On February 7, I posted a photo of the illuminated leaves of a Japanese Maple taken shortly after sunrise on a late October day. And then: nothing more. The days passed. The weeks passed. A month passed. No photos. No blog entries. Nothing. It was not until April 1, before I posted another photo. Time will tell whether that posted photo was an April Fool’s joke.

Perhaps I had heeded the timeless advice of the bears of Yellowstone National Park from one of my past vacations: “When it’s winter, you hibernate.” Even as Europe enjoyed an almost unbroken holiday from winter, large parts of North America endured seemingly unending winter. For example, from January through March, Paris was kissed by heavenly mild breezes so that the average temperature wound up 2.8°C (5.1°F) above normal. In contrast, New York was locked in Jack Frost’s icy grip for much of that period, so that the average temperature came out 2.3°C (4.2°F) below normal. So, at least for some of those who don’t know that I actually love the winter weather, one might not blame me if I had hibernated.

But maybe it wasn’t the winter. As I live just a fifteen minutes’ drive from Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, perhaps I embarked on a hike one snowy day to take some pictures, had a drink of some moonshine during a break, and then fell asleep. Perhaps at that quaint lodge at which I picked up my drink, I was inadvertently given a bottle of the same stuff that Mr. Van Winkle sipped more than two centuries earlier leading to his legendary 20-year sleep. Maybe, I was a bit fortunate that time had taken its toll and diluted the drink’s potency so that my sleep lasted just under two months.

The actual explanation is far more mundane. It’s enough to cure any reader’s insomnia. Pressing work commitments coupled with a growing appetite for attention from my two-year-old converged to create a time squeeze. Down the road, a conference looms and, afterward, a trip to China. Given the news coverage of China’s growing air pollution, I am keeping my photographic expectations modest. I hope to see the Great Wall, but am prepared to see the Great Smog instead.

But that’s in the future. Now that I have returned to more active participation at Ipernity, I can see both continuity and change, stability and dynamism. Many of the great photographers whose work I enjoy immensely—and wonderful contacts I cherish—continue to make Ipernity a vibrant and rewarding community. New photographers posting a dazzling array of images ranging from