It’s February, right?  I’m prone to confusion on these things, sometimes mistaking Friday for Monday, or, far worse, mistaking Monday for Friday.  On the rare occasions when I still write a check, I often have to ask someone for the date, but I don’t usually mix up which month we’re in.

This year, I have to double check.  The weather feels like April and sometimes even May (in Columbus) but when I look out the window, I see a giant Christmas tree and holiday tinted lights on what are normally golden fixtures.  I suppose if I average December and April, I get to February, so maybe that’s how I can keep track.

I don’t mean to be snide–I still like to believe with childlike naiveté that it’s possible to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year–but I tend to think of the trappings of Christmas like trees and lights and giant blow-up Santas as not having so much to do with the Christmas spirit.  They do, however, take a lot of extra electricity.

I find myself wondering why this town that prides itself on cleaning up its river and developing in environmentally friendly ways supports keeping this all-electric decoration going for nearly 2 months after Christmas.  I wonder exactly when they will turn off the Christmas tree?

It’s actually not a tree at all.  It’s really many strands of lights hung in the shape of a Christmas tree.  Which I like better.  I feel bad when I see a tree that will die soon.  The lights may be killing thousands of trees via strip-mining for coal, but it’s kind of like buying chicken free of feathers, blood, beaks, and feet and all neatly packaged in cellophane.  It allows me the fantasy I’m not responsible for the death of a chicken.  Similarly, the lights-only tree allows me to fantasize I’m not responsible for the death of a tree.

It’s funny how the removal of responsibility allows us to walk away from things, to think “they” should do something about that.  Sometimes, I just don’t know what to do.  Other times, I feel like it’s not my place.  But a lot of the time, I simply fail to do what I believe is right because I don’t want to be the nay-sayer–the pain in the rear who always complicates things.

What is that quote?  “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”  Apparently it’s a fake quote.  Regardless of whether Burke said it or not, the meaning rings true.  I would not, however, argue that leaving Christmas lights on constitutes the triumph of evil.

In lieu of civic action, I decide I will shoot these remaining Christmas lights from our balcony.  They are approximately a 1/2 mile away on the far side of the river.  I shoot with my 100-400mm lens with the 1.4x extender on it (left over from trying to get a shot of the moon several nights ago).