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Random Fridays: Christmas light

Christmas light

In this photo taken in Texas two years ago, the setting sun lights up the lamp post at the end of my parents’ driveway.

With Christmas Day falling on a Friday this year, I couldn’t resist a seasonal photo for Random Fridays! I’d like to wish all my blogger friends and visitors a happy and safe Christmas season, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.


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Travel Album: South Padre Island (Texas)

Gone fishin’

On one of the few sunny days during my Christmas visit to south Texas, we went to South Padre Island to fish. People tend to imagine Texas as all cattle and oil wells, not thinking of that long coastline that curves along the Gulf of Mexico. For Travel Photo Mondays (sorry, I’m a couple of days late), here, perhaps, is a new slant on Texas.

I am not a morning person: the only time I tend to see a sunrise is when I'm on the 4am-8am watch while sailing. But even I could appreciate the beauty of the sun emerging from a low bank of clouds and illuminating the still waters of the bay.

I am not a morning person; the only time I tend to see a sunrise is when I’m on the 4am-8am watch while sailing. But even I could appreciate the beauty of the sun emerging from a low bank of clouds and illuminating the still waters of the bay.

To most people, South Padre Island means condos, beaches and Spring Break mayhem. Seen from the causeway, the high rise hotels stand sentinel in the early morning light.

To most people, South Padre Island means condos, beaches and Spring Break mayhem. Seen from the causeway, the high rise hotels stand like sentinels in the early morning light.

Even the dogs had fun!

Even the dogs had fun!

Portuguese Man of War jellyfish. I was stung by one of these in Durban, and took my revenge on the entire species by propping this one up in the sun to photograph it.

Portuguese Man of War jellyfish. I was stung by one of these in Durban, and took my revenge on the entire species by propping this one up in the sun to photograph it.

Another Portuguese Man of War, looking rather pretty and oh-so innocent.

Another Portuguese Man of War, looking rather pretty and oh-so innocent.

Heading into the surf to do battle with the waves.

Heading into the surf to do battle with the waves.

Focus on fishing (well, the rod and reel, anyway).

Focus on fishing (well, the rod and reel, anyway).

They also serve who only stand and wait.

They also serve who only stand and wait.

Got one! Alas, it was only a huge wodge of seaweed.

Got one! Alas, it was only a huge wodge of seaweed.

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Stranded in South Texas

I am one of the thousands of people whose travel plans have been disrupted by Winter Storm Hercules. The snow and ice didn’t reach south Texas, of course, but it grounded hundreds of planes farther north and led to the cancellation of thousands of flights — including mine, two days in a row. I’m now scheduled to leave tomorrow. Maybe.

There are some consolations to being stranded, however: my mother is a fantastic cook! (And these photos allow me to enter Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge, The Letter F — FESTIVE FOOD, in my case.)

Filo-wrapped jalapeno peppers stuffed with crab and parmesan cheese.

Filo-wrapped jalapeno peppers stuffed with crab and parmesan cheese.

Oysters Rockerfeller (oysters in a cheese and spinach sauce).

Oysters Rockerfeller (oysters in a cheese and spinach sauce).

A trio of hors d'ouevres: asparagus spears wrapped in filo pastry; salmon pinwheels; guacamole-topped cheese crisps.

A trio of hors d’ouevres: asparagus spears wrapped in filo pastry; salmon pinwheels; guacamole-topped cheese crisps.

Pistachio-filo wafers with lemon honey mousse.

Pistachio-filo wafers with lemon honey mousse.

Malakoff Torte (brandy-dipped sponge fingers with a ground almond-brandy-cream filling).

Malakoff Torte (brandy-dipped sponge fingers with a ground almond-brandy-cream filling).

Between the sea and the land …

… lies the shore. Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge this week is Shorelines. This is one of my favourite things to photograph — I love the play of light on water, and the reflections in wet sand. You’ll be glad to know that I’ve settled for just one photo!

South Padre Island, Texas.

South Padre Island, Texas.