Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

Bruton Parish, on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg.

Bruton Parish, on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg.

The Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg is this coming weekend, on Sunday evening, and I’ve wanted all week to walk on Duke of Gloucester Street to see the wreathes and decorations while they’re fresh.  Each day lately has been filled to the brim, and so the trip was pushed into this afternoon.  And then it rained.  So much of the United States is preparing for a winter storm with snow and ice; but we are looking at a stretch of rain here in Williamsburg, just as the town fills with visitors for one of the biggest events of the year.

Lights are already lit inside the church.

Lights are already lit inside the church.

The rain stopped in early afternoon, but it looked like dusk by 2:30.  The air was heavy with moisture, every surface wet, with patches of lichen and moss thriving on trees trunks and wooden roofs.  Candles shone from windows here and there, and twinkle lights outside of restaurants were already lit.

Twinkle lights dress the Crepe Myrtle trees on Duke of Gloucester Street.

Twinkle lights dress the Crepe Myrtle trees on Duke of Gloucester Street.

A grey December day; but it didn’t affect the crowd.  Parking scarce, it was business as usual for a weekday afternoon on Duke of Gloucester Street.  And Christmas decorations are just going up in preparation for the weekend.

Colonial Williamsburg’s decorations are made mostly with fresh and dried botanicals.  Dried citrus slices, cones, seed pods, dried flowers, and evergreens are mixed with fresh fruit, spices, feathers and ribbon.  They are all hand made in the days leading up to the Grand Illumination.  Each year the designs are a little bit different, so it is always a surprise to walk around and see what the designers have created.

Ready made wreathes are offered for sale in the CW garden.

Ready made wreathes are offered for sale in the CW garden.

Wreathes and arrangements are available for sale at the garden across from Bruton Parish Church, as are the materials needed to make ones’ own.

Williamsburg is much greener today than it was in Colonial Times.  Trees were cut in the 17th and 18th century for timber and to clear land for farming.  Over the years many old and stately trees have grown back, so the area is lush today with gardens, hedges, and beautiful trees.December 5 2013 DOG St 037

In spite of a heavy brooding sky, lowering with more rain as we walked, CW felt bright and festive today.  Happy visitors strolled from building to building enjoying the decorations, the horses, the lush gardens, and the novelty of finding such an interesting place set down in the middle of a beautiful town.

There was plenty of light for a December afternoon.

A wreath for sale at the garden.

A wreath for sale at the garden.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Troll the ancient Yule tide carol,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

December 5 2013 DOG St 024See the blazing Yule before us,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Follow me in merry measure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
While I tell of Yule tide treasure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

December 5 2013 DOG St 014Fast away the old year passes,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Sing we joyous, all together,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Heedless of the wind and weather,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Traditional

16th Century Welsh Carol

All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2013

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

5 responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

  1. Pingback: One’s Own Back Garden | Forest Garden

  2. Forest So Green

    I think it would be fun to make a wreath.

  3. I love these Williamsburg creations. I do something similar at Hampton Mansion National Historic Site in Towson, MD. We decorate every Christmas with boxwood wreaths, fruit and flowers that would have been used in Colonial times. We (my garden club) are doing it next week and I will post about it.

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