The Watering Hole; Friday November 27 2015; Happy “Holidays”

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
(Thomas Gray, from Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard)

The Holiday Season has officially begun, and here, in all its glory, is the season’s formal (2015) Colorado debut on Thanksgiving Eve — the view (from my front door) of . . .

Nov 25 Sunset 2091

. . . The Sky Over the Front Range’s 13,000 ft. Greenhorn Peak.

It’s sad that humans don’t have the soul of Mother Nature. If we did, maybe we could all avoid the nonsensical ‘Holiday’ blather, including all that (alleged) ‘War on Christmas’ gibberish, and maybe even the ‘shop till you drop!’ and ‘spend spend spend!’ urgings with which the mass media firebombs us for close to forty days and forty nights — each and every year — right about this time.

Still, it only took the other night’s singular event — when the sky literally exploded in full color on the eve before Thanksgiving — to remind me of days long gone, even to suggest it might be worth maybe a moment’s peek at old photo files . . . ?  In years past, you see, we made it an annual point to spend as many days and nights as possible —  especially during the “Holiday Season” — away from the city and every bit as “Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife” as we could manage. Following are a handful of ‘sky’ photos from some of those years, each and all of which offer that hoped-for PROOF that Nature can NEVER be as boring as is human’s recurrent ‘celebratory’ world.

Nov 2001, Weavers Needle from McDowells

— Sunrise over Arizona’s Superstition Mountains; Nov. 2001 —

Nov 2001 Desert Sunrise

— Sonoran Desert Sunrise; Nov. 2002 —


— Four Peaks and the Mazatzals from Phoenix Mtn. Preserve; Nov. 2003 —

Dec 2005 desert sunrise

— Sonoran Desert Sunrise; Dec. 2005 —

Nov 2006 White Tanks sunset

— Sunset, White Tank Mountains, Arizona; Dec. 2006 —


— Gathering storm, Sierra Mojada, Colorado; New Years Day, 2009 —

So that’s how Nature celebrates the Holidays in each of two dramatically different corners of the American West. Might I assume she does much the same everywhere else as well? I’m guessing . . . ummmm . . . yes? 🙂

There still (sadly) remains, however, that ‘other’ side of the coin, the human side, the ‘Holiday Season’ side that has, over the centuries, evolved to accommodate huge numbers of zealots who (a) give thanks to their (Christian) God for the blessings that result from their (always bountiful?) harvests, and (b) demand celebration of the birth of their (Christian) God’s  (alleged) son. One might think, therefore, that their included ‘Holydays’ would be a time of tolerance, of kindness, of understanding, even a time of love. Instead, what’s come to pass is a month’s worth of commercialism, blended with various levels of accusatory hate- and fear-mongering against ‘outliers’ everywhere. So while some sceptics might find their ‘Holiday Season’ tirades entertaining (see, e.g., ‘Oppression Of America’s Churches’ Reminiscent Of Nazi Germany), I’ve decided to make MY choice be something more like this (once again) view from my front door:


— Greenhorn Peak, December 2008 —

No fear, no hate, no oppression, no Christers, no Nazis, only the Great ‘Out There.’ My OUR world, the one that reminds — always — that

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
(Thomas Gray)

Meanwhile, Happy Holidays!



21 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday November 27 2015; Happy “Holidays”

  1. Super pictures 🙂 …. I was lucky enough to take a few days and head to the far west of WA state and spend some of my time watching a sea otter work the shellfish bed off Sand Point near Lake Ozette – you don’t get 25% off with that, but who gives a fook?

    • Closest I ever got to W. Washington was the night I spent in a hotel near Sea-Tac, stopover on the way from LA to a morning appointment in Yakima. Maybe some day …

      Glad you liked the pix — problem is, they can never do the original scene proper justice!

      • The Sky is the limit and those are excellent shots!
        I’m thankful you are willing to share our bountiful photos with us!

        • I guess that for most of my life I’ve considered Nature to be a master poet, one who ‘speaks’ without using words. I like to try to gather up as much of that poetry as I can find, then show it to others, spread the “word” sotospeak (except for Republicans, of course, since far as they’re concerned poetry is a waste. No money in it, whatever).

  2. I did my part to augment the profits of big retail this morning. I bought 12 fence pickets and some deck screws for my fence repair project.

  3. omg- I actually read the comments on a TP post – about ‘food insecurity’. Most of the 6 comments were from trolls promoting a ‘work at home’ scam. So much for TP’s ‘improved’ comment monitoring. As a site for political discourse, TP is a shadow of its former self. Glad to be here, though, even if I don’t comment as much.

    • I don’t even look at the TP comments anymore. My email access isn’t compatible with what they require anyway, and I’m not interest in complying. I occasionally check their posted topics, but that’s all.

      • Me too, Frugal. I only went to ‘comments’ on the article about Native Americans’ “food insecurity”. That was a phrase introduced in the Bush years, if I’m not mistaken, so we don’t have to talk about children going hungry – they’re not hungry, they’re just ‘food insecure’. I wanted to call TP on using that phrase. That’s when I saw that the comments section was dominated by ‘work from home’ scammers.

    • My ‘better’ phone, an IPhone 4s, still won’t display those facebook comments, but it will display Disqus comments. I sometimes read articles at TP, when I have a lot of free time at work while the machine is running.

  4. No wonder there is no screaming about immigrants and brown people taking over the country…
    a homegrown terrorist is WHITE…

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