "ingsy"

NCmountainwoman said...

OMG, Mary. That heron photograph is contest-worthy, print and sell worthy, keep coming back to look at worthy. Wow!

I'm so with you on the weather. It was 68 here, cloudy and gray today. High on Monday will be in the 30s. Of course my poor daughter is in Milwaukee with its 12+ inches of snow in the past 14 hours and another storm coming tomorrow.

jason said...

Your weather sounds as tumultuous as ours has been. The near constant fog hasn't helped even with the temperatures below freezing for a week before skyrocketing to the 70s. And we're headed back to arctic temperatures before the weekend is through. It's getting so I don't know how to dress just to walk to the car--in the garage!

Your photos are spectacular as always. As Lynne pointed out: I especially like the goldfinch coming in for a landing.

Enjoy our break, Mary! Keep those pups happy and they'll do the same for you.

Balisha said...

Hi Mary,
Love those dogs. The Heron photo was terrific.Have you shopped for the pups yet?

Heidi said...

Shooting in the fog can be challenging, however different colors pop better in the fog like blues and purples. It can be awesome, just like how your heron pic turned out!

Enjoy your leisurely strolls and playtime with Bella and Chloe!

Wendy said...

Love that heron! He's splendid! Your weather is up and down, no question, but at least there's no snow.
Nice of you to compliment that post office employee on her patience. Working with the public can be challenging.
Glad you are enjoying your holiday time off!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Looks as if you are teaching your camera new tricks! Always enjoy seeing your Heron.
Nice the birds have all returned too. I know you missed them.
Enjoy these pre Christmas days.
Having a winter break is nice.

KGMom said...

Looks like your vacation is restoring your spirits and your camera eye.
Love the snoozing puppies.
Have a merry Christmas--enjoy enjoy the time off.

LauraHinNJ said...

Sounds like a great start to your well-earned vacation, Mary!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It sounds like you have the "rushed", "too much to do", christmas woes. Love the pictures of the peaceful Licker Sisters.

Cheryl said...

I hope that your days away from the office are filled with sunshine and birdsong......I love the photograph of the heron, so majestic.....

Of course the licker sisters are my favourite.......such a cute pair......

May your Christmas be filled with laughter Mary.....thank you for a year of beautiful posts.....I have laughed, and cried with has been an up and down year......

Hope 2009 holds all your dreams........

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Great pictures, Mary... Those same people have been in the line in front of me at the Post Office also!!!! Gee--they must go from town to town to irritate us!!!! ha

Love your birdie pictures. I featured some today also--in our FOG...

Your sleepy babies look like they are relaxed and ready for Christmas... How can Bella snore with her nose in the pillow??? ha

Vickie said...

Christmas is an amazing season to watch people, isn't it?

Here in TN we're having the same zig-zag soggy weather you're having. Great time for napping and I see you have some fine snoozing buddies!

Peg Silloway said...

Mary, as always, I feel as if I've opened a special gift when I get to your blog. The photos are extraordinary, and your genuine writing voice is refreshing. I hope you have a wonderful couple of weeks off from work, and plenty of time and good weather for Mary and her camera to enjoy the outdoors.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! I hear you about the weather. It sucks. One day of sun and clouds and rain for what feels like forever. A co-worker told me a new place I can go to take pictures, but with the weather, I'll be lucky if I get there by spring.

Curl up and take a nap with the licker sisters. After all, it is the perfert weather for it. Lisa

JeanMac said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mary. Hope you get rested up once the rush is over.

BJ said...

Mary - loved this post! And as always, the pictures are wonderful. That heron is awesome! What a great picture.

I hope that you enjoy the next couple of weeks. I'm sure you've got your girls there with you to keep things interesting.

The weather just sucks here too! I'm tired of all of the rain....I need sunshine desperately.

Mary C said...

Mary, it looks like you could put words from the house finch on those pix. That second one, after the goldfinch landed looks like he wanted to say: "I was here first; I get the best pickin's." Great photos as always, Mary. And thanks for the Licker Sister fix! ;o)

Minerva said...

Those are wonderful bird pictures.

Your pups are so cute? Don't you just live them when they're snoring away? I posted a picture of mine sleeping today, too.


Mary, this is embarrassing to admit for me, but I always feel proud of myself (or is it smugness? Yikes!) when I handle annoying people with a liberal amount of zen.

What is it about Bostons and napping? The two go hand in hand sooo well. ;o)

As ever, thank you for posting such beautiful photos.

Naturegirl said...

Mary: Temps in the 70's puttering in your pond! You need a dose of reality..come on by and get your fill of ((freezing cold blowing snow)))at my place!! LOL
Love the first image with the well all your birding images!
If I don't get back before Christmas I want to say 'Mary may the Spirit of Christmas leaves its blessings on the hearts of you and yours!
Thank you for all the wonderful images that you share!
hugs NG

Corey said...

Your photos never cease to impress. Ain't this weather grand?

Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh, I could snuzzle those girls, they look so warm and snuffly.

Dat chickadee is in mid-poop! Is that why he has a twinkle in his eye?

Leave it to the Chimp to notice...

Kathie Brown said...

Love that heron shot and the little chickadee too! Enjoy your nap time!

Larry said...

I enjoy the holidays but in a way I'm glad when it's over.It seems to tire me out.-Like your little counter story.

TR Ryan said...

Merry Christmas Mary! My best gift will be finally getting to meet you in a few months!!!

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