Christmas colors

The Christmas season provides special opportunities to enjoy colors during walks.  Some seasonal colors are best enjoyed by daylight and others are special at night.  In this post I highlight some of the interesting colorful sights in my neighborhood and at Tahoe as kind of a complement to earlier posts about Fall colors.

To start with some traditional Christmas outdoor decorations, this is a house I passed on one of my walks.  The red bows and wreath complement the green lawn and landscaping that denote a California setting.

picture of traditional outdoor Christmas decorations

Traditional outdoor Christmas decorations

I found other traditional decorations on a house on Christmas Tree Lane in Palo Alto (more about this street later).

image of traditional Christmas decorations to be enjoyed at night

Traditional Christmas decorations to be enjoyed at night

Some homeowners decorate outdoor trees with large ball-shaped ornaments.  I noticed several examples of trees whose branches had been trimmed to have an almost flat bottom surface, with colorful balls hanging below.

photo of large-sized ball-shaped ornaments hanging below the lower tree branches

Large-sized ball-shaped ornaments hanging below the lower tree branches

The Bay Area is well-known for being a cultural melting pot, especially including various Asian cultures.  In one yard a Buddha statue sits in the garden next to more traditional outdoor lights.

picture of Buddha statue with traditional outdoor Christmas lights in the background

Buddha statue with traditional outdoor Christmas lights in the background

In another yard there was a fanciful display of penguins and snowmen.  When I first found this display I noticed the electric cords and wondered if the figures were lighted at night.  I did return at night, and found the figures all glowing from the inside!

image of penguins and snowmen that glow at night

Penguins and snowmen that glow at night

In yet another yard that I pass frequently, around Halloween I had noted orange and black ghosts and orange lettering honoring the San Francisco Giants.  For Christmas the ghosts had been replaced by Santa, and the lettering had also been redone.

photo of Santa says “Ho”

Santa says “Ho”

On a nearby court there was an especially brilliant lighted display; I think 2 neighbors collaborated on the part of the display between their houses.  It was interesting to capture the color after sunset but before nightfall.

picture of brilliant lighted display at dusk

Brilliant lighted display at dusk

A brightly lit outdoor display on Christmas Tree Lane depicted a castle.

image of castle on Christmas Tree Lane

Castle on Christmas Tree Lane

Christmas Tree Lane refers to a couple of blocks along a street in Palo Alto, with a tradition of elaborate lighted displays.  Everyone keeps their lighting on during certain evening hours for about 2 weeks leading up to Christmas.  Visitors come from miles around to very slowly cruise up and down the street, driving lights dimmed.  I have heard that new homeowners are asked to sign a neighborhood contract agreeing to participate in this tradition.  It includes having more traditional trees along the sidewalk, all about 6 ft tall and decorated with traditional lights.

photo of Christmas trees along Christmas Tree Lane

Christmas trees along Christmas Tree Lane

Among the fanciful displays were these reindeer wearing ice skates.  They’re not quite the Rockettes, though they seem to be doing a kickline maneuver!

picture of ice-skating reindeer

Ice-skating reindeer

I spent part of the Christmas holiday in the Tahoe area.  One day, while out walking near dusk, I found a pretty tree in someone’s yard that had been decorated in traditional lights.  Note the snow-capped mountain peak in the lower left background.

image of traditional lighted outdoor tree in the Tahoe area

Traditional lighted outdoor tree in the Tahoe area

A few days after Christmas I went on a full moon showshoe hike with a group.  This was an extraordinary experience!  We brought flashlights, just in case the cloud cover didn’t cooperate, but we didn’t even need to use them.  When we approached the golf course clubhouse we found that staff had decorated a pretty good-sized tree.  At the lower left of the picture there is a small snow-covered mound, with a tree trunk in the foreground partly obscuring the mound.  The snow is lit by moonlight.  I took the picture without a tripod, at the slowest automatic shutter speed (I think 1/8 sec).

photo of lighted tree during a full moon showshoe hike

Lighted tree during a full moon showshoe hike

Christmas decorations and colors are always enjoyable and have great variety.  The next post in this series of seasonal colors will be about winter colors.

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One Response to Christmas colors

  1. Pingback: Fall colors part 2: Bay Area | trailhiker

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