December 27, 2011

SNOWFLAKE BONDING


Snow on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
I recall reading a quote some years ago that really made an impression on me. It went on about how a snowflake is the most fragile thing in nature but what a wonder it is when so many of them stick together. Such a simple but powerful truth. Something so perishable making a lasting impression when in good company!

It makes you stand back and think of all the tiny, seemingly insignificant, things that come together to compose other objects that are altogether larger in size, scope, and significance.
Something along the line  of "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

So, we've had our trillion fragile snowflakes stick together on Mt. Aenos over the last few days. And the result was breathtaking! - in more ways than one ;-)

(We made our way to Aenos National Park only to find that we were not alone. A white Christmas in Kefalonia is not always a given, so this was a special occasion. And though cars were not allowed to go past the Park gate due to icing on the road, those who wandered in on foot were rewarded by the picture perfect setting.)


Snow on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
Aenos National Park, Kefalonia
Snow on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
A holly oak tree feeling the load of bonding snowflakes
Snow on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
The road within Aenos National Park
Snow on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
Xi Beach, Kefalonia as seen from Mt. Aenos
Snow on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
Snow covered "abies cephalonica"

Snow on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia

I don't believe in plastering my picture on my posts, but allow me to make an exception, if only to prove my case to non-believers. Given my well known aversion to freezing temperatures - and winter in general - I've already had questions about whom I "borrowed" the photos from!
Yes, I actually went to face my nemesis. And between us, I'll admit that I enjoyed it as much as everyone else did. 
However, my long term relationship with winter has not been affected despite this small truce. I still have no particular affection for the most wicked of seasons.

December 26, 2011

TWAS THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS



Winter sky, Kefalonia
View from Kefalonia to the Peloponnese
Few days are as clear, crisp, and colorful as those "blessed" by a northern wind. Every tiny detail comes into sharp focus and the muted winter horizon becomes clearly defined. Neighboring islands, conveniently blurred by the seasonal mist, come out of hiding. On days like these, part of mainland Peloponnese pops up and is easily  mistaken as the northern part of Zakynthos (Zante), our island neighbor to the south.
Quick changing cloud formations provide interesting backgrounds for otherwise depressing, bare trees. The sun's rays peek and pierce through grey clouds and reach the sea surface as bright strobe lights.
Yes, all looks picture perfect, but is it?
Yes, there is a catch to this scenario.
The same northern winds that paint the sky and sea so artistically, do not arrive without baggage. Their load is white, fluffy, and cold.
If you turn around and look at Mt. Aenos, the backbone of Kefalonia, you can see it "unpacking".
Then you know that it is going to be a white Christmas.
And, it was!

(to be continued)

Winter colors, Kefalonia
A crisp winter day in Kefalonia
It's snowing on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
It's snowing on Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia

December 18, 2011

SLATE SKIES AND FOAMY SEAS

Storm at Trapezaki, Kefalonia
Stormy Seas at Trapezaki, Kefalonia
It doesn't happen too often, but it does...
Writer's Block...
Fortunately, I can always rely on the Master to bail me out...


Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

"Blow, Blow,Thou Winter Wind" by William Shakespeare

Winter sunset in Kefalonia
Trapezaki, Kefalonia
Winter sunset at Lourdas Bay, Kefalonia
Lourdas Bay, Kefalonia

December 15, 2011

LAGGING WINTER

Winter colors of Kefalonia
Winter Scenes, Kefalonia




Winter colors of Kefalonia
The colors of autumn spilling into winter @Kefalonia
It should be obvious by now that I'm partial to spring and summer as opposed to autumn and winter. In color palette jargon, I'd be a "blue-white-green person," as opposed to an "orange-gold-grey person." 
However, the last few years have been messing up with this color scheme seasonality. Summer lingers on for quite a while longer, making me more accepting to autumn. Autumn seems to have totally lost its sense of being, lingering into the holiday season, making me a bit more indulgent to the calendar's indication. These long transitions are absolutely fabulous and make bearable those gray, rainy days that inadvertently interpose themselves in between the fabulous sunshine and unusually warm temperatures. Under these conditions, I can venture as far as enjoying a cloudy day or two, or even appreciate the orange,yellow and gold hues around me.
As long as this game of seasons does not spill into spring!!!
Winter colors of Kefalonia
Moody Mt. Aenos, Kefalonia
Winter colors of Kefalonia
Fruit's on, leaves off!
Winter colors of Kefalonia
Pomegranate tree at Kambitsata, Kefalonia
Winter colors of Kefalonia
Perky daisies growing among fallen leaves
Winter colors of Kefalonia
Lotus tree @Kambitsata, Kefalonia
Winter colors of Kefalonia
Colorful contrasts even on a dull grey day
Winter colors of Kefalonia
The last of the olives waiting to be picked


December 7, 2011

BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME

Spasmata, Kefalonia
Spasmata, Kefalonia
Fishing near White Rocks, Kefalonia
Fishing near White Rocks, Kefalonia
It's a game of endurance and persistence. One I usually lose, but without regrets or grudges. The location provides ample opportunity for capturing one of those shots that you pat yourself on the back for.
The rocky outcrop on the left is home to dozens of seagulls, nesting their young, flying to and from overhead in interesting formations, and doing all sorts of acrobatics. The white rocks on the right provide a stark background for fishermen either casting or pulling in their nets. Straight ahead are the cloud formations over the peninsula of Paliki, indicative of the weather's general intentions for the next few days. A few yards to the back is the end of the airport runway, with no surprises this time of year. Dispersed throughout the small bay are a number of fishing boats, some farther out, one or two to the right towards the white rocks. You'd think that it would be a matter of minutes before I'd get that desired shot...

Well, it isn't that simple...
I can vouch for this, here on this small bay are the most uncooperative seagulls and fishermen on the entire island! The birds seem to take off from their rocky haven only when I'm distracted doing some stupid task like changing lenses or shifting position to avoid numbness. The fisherman seems to intentionally let the boat drift sideways to a most inconvenient position. Is it possible that man and birds may be in cahoots?? Yes, a conspiracy is clearly indicated.
On this particular day, my "catch" was menial. Of course, when the dampness of the day began to overwhelm my bones and I just had to leave, it happened. He started to pull the net in, and a cloud of seagulls flocked over the boat to claim their share of the loot.
But I was already in the car, no sense turning back...
Maybe next time...