Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

click photo to enlarge
"And the first tree in the greenwood, it was the holly"
from "Sans Day Carol"

A very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year to all who pass this way regularly, sporadically, or even accidentally.

I've "shut up shop" - to use an English colloquialism - for a few days. Normal service will be resumed around the turn of the year (or maybe a little before).

Today's photograph shows some snow covered holly, with its bright red berries, against an afternoon sky that is blue turning to cyan. I post it for its seasonal associations (at least in Northern Europe and North America), and because in yesterday's post about Christmas carols I neglected to mention one of my favourites. The "Sans Day Carol" is a traditional song of Cornish origin. "Sans Day" is a corruption of St Day, the village in Cornwall where the song was first heard. This carol, like "The Holly and the Ivy", compares the qualities of the holly with aspects of the life of Christ. It has a particularly lovely tune that I have a fondness for, in part, because I have been known to teach the song in readiness for Christmas concerts.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 150mm (300mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/320
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On