Ah, Boxing Day! Decades ago, Marianne and I were in Toronto for Boxing Day immediately before a change in the tax laws that was going to make everything more expensive, starting on January 1. Knowing the world-class shopping event that was about to begin, we slipped out of the city in the early hours of the morning and spent the day in an almost-deserted national park. In the evening, we came back and wandered through empty streets, staring into the windows of shoe stores with exactly three shoes remaining (none mated), clothing stores that were nothing but empty shelves and wire hangars flung to the floor, and similar scenes of commercial desolation. I saw a splash of color on the sidewalk and discovered that somebody had lost a new-bought scarf -- quite a nice one. So I wrapped it around my neck and walked on. I still have that scarf.
There are times -- usually involving shopping or watching television with relatives -- when I suspect that Marianne and I are not Americans at all.
So today we're off to celebrate Boxing Day not the traditional way but our traditional way. By going birding.
And because you deserve something of substance...
I've posted above a photograph of the shadow of a little girl demon, left behind on the sidewalks of Roxborough.
Above: Photograph copyright 2016 by Michael Swanwick
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