Fourth Annual Holiday Photo Gallery

There were times this past year when it seemed, well, it still seems, I must admit, that the world took a step or two backwards on this jagged evolutionary trail we have been traversing over the eons. And thus the tale seems to go, our better angels not yet prevailing all the time, still subject to all the old familiars—fear, greed, avarice, anger—and all the resultant wars, famines and heads-in-the-sand that keep us, if nothing else, the most exasperating/interesting species ever to bestride this earth.

But: it is surely true, too, as evidenced by the legions of people every single one of us knows and observes in such abundance, that our better angels prevail more often than not.

That fact accounts for quite a lot of something in my book. I hope it does in yours, too.

Meanwhile, we have art, among the most intense and tireless expressions of human love we have ever devised. It’s given me great pleasure to curate these photographs from the world of Flickr and beyond for this Fourth Annual Holiday Photo Gallery. I hope they speak to you in all the varied and striking moods that they did me. Onwards to 2017!


No, these are not lawn ornaments…

The Flamingos of Laguna Hedionda, by Pedro Szekely


She’s had a thought or two rumbling around in her head during this walk, I’m pretty certain…

Out of the Forest, by Joshua Porter


I suspect both the camels and the riders here could use far better labor representatives than they have at the present time.

Camels and Dust, Kuwait, by Mohammed Buqurais


Gates: a subject always pregnant with meaning, and begging for extrapolation…

Gate, by Amy Melious


I read recently it has been scientifically proven that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it affects the weather a continent away. Seems to affect the conditions in my mind right close by, too…

Butterfly Landed, by Kozma Gergely


What I said about “gates” above? Ditto for windows…

Window, by Marie


Outside of the world’s ski areas, winter suffers from generally bad press, which isn’t quite fair, considering its many other charms…

Blowing Snow, by Mihai Medves


Why do cats seem to be so much more fascinated by windows than are dogs? Is it because dogs are concerned only about the door through which their master will return, while cats…well, we know about cats…

Muffin, the Curious Cat, by Aftab Uzzaman


One need not be a churchgoer to take an immediate liking to a church like this…

Church by the Sea, by Des. D. Mona


The darkness and desperation of the Syrian Civil War, captured in chilling profusion on Flickr by a photographer who remained anonymous and whose fate is unknown, lest he or she be “caught, tortured, and possibly killed by Assad mercenaries.”

Syrian Mother and Child, by Freedom House


And a world away, no less real, a festival of joy in Spanish Fork, Utah…

Joy, by Thomas Hawk


Once again, a fond holiday wish for peace to be upon this maddening, inexplicable, beautiful world and upon all of your loved ones in the New Year. Thanks for being here!

A Wish for Peace, by Andrew Hidas


Check out this blog’s public page on Facebook for daily, 1-minute snippets of wisdom and other musings from the world’s great thinkers and artists, accompanied always by lovely photography.

Twitter: @AndrewHidas

Profound appreciation to the photographers! All photos under Creative Commons licensing unless otherwise noted, some rights reserved.

Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banner at the top of this page. See more at:

Library books photo by Larry Rose, all rights reserved, contact:   

The Flamingos of Laguna Hedionda, Bolivia, by Pedro Szekely, Los Angeles, California

Out of the Forest by Joshua Porter, Glasgow, UK

Through the Dust, Storm in Kabd region, Al Jahra Province, Kuwait
Mohammed Buqurais,

Gate by Amy Melious, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

Butterfly by Kozma Gergely, Budapest, Hungary

Window by Marie, Bastia (Corse), France

Blowing Snow by Mihai Medves

Muffin, the Curious Cat, by Aftab Uzzaman, Thames, New Zealand by way of Chittagong, Bangladesh

St. Tudwal’s Church by the sea near Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, by Des. D. Mona 

Syrian refugees by Freedom House

Joy by Thomas Hawk, San Francisco, California

A Wish for Peace by Andrew Hidas

6 comments to Fourth Annual Holiday Photo Gallery

  • Marianne Sonntag  says:


    Thanks for a fine selection of photos to share. I couldn’t help get a “catch” in my throat and tears in my eyes seeing the reality of the distraught mother with child and their unknown future. We are used to the other picture of Mother and child this time of year, the portrayal given us, one of joy and promise. And did not Mary Joseph and Jesus face an unknown future? Threats and travails did indeed come, but not the kind of obliteration of bombs falling, hell fire destroying homes and families.

    I smiled when I read that you have an affection for gates and windows. Me too. I have been inspired lately by an 88 yr, old friend of mine who does collage work. Creativity is bubbling, two pieces are done, with ideas waiting to be fulfilled; gates and doorways one of the themes. The picture of the garden gate was especially lovely, inviting. There must be a garden bench on which to sit, to listen to the birds singing.

    Wishing you warm holidays with friends and family. Thanks for sharing your creative gifts with us.


    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Marianne, I hadn’t even caught the mother-child connection as you saw it so clearly here; thank you very much for that. It helps me see it in an even more profound light. The deep sadness and foreboding of the mother and the somberness of the son made me linger long and hard on the shot. There are quite a few more where it came from, awful and compelling in their own way.

      So pleased you took special note of the gate shot! It was the first one I settled on for this collection a few months ago. Thanks once more for tagging along on this trek with me.

  • Tamara Stanley  says:

    Thank you for the beautiful gift Andrew! Happy Happy – Joy Joy – Merry Merry. Thank you for being such a bright spot in life. Hugs, Tamara

  • Andrew Hidas  says:

    Pleased to offer it up, Tamara! Am rather appreciative of my photographer friends who helped me out with it just a little, too… (Insert smiley face here, which doesn’t seem to be showing tonight in this program…) See you on the other side of 2017!

  • Paul Pastorino  says:

    What a diverse and diametric world we live in … thanks for the images, Drew.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Pleasure was distinctly mine, Paul. Happy New Year to you & yours…

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