Same Procedure as Every Year

Unlike last year, where we had a front row seat to the shenanigans in Cologne, Germany, Goddess and I will be sitting in a quiet house, watching as the next round of 4-6″ of snow falls. No riot police for us this year.

While we lived in Germany, we were introduced to a curious NYE tradition, the annual showing of a TV skit from 1963 called  “Dinner for One“, or more accurately Der 90. Geburtstag. Starting at around dinner time, the skit gets 20 or more showings on various TV channels until midnight.

It’s a fun tradition. Just not one where you should try to keep up with James.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Upheld

This photo has become a tradition for this blog on each Christmas Eve since 2010. This ornament is appropriate, as it was spied that year hanging in a vendor’s booth at the Christmas Market in Vienna, Austria.

I do believe I missed last year, but we were busy traveling the world. Goddess and I spent the first half of this year continuing those travels, spending time with friends and family all over the world.  We’ve settled down for a spell to see how that suits us.

Know that our wish for you is to have a peaceful end of the calendar year adhering to whatever practices bring you comfort and joy.

Hopefully you will find a bit of relaxation in there too.

Christmas Eve Globe Lights Ornament by Bill Anders Photography

Autumn Tree Line

Boardman Tree Farm, Morrow County, Oregon

A fantastic tree farm full of beautiful Pacific Albus, easily accessible off of the highway, which also makes it very popular for photographers, regardless of the season.

Unfortunately, it was recently sold and is already being turned into plots for potatoes, like the field in the foreground.

So if you are in the Pacific Northwest and want to catch a glimpse of its beauty, you better hurry.  The news reports state that it will take years to clear the trees, as each plot will be allowed to grow to commercial viability.  But once they are gone, they are gone.

Shasta Flare

Mount Shasta, California, on a crisp autumn afternoon last month.

I had already captured quite a few images of the mountain a few miles back on the highway.  Then I caught a glimpse of this plane as I was driving.  Luckily there was a pull-out up ahead and we’re glad that we have functional anti-lock brakes.  Most importantly, I’m glad that I have an understanding Goddess.

Thankee-sai

Enjoying the post-sunset colors at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.

Taken a year ago, returning to that spot where she said yes so many years before that have led to many days like today.  And she still puts up with me, including waking up the next morning with a heavy layer of frost coating our sleeping bags.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you, my Goddess!

Pre-Sunrise Exposure Check

Waiting for sunrise on a cold morning on the night of the full moon.   Looking east towards Alamagordo, with the National Solar Observatory near Sunspot, New Mexico on the distant peak.

A perfect night and a perfect view for us while we camped at White Sands National Monument.

Yes, you can camp at White Sands!  We highly recommend it, although there are some significant considerations.

Things like, being in the desert, it can be hotter than Hades during the day, then freezing at night.  No water, no facilities, you have to navigate and hike in to your spot, which are non-reservable, first-come, first-served. Your spot gets reserved only after you sign in at the front desk and they give you a serious shakedown on your abilities, equipment, and water supplies.*

Perfect!

You don’t actually camp on the dunes, but in the hollows between the dunes, on the hard-pan desert floor.  One campsite per flat, so you don’t even know if there are others camping out there, until you climb to the top of a dune and they happen to be on top of a dune near their spot.

Like I said – perfect!

Not knowing how the spot was going to be, we carried in our free-standing tent.  With the crisp, clear night, we opted to go without the rain fly, so we had a fantastic view of all of the stars.  When we woke up in the morning, we had a nice layer of frost all over us.

Perfect!

If you are in the area, especially now, we highly recommend it.  This picture was taken last year, on November 6.  This would be the time of year that I would make return trips, as the crowd is almost non-existent, the temperatures are manageable and the views are outstanding.  More to come.

* For more details on the camping in White Sands National Monument, click here.