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December 24, 2013 - 2:00pm

Pondering Christmas, nature and vintage Christmas cards

When pine trees bend with heavy snow...and trails are hard to find...the warm glow from the fireplace...brings memories to mind.                                           

I first came across this piece of verse more than forty years ago in a Leanin' Tree Christmas card. Those vintage Leanin' Tree cards beckoned to kindred spirits, especially those whose favorite haunts tended to be somewhere off the beaten path.

Some of those old cards depicted homesteads of yesteryear where kinfolk gathered to celebrate Christ's humble birth and enjoy one another's company. The artists renditions also included a variety of settings, be it a pastoral landscape or wildlife, including but not limited to, songbirds, deer, and waterfowl. There were also those which featured man's best friend, be it hunkered down in a duck blind or flushing pheasants from a swale.

Those cards captured many wilderness moments, compelling its reader to take time to see the wonder of nature and the signature handiwork of an awesome Creator.   

It can be seen in graceful symmetry...

or in beauty sublime.

It can be seen in the love of friend for friend...

Its displayed in vivid, resplendant hues...

and in the amber halo in the eyes of a faithful companion.

The outdoors and the inhabitants of the wild beckoned to the hearts of the writers and wildlife artists who created those Christmas cards of yesteryear. Perhaps they found truth in nature, a natural world in tune with its Maker, a loving God who two thousand years ago sent us a Savior.

To Howard and Billie, the staff of The Batavian and all of its readers, may the joy and wonder of Christmas be yours this holiday season!

Ron C Welker
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Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures . Merry Christmas to you and your family , may you have a fruitful and healthy year.

Ron

Bernie Thompson
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Howard I am all over the House & Barn Photo!!
Merry Christmas to You & Billie and a BIG thank you for all you do for area news!!

JIM NIGRO
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You're welcome, Ron - wishing you the same!

Bernie Thompson
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Oops, Sorry Jim thought these were form Howard.
Guess I need to read before I post☺
Merry Christmas to You & Yours!!
That being said I still love the House & Barn Photo☺☺

JIM NIGRO
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Thanks Bernie - no problem there as Howard takes great photos! And Merry Christmas to you as well.

Bea McManis
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Jim, great piece, Photos are awesome. Your pictures bring back memories - some of my Uncle Tony Forti fishing, others of Uncle Brownie collaborating with Roy Mason to find just the right frames for his watercolors. Merry Christmas

JIM NIGRO
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Hi Bea.....I remember Brownie LaRussa, a renown photographer back in the day. Wasn't he also the track photographer at Batavia Downs? And your Uncle Tony - would that be Mickey's dad?
Thanks, Bea and Merry Christmas!

Bea McManis
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right on both counts, Jim. He never did landscapes like you and Howard. Your waterfowl pictures make me think of Roy. Different medium, but great results. The photographs from the track were cutting edge at the time. Using fast film (first b&w, then color,he could capture the horses rounding the 3.4 pole with all four hooves in the air. Those photos were published in newspapers and magazines. Technology has sure changed. He would have to develop the film and put the pictures on the buses headed for Buffalo and Rochester for the nrxt day;s edition. Now, we just click a button.

Raymond Richardson
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Merry Christmas to the staff & members at The Batavian.

Kathy Owen
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Thanks Jim for all your wonderful stories and photos. The best feature on the Batavian as far as I'm concerned!!

JIM NIGRO
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Thanks, Kathy - hope you had a nice Christmas....did you get the camera you were hoping for?!!

Kathy Owen
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I DID!!! I am a HAPPY CAMPER!! Getting to see and shoot half of what you folks do would please me. Have a great and healthy 2014.

JIM NIGRO
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That's good to hear, Kathy.....time for an adventure!!

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