December Rainbow

December 7, 2015 sunset rainbow 007

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Our sky remained low and white much of the day.   A ‘snow sky;’  but since we were well above freezing, we knew it promised only rain.  Drizzle, actually.  And mist.

It was already late afternoon and dusk had settled.  We’d opened the pile of packages our UPS driver brought.

I was working with photos at the computer, slipping peacefully into another ‘long winter’s night’ when my partner called to me.  “Is your camera ready?”

That always means he sees something worth capturing.  I followed his voice to the windows by our deck, amazed at the warm golden light of sunset bathing every twig and branch of our surrounding trees.  Sunlight?

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December 7, 2015 sunset rainbow 002

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He had seen the light, and called me out to photograph our winter sunset.  Warm golden peach filled the sky beyond our windows, and I opened the slider to step out and capture the moment.

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December 7, 2015 sunset rainbow 001

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But wait, it was still pouring rain!

The setting sun shone through a crack in the clouds to our west, illuminating the pond below our home.

It dazzled the trees, reflected golden against the clouds, and created a huge perfect rainbow in our eastern sky.

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December 7, 2015 sunset rainbow 012~

We could see the entire arc of the rainbow rising from the trees to our north, and disappearing in the trees to the south.

Every band of color shown clearly and it all hovered there, determined and bright, through the falling rain.

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December 7, 2015 sunset rainbow 004

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What a gift.  What a moment. 

We stood out in the rain as the colors deepened in the west.  Soft peach intensified to bright white gold, then faded into shades of fiery orange .

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December 7, 2015 sunset rainbow 018

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But the rainbow remained.

And it hung there still, witness to the setting winter sun, even after we retreated back into the warmth inside.

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December 7, 2015 sunset rainbow 010

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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Winter Rainbow

January 1 2014 Parkway 019

Part of a “sun dog” rainbow in the afternoon sky over College Creek on New Year’s Day.

Winter’s palette turns to shades of grey, blue, green, brown and white; a much quieter, more restful world of color than what surrounds us the rest of the year.

The view from our deck this morning.  The temperature was up to about 15 F by the time we ventured out of doors.

The view from our deck this morning. The temperature was up to about 15 degrees by the time we ventured out of doors.

When the sun is shining from a brilliantly clear winter sky, everything is touched with gold and silver sparkles of light.  It is almost blinding reflected from ice and water.

Our Violas are solidly frozen this morning but will bounce back once they thaw out sometime tomorrow.

Our Violas are solidly frozen this morning, but will bounce back once they thaw out sometime tomorrow.

Although some areas remain blanketed in snow for much of winter, we never see it for more than a few days here and there- if at all.  “Snow day” is still synonymous with “holiday” in my mind, as it  has meant an unexpected day off to enjoy as I pleased for much of my life.

We wait for it, hope for it, and celebrate the snow if it comes.  Many winters we never see anything more than flurries.   And so color remains with us throughout winter.   Beauty is everywhere.

Birds, berries, and the occasional Camellia blossom add pops of red in our winter gardens.

The Swiss chard looked good enough to eat on New Year's Eve.

The Swiss chard looked good enough to eat on New Year’s Eve.

Violas, Mahonia, Helleborus, and Crocus offer blossoms in purples, oranges, yellows, pinks, white and red through the coldest winter days.  We can enjoy something blooming in the garden every single day of the year.

What delicious luxury.  We only have to look for it, and we are still surrounded by all of the colors of the rainbow.  The shades, tints, and hues have shifted subtly, winter paints in a different palette, but color never leaves us entirely.

American holly berries glow red in the winter sunshine. They will all be enjoyed by hungry birds and squirrels over the next few weeks.

American holly berries glow red in the winter sunshine. They will all be enjoyed by hungry birds and squirrels over the next few weeks.

So here is our winter rainbow from Williamsburg, Virginia.  I’ve stretched the rules a bit for Tuesday Snapshots today.  One photo was taken inside to capture the beautiful red of a bowl, and a few photos are a little more than a week old now, though they would look nearly the same if taken today.

I hope you are warm, and well, and able to enjoy this beautiful day.  It looks like a fine day to finish off the fruitcake left from Christmas, if there is any, and to settle in with a wonderful new novel penned by a friend.

All photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

ROY G. BIV (Forestgarden)

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