Thursday, January 05, 2017

End-of-Year Gifts


Christmas had already come and gone, leaving one week before the New Year celebration.  Things were slowing down, I thought, getting us ready for 2017.

But 2016 still had something left in her to give.  And did she ever!

First, Astrid called me from work last Friday to tell me there was a rare occurrence in the weather pattern that created an incredible display of frosty art.  When the temps are below freezing and there is fog, BINGO.  She then made me promise to take a walk for her to capture it in photos.  In fact, she was that close to telling them at work she was "sick" so she could come home to join me.

I promised, of course, and this is what I saw:

You may recall that we can access the citadel walk just meters outside our backdoor.
This was around 8:45 a.m., just as it was getting light.

Already, dogs were out walking their "masters."

It was another world.  Magical.

Those who have taken this walk can almost guess what comes next.
You climb the hill, round the corner, and there she is:  the outer harbor.
That was when I saw the sun starting to rise.

Leaving the outer harbor, you see the church, the toll house, the Brainwave.  

And then buiten de waterpoort:  outside the water port.

After crossing the inner harbor and climbing back onto the wall,
the water port is viewed from a different perspective.

And then, De Hoop windmill...my favorite place on the entire walk.

You round the next corner and get the salmon fisher and the Dalem Gate.

 Looking back on De Hoop and looking ahead to the last part of the citadel wall,
even the birds were in heaven.

If you can't have snow, what better gift than to have FROST.
Thank you, Astrid, for making me promise.
I was back home by 10 a.m.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

That was Friday and Saturday, the last day of the year, promised to be foggy, but without frost.  Astrid and I had already decided to drive out into the polder as long as there was fog.  So off we went, once again around 8:45 a.m.

The fog was so thick you could cut it.

At first, we couldn't find the sheep and cows we were looking for.
Astrid said they were probably still in the barn because of how cold it was and still early.
But a few minutes later, we found them...the sheep, that is...far off in the polder.

Did you know that swans pair up and mate for life?
Almost every farmer's plot has a pair...coexisting with the sheep and cows.
This time, however much Astrid whistled, the sheep did not run to us.
Fine.  We just cuddled them from afar.

We had one last goal before driving back home:  capture the polder gates.

When I finished with my captures, I then concentrated on Astrid!
She is, after all, the Lady of the Polder from our Shutterchance photoblog.
I am often reminded that that's where we met, on the Internet, via our photography.

And believe it or not, the only weathervane that spoke to us that day
was one I didn't already have.
How timely for the end of the year, don't you think!

So, see what I mean by GIFTS!
2016 wasn't all that bad, you know, no matter what anyone else says.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


26 comments:

  1. Beautiful. The landscape, architecture and animals are wonderful. You captured gorgeous weather related photos! I love the sheep especially plus the frost on the trees.

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    1. Thank you, Marie. It was one of those weekends you don't want to miss...and how perfect at the end of one year, ready to welcome in another!

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  2. Well good for 2016! Which has gotten such a bad rap. But wow, just breathtakingly beautiful. Lucky you.

    I had something similar when I left my little habitat in Ashland, Oregon back in 1976. My friend drove me to the Medford airport, and all the way down the 7,000-ft mountain it was a fairyland of fog and frost. You never forget it!

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    1. I needed this memory, Ruth, for the end of 2016, after all the stress and anxiety. I hope to never experience such a year again. Isn't it wonderful how you can go all the way back to 1976 and still remember that beauty!

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  3. Oh wow! The frosty images are awesome (as all do your images). I really really am getting the itch to see NL. I'll probably starting mapping out plans for that now.

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    1. This was a rare day, Astrid keeps reminding me, when it has to be freezing with fog. We OFTEN get the fog but with above-freezing temps, like the second day we were out in the polder.

      Please let us know ahead of time whenever you plan on a visit to the Netherlands because Astrid has only so many days a year that she can take off. We would NOT want to miss you.

