Friday, January 4, 2008

Around Midnight...

New Years Eve 10a

As some of you are aware, we're already gaining sunlight again! With every passing day the twilight in the southern sky noticeably increases in both duration and intensity. Toward the end of this month the sun will venture above the horizon for the first time in approximately sixty days. But, until then, the dark sky provides a perfect backdrop for any type of illumination.

Around midnight on New Year's Eve I heard the familiar percussion of fireworks "thunking" against my window. I left my two extremely irritated dogs yapping wildly inside the house and ventured out into the -20 degree air for a better view of the show staged on the southern bank of the pond directly in front of my house.

The stiff breeze of 15 to 20 mph made outdoor viewing rather uncomfortable, but that didn't deter the community from coming out in full force. Snow machines were darting and zooming from every direction. A few slowed up and parked right in the middle of the frozen pond as if arriving at an arctic drive-in! My photos don't do justice to the impressive scale or variety of the display, but I thought the vibrant colors and feathering effect of the wind made for some interesting (if not high quality) images.

For about forty minutes, this could have been Anytown, USA...each explosion reflected in the sparkling eyes and delighted cheers of the crowd. It's a touching thing when a community comes together. People who have been somewhat hidden from each other, huddled in their respective houses, quietly shake off their winter mantle just long enough to wave and call out to each other, "Happy New Year!" before moving on.

I really have to hand it to the Ivanoff brothers. Being the fire chief and first assistant, it's a little ironic that they are so good at setting fires! For several years now they have put on a New Year's Eve extravaganza at their own expense. I, for one, sincerely appreciate their generous efforts.

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(To see more photos...click on any image.)
New Years Eve 11a

New Years Eve 3

New Years Eve 5a

This is the preferred mode of transportation in the winter here. Apparently, it comes in handy for fireworks viewing as well. Although the wind caused -20 to feel like negative 50's that night, I think Stephen was plenty warm in his camouflage parka. I can't be sure about his poor face, though.
New Years Eve 13

15 comments:

Bryan said...

Love the fireworks photos! I wanted to try and take some Monday night as well, but I was the designated ignitor of the pyrotechnics, so it's kind of hard to flick the Bic and click the Cannon at the same time!

Kimberlee said...

Ha! Yeah, Bryan, you probably would have gotten a really great photo of your finger being blown off! :)

Glad you stuck to focusing on the flame!

Steve said...

Those are really delightful pictures! And the penultimate one looks like a palm tree in very cool colors.

Bryan said...

That's what Laurie said when she saw them as well! (about the palm tree!)

Johnny said...

We had fireworks all around us even though they are outlawed in the parish. (So when did a few laws stop people from having fun in LA.) They were beautiful and we enjoyed them and the very pleasant weather! I did have to chuckle over my first reaction to "camouflage". White camouflage isn't exactly in my frame of reference. Thanks for the beautiful photos!

Kimberlee said...

LOL! Steve you continue to enrich (secret code word for CHALLENGE) my vocabulary! And I love it! :)

I thought the same thing about the arctic palm tree...sort of neon-ish, huh? Thanks for the fun comments.

Kimberlee said...

Bryan/Laurie...I have a photo that I took in Barrow of palm trees made from whale baleen. I'll have to dig it up and share it with you sometime. It's pretty wild. :)

Kimberlee said...

Thanks, Johnny! I'm so glad you had a nice New Year's Eve. And, yes, it does require a little shift in perception to get used to white being camouflage. But once you see how easy it is to visually track a dark image (like a black dog that's been cooped up in the house too long) running across the snow...it makes more sense.

lesle said...

Enjoyed your photos. -50, brrrr!

Happy Leap Year!

lesle said...

Kimbrlee, here's another teacher-related blog that, I hope, may interest you: Ragamuffin Studies

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Lesle! I'm so glad you liked the photos and thanks for the new link. I checked it out and it looks like a good one!

I forgot about it being Leap Year...I'm glad you reminded me! :)
Happy New Year!

Ami said...

Great pictures Kimberlee! I tried taking some from where I was standing with Gail, but I was too far away for a good shot.

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Ami! Thanks for dropping by. I'm so glad that you were able to see the fireworks New Year's Eve and, as cold and windy as it was that night, it's good that you didn't have to venture far from home! :)

Anonymous said...

hi Kim Berrrrr lee, nice pictures, hope to take good pictures too with new christmas present.

Kimberlee said...

You're so sneaky! How'd you happen to come across these photos? :)