Art, Creativity, Photography, Travel, Writing

Dawn on a cold winter’s day in January

in minutes the colour of the sky intensifies and the sun rises just above the horizon

On another day the mist hangs low in the valley

and frost covers the crooked fingers of the sumac tree with hoary gloves

In February thoughts turn towards the bidding farewell to winter. In the fields behind the house a huge cross has been erected (it’s towards the right side of the picture). On the morning of Sunday 10 February a friend and I have this crazy idea to watch the dawn and see if I can get a photo of the sun rising behind the cross. It was minus 4°C and a heavy frost covered the ground. There was no dramatic sunrise but golden streaks of dawn crept across the sky anyway

and behind us the sky turned a faint pink, criss-crossed by vapour trails from the aeroplanes taking off from the nearby airport

Half the village gathered on that very cold clear night with an abundance of stars and a crescent moon, behind which the rest of the shadow of the moon could be seen. Unfortunately we missed the actual lighting of the fire and the immediate sight of flames licking up to the top of the cross. You have to look very closely to see the faint outline of the cross above the combustible stuff piled up at the foot of the cross

It is generally agreed that this is an ancient pagan festival but no one seemed to know why a cross should be burnt. In some communities a man and a woman are chosen to light the fire and in others puppet figures of a man and a woman are burned on the cross but not in ours. Hot gluhwein and other beverages together with hot dogs and grilled chops were served by members of the youth club who had camped out the night before to ensure that no spoilsport lit the fire before the prescribed time. It burned for hours after we left, casting a warm glow into the night sky, still visible through our hedge, 3 fields away.

Today I took this picture of the winter flowering Viburnum in our garden – a true herald of spring

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Comments on: "my garden in winter and buerg brennen (cross burning)" (1)

  1. Hooray Viburnum!

    Beautiful pictures, BTW.

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