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  4. Hi Ginnie. I love atmosphere of this series mist and frost. Light is splendid.
    Thank you for your link, I will visit this website with pleasure

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    1. OMG, Marie. You have totally just made my day. MERCI!!!

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  5. And I dooo appreciate how precious your frost and fog walk was!! We used to get frost back home in Winnipeg, but not so much here, I don't remember ever getting it here! However we have had fog so thick you couldn't see a metre in front of your face!! and that's crazy when you are out walking your dog and almost walk into someone ELSE walking there dog, coz you can't really HEAR in that thick of fog! So anyway haha, I dearly loved your pictures of the sheep in the fog! I'm sorry that they wouldn't come when Astrid 'called' though :) Something about those pictures made my heart leap though! Sooo beautiful...

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    1. There is something about fog you just can't replicate, right? I love it, even without the frost. But I must say that that frosty day was very special...magical. Thank you, Elaine. I know you know!

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  6. I'm so sorry about all the errors in the above post lol 'there' and THEIR... and i HOPE i got the right 'metre' and meter... i'm in the middle of a huge anxiety attack and my grammar is worse then normal even lol

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    1. As I often say to Astrid, I know your English!

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  7. You got so many beautiful captures on your frosty walk... The scenes are beautiful and the colours are truly incredible. I remember to have seen something like this three years ago when we went for a walk on New Year’s Day and were surprised by similar frosty fantasy. There is something about this time of year! :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Petra. This morning we even awakened to about an inch of snow! It's all most magical when it finally happens...something most rare these years for us here in the Netherlands!

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  8. Yes...that weathervane says it all! Man oh man...that girl Astrid done good!!! These are amazing Ginnie...what an amazing experience!

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    1. That weathervane...indeed. LOL. And, yes, that Astrid is something else. She's such a perfect Partner in Crime! :) Thank you, Robin.

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  9. Outstanding end-of-year finale. What a wonderful walk! What is this with cuddly sheep. The ones on the farms I visit all look curiously but run away as soon as I get near. Happy new year.

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    1. Sheep are fun, Ted, aren't they. When they stare like this, even from afar, they crack me up. Many times sheep AND cows come running over to us at the fence. They are indeed curious and often make my day. That's one of the reasons I need my "fix" by driving out to the polder.

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    2. Cows are definitely curious people. At one of the farms I used to shoot they were very devious, pretending to nibble grass in front of my tripod while slowly inching closer until they were sniffing at the legs and ready to knock it over and see where it fell. Cows are curious and sneaky.

      Many years ago I lived on the top of a hill surrounded by fields where cows grazed. After a long Friday evening of listening to music, a friend and I would often take walks up the road in the dark. Suddenly we’d hear sounds from the fields on both sides of the road as the cows stood and all at once began to urinate for us. It was, I suppose, their music.

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    3. That's hysterical, Ted. OMG. The stories you could tell!

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  10. The moment I left home for work, I said to myself, I am NOT going to work, I like to take pictures...but then of course I have that responsibility towards work that won.. :(... I still regret I went to work. I am so glad that you were able to see fog/frost... it is magic, PURE magic. Fabulous pictures and I am glad we took the trip the day later. Those sheep... I wonder what they were thinking... and then 'me' Lady of the Polder'... I carry that tittle with pride. I love this place. So quiet, no people, for me heaven on earth. And yes blame it to the internet... and the rest is history. What an ending of 2016.... and a start of 2017.... Thank you for another year of dear memories. IHVJ.

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    1. I hope we never stop being Partners in Crime, Astrid, because THIS is what Life is all about for me. How did I ever get to be so lucky????? THANK YOU!

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  11. A wonderful beautiful gift :-)

    It reminds me of a similar frosty moment when I took my camera to work and took a walk out at lunch time to capture the beauty of the day :-)

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    1. Yes, indeed, Cherry. It doesn't happen very often here, so when it does, you have to grab the moment! So glad you, too, had your camera handy.

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  12. I like those pics of the dogs walking with their masters.
    Happy New Year.

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    1. Many kind thanks, Haddock, for stopping by and commenting here!

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