Christmas Cards -- by Eugene Reimer 2006-Dec-19


Koch Snowflakes
Merry Christmas
(a few Koch snowflakes)
from Eugene Reimer


Koch Snowflakes
Merry Christmas
from Eugene Reimer

Father Edouard Banville (Padre Eduardo Banville) wrote from the Dominican Republic:  Hola Eugene, thanks for the wishes and I presume that the attached are snowflakes...

Les Wiens wrote:  The image is fascinating - is this a plotting from an equation?

For more info on the Koch Snowflake see


A small subset of responses:

Howard Ferch wrote:  I hope the picture isn't a self portrait.

Richard St-Pierre wrote:  I do like that bear. Perhaps it was the locoweed!

Marilynne Jackson wrote:  Did you shake his paw?

Marilynne Jackson wrote:  I passed along your bear picture to Debbie Norman; she thinks you were very brave (okay, she may have used a different word) to get out of the car.

Garnet Reimer wrote:  Did you get the shot of the young grizzly in the middle of morning dance?

Richard Tilley wrote:  Did you have to rub the bears tummy to get his back leg going?

To understand the Locoweed comment see the photo in context in 2008-07-07, or in


A small subset of responses:

Garnet Reimer asked:  How long did you wait for the mosquito to arrive?

Henry Casper wrote:  Only way to appreciate mosquitoes -- on pictures and 30 below.

Jack Thiessen wrote: 
Seeh etj dee straume Orchidee
Deit mie nuscht nijch meea weeh
Aulet Goods toom Nieen Joah
Dee Bloome sitt'et wundaboa.

Coleen Zebeluk wrote:  What a lovely picture! I'm unable to identify the plant or insect. If I were to guess; caddisfly and blazingstar?

Linda Tseng wrote:  What a beautiful orchid. Was it a mosquito in the flower?

WR Penner wrote:  I gather there was a playful irony in the choice of bloom

Al Reimer wrote:  I thought there might be more greetings and photos on your attachment, but finally realized that I was barking up the wrong Xmas tree.

Bob Lamb & Pat MacKay wrote:  a lovely photo of an orchid, with the added interest of an insect visitor... the mosquito might be in the genus Culiseta.

Incidentally, the photo was taken in the Woodridge Bog on a NOCI fieldtrip on 2009-06-20 with a Nikon P90;  the subjects are a Ramshead ladyslipper (Cypripedium arietinum) and a mosquito of one of our larger kinds, probably one of the Culiseta species thanks to Bob & Pat.


The photo was taken in the Lauder Sandhills on 2010-07-12 with a Nikon P90;  the subjects are Western spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) and a Syrphid-fly.  You can read about this rare plant in  The photo won't win any prizes, in fact a critic of photography would probably find it useful only to illustrate what to avoid:-)  However it is the only photo I have of an insect visitor to a flower of that species;  and it isn't really a photo but rather a small part of a much larger photo, taken from so far away that I didn't even notice the Syrphid-fly until looking at the photo on my computer;  under the circumstances I'm very happy with the result.

Some of the responses:

Brian Brocklehurst writes:  loved the flower and its little 'friend'. Who/what are they? May I send mine to you and all members of NOCI wherever they may be and may 2011 be a very good year to you all. Seasons greetings, Brian. Dundee. Scotland.

Dennis Swayze writes:  Enjoyed the write up in Nature Manitoba...I sent it on to Betty & Richard.

Peter Dyck writes:  Thanks for the card. I hope your treatments are still going well. I know you're fighting the battle of your life.

Daniel Roscoe writes:  Nice to hear from you ‘old’ guys.  I ran into Kathy Norman a couple weeks back too.  She’s EXACTLY the same as 20 years ago.  Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

Al Simmons ♫ writes:  As a seasonal greeting I've put The Christmas Orange movie on YouTube. In order to share it with you we had to cut the orange in half. View Parts 1 and 2 at:
"The Christmas Orange" is a 12-minute dramatization of a book by Canadian author Don Gillmor. Al Simmons plays more than 7 different characters (we lost count) including Santa, Wiley Studpustle, Ned Flathead and Mrs. Doofus (and Mrs. Blinkett). You might even recognize a face or two in the crowd of extras. His co-star is 8-year-old Hailey Glor. She plays the part of Holly Stingley, a little girl who doesn't get what she wants for Christmas and decides to sue Santa. Filmed in Winnipeg Beach and Gimli, Manitoba. Narrated by Don Gillmor.
P.S. The moral of this movie will resonate with all faiths. Every religion will enjoy this "Orange", including the juice.

Corina vanWeert writes:  I'm still very happy with your shoppingcart. Greetings from Holland, Corina van Weert.

