Yes, I know that Christmas is long gone. But I’ve only just now gotten around to taking this picture.

We’ve had a house by the lake for over four years now. Every year the Garden Club (of which we are members) puts up a Christmas tree in the small park by the entrance to our community. Every year I determine to take a picture of it and, so far, every year I fail to do so. This year I decided to ‘knuckle down’ and take care of it.

So as the sun was going down off I went. It’s less than a five minutes away from our house so no problem there. Unfortunately I picked a particularly cold day to do this. The temperature outside was around 18F/-8C (and windy). I put the camera (with remote release) on my tripod and started taking pictures from about 15 minutes after sundown (4:46) onwards for about thirty minutes. This particular picture was taken at about 5:08.

By this time I could barely feel my feet and my hands were even worse (unfortunately my preparations didn’t involve bringing along gloves). I decided to call it a day and headed off home.

One quick warming glass of Laphroaig later and I was ready to start work on the pictures. I put the memory card in the card reader and up came a message saying the the card was not readable by any system known to mankind and that I should format it. I declined, hoping it was just a temporary glitch (I’ve had this kind of thing before with USB readers so I didn’t panic all that much – particularly since the camera could still read and display the pictures. However, a second glass of Laphroaig was starting to look good). After dismounting the USB reader a couple of times and plugging it into different USB ports up it eventually came up. Phew!!!

While I was taking the pictures I noticed a noise nearby. A small brook runs from the lake, through the park and off to who knows where. About 15 ducks (Mallards to be precise) we frolicking around in the water. I was freezing, but it didn’t seem to bother them at all. I guess ducks are extremely well insulated. I wish I was having as good a time as they were.

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