Looking for something unusual keeps things interesting when you have been shooting the same stuff for a while while not able to go anywhere. I had seen a couple of movements in recent months of Asia Pacific Airlines and their Boeing 757s. However, I had never been in a position to catch one. Christmas Eve I was off work and one was due in to Boeing Field. It was on their own flight number but I had a suspicion that they were supporting UPS.
Sure enough, when the jet landed, it taxied up to a spot on the UPS ramp and started unloading. UPS had been running a large amount of movements through Seattle that day and the preceding days so I guess the Christmas rush meant it was necessary to charter in additional capacity to deal with the demand. An interesting looking plane and nice to see something different for a change.
While we got to Butchart Gardens before the sun set as seen in this post, the purpose of the visit was to see the illuminations. I had been there before during the day and knew it was a pretty garden but I didn’t know what to expect with the illuminations. I thought it might be pretty but was not expecting it to be so dramatic. The first are had some lovely lights within the trees with animated icicles. We then followed a route around the gardens to cover all of the areas. These areas also included displays themed around the twelve days of Christmas.
One area that really blew me away was a section under tree cover where they had lasers mounted on the tree trunks that scattered their light into the canopy above. The effect was magical and I spent a long time looking up at it as well as trying to get a decent shot of it. On one, the lens wasn’t originally zoomed out and so it drifted a little in zoom. The result was rather good but not what was needed. I like it but it will stay out of public sight.
Walking down in to the valley below the main house, the lighting was absolutely amazing. The density of light installations and the use of color was really impressive. The use of trees and plants to catch the light was great as was the use of some of the surrounding rock. They also had some streams of blue lights to give the effect of flowing water.
We had arrived at the gardens before the sun went down and we got in very quickly. There was no traffic. As a result, we had seen the whole display after dark relatively early in the evening. We were able to head back to town and, as we started to drive out, the traffic coming in was awful. We were sailing out but the cars were backed up the hill. I imagine it would take a long time to get in. I think our timing worked well.
Christmas morning in Kirkland had us waking up to some snow. It had started to snow a little on Christmas Eve but plenty more had dropped overnight. This was not snow that was going to last long. It was rather heavy and damp and, having built up on the branches of the trees, it was pretty precarious. When some of it slipped off, it would take whatever was below it too resulting in some significant dumps on the ground below or you if you were unlucky. Paying attention to what was above you was a good idea.
I went out first thing. Since it was Christmas morning, not much traffic had been out so the roads were reasonably untouched. The light from the street lamps was still a factor in some places. I wandered around the neighborhood checking out the view before it all went away. The temperatures were not too low so I didn’t have to wrap up much and I knew things would soon melt. However, it was a scenic place to be for a while and added a certain atmosphere to Christmas Day.