Dick Derksen writes:  I / we missed you at Hans & Chris's annual Christmas celebration. I would not be surprised if you and I were the only people that had been at each of their "parties" since they started this event.  I remember their first invitation said "to our first and maybe last, annual christmas party".  They don't remember when they started this annual event, but I believe it was in1990.  I could be off by a year.  Eugene, I hear life has not been kind to you lately.  There are many of us (and I am one) who have not been in a church for years.  But I still cast out prayers once in a while.  Eugene, I have been, and will continue to cast out prayers for you.  Take care, Dick Derksen

Linda Tseng writes:  What a beautiful flower specially with the bee on it. Is this the Manitoba slipper orchid?. How are you doing lately? I do hope your nausea has subsided and can hold down your food. I have been reading your blog/diary on your ongoing your battle with cancer. The chemotherapy side effects is so brutal. How is your tumor? Is it still decreasing in size? By the way, Is there something I can help you out? If so,don't hesitate to give me a call. Here is wishing you a warm Christmas and may the new year brings you positive news. All the best in 2011.

Patrick N Smith writes:  Have a good xmas and eat lots.

Bo Dillingham writes:  Thank you so much for thinking of me!!!  Happy Holidays to you as well!  Bo Dillingham, Cortland NY,

Johann Dyck writes:  Thank you for the Spiderwort photo/card. I'm sure Lauder was one of your favorite outings this summer. Hope fully it will be one of the places I can get to in my travels. This is a photo of the Self Heal plant that was in perfect bloom on our Tall Prass Prairie trip.

Eric Schlosser from Deutschland writes:  thanks for your seasons greetings.  Happy New Year to you.

Bruno Bergmans from Belgium writes:  My apologies for not replying any earlier. Thank you very much for your wonderful e-card.  I would also like to wish you all the best in 2011 with two of the most special flowers I saw in 2010 in the Vercors, a prealpine area in France: the Dog's tooth violet and the Spitzel's orchid, an ice age relic originally from Scandinavia.

I also had to think of you twice in the last week. I read last weekend in the newspaper that the dialects in eastern Belgium that are very close to German are called Platdiets.  It turns out to be not the same as your Plautdeutsch, but there must be similarities, so you might be able to understand some of these people quite well.  A friend of mine is from quite close to Germany and he knows some dialect words, like inkbiegel, what they use for hedgehog.  To my ears it is a very unusual word.

I also discovered a very nice website offering excellent soundscapes from different natural areas in North America.  I was especially charmed by the one from Whitewater Lake:  It evoked a lot of nice memories to me of this fantastic birding place and of my early morning wanderings around Walkinshaw place.  When listening to it, I also realised Whitewater lake is actually the place where we first met each other on a nice May day in 2003.

I wish you all the best,

ER: that "WhitewaterLake Chorus" is wonderful, and one can understand why some get up in the middle of the night to hear that:-)  One of your photos is clearly an orchid so the other, although I would never have guessed it, must be the violet.  Aha, your Dog's-tooth violet (Erythronium sp) is really a Lily instead of being in the genus Viola family Violaceae as the common-name leads one to believe, and now I feel justified in thinking it non-violet-like.  Thanks for sending a photo with such a trick name:-) 

I didn't get anywhere with "inkbiegel";  the Plautdietsch word for hedgehog is Schwienhunt according to Herman Rempel's dictionary;  Schweinhund being a common derogatory term in Huahdietsch (Deutsch, German) leads me to wonder if it too means hedgehog;  apparently the German Schweinhund was originally for swineherd's dog and has come to mean "filthy fellow";  the German word for hedgehog is "Igel" which Doris observes could have come about as a contraction of Bruno's Platdiets "inkbiegel".

Peter Buhr writes:  I'm just finishing up all my Xmas responses (better late than never). My excuse is that I got a new Audio/Video system (flat-screen TV, etc) for Xmas and it has been consuming all my spare time trying to get it set up. Amazingly complex and difficult. Talk about poor design.

We got your lovely Xmas card. You take such beautiful pictures. I've attached a picture of Lauri and me taken last Summer in our front yard. I thought you might like to see what we look like.

I also got some new skiing equipment but I have not had a chance to go skiing yet. The winter weather here is always about -5C to -15C with a nice amount of snow, so Winter sports are always fun.

I'm practising for my grade 5 classical-guitar exam, which will occur in a few months. I have a great music teacher and the guitar forces me away from the computer. ;-)

I'm hot-rodding our 2003 Honda Civic. High-performance intake and exhaust systems, fat tires and sexy wheels. It's a hoot to drive and has a nice sound. Lauri loves it. I might do a few more upgrades this Summer.

Can't think of much more. Mostly life is the same old, same old.

Lauri and I are always here, if you want to talk.
Thinking of you.

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