Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Take 52 Week #48: Freeze

This week is one my favourite annual events of the year- the Festival of Trees at a local historical museum.

Within that building, is an incredible pioneer town replica with stunning detail. I have wandered around that place a million times, and I still find new things to savour: old cameras and cash registers, costumes, even medicine boxes and dentist tools – every building on the street is filled to the brim with antiquated trinkets. I have never left feeling like I have seen everything and I love going back. Add a street lined with perfect Christmas trees during this season, and it makes one of my favourite places pretty much ideal.

One section of the museum is set aside for the Eaton’s Christmas display. Built in 1946, it used airforce surplus motors to move story characters for nursery rhymes, fairy tales and the story of Santa. During my childhood in the early 80’s, I remember going every year to see it. It still makes my heart beat fast to enjoy this simple pleasure.

One window was always a favourite for me – the sleigh ride. And it fits this week’s theme perfectly.

IMG_7654Part of the charm of this display as a whole, is the realism. Peeking through glass windows, you feel as though you are stepping back in time, living the stories played out before your eyes. I often wish I could somehow shrink down to scale and enter the scenes portrayed. You can practically see the little girl’s breath here, snuggled up next to her Daddy for the chilly ride home Christmas Eve. Everyone in the sleigh appears to be warm-hearted and happy. You can almost hear the hooves of the horse on the Mill Bridge. This window still captivates me as an adult.

I had great difficulty getting this meagre shot – between this particular window being at an odd angle, motorized characters on the move, dim lighting, the reflection in the glass, and crowds of visitors, it didn’t turn out as crisp as I hoped. But I love that I was able to photograph some of the precision in the Eaton’s scene.

Picture Stats:

Shutter: 1/25
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 500

To see all of my photos in this year-long challenge, click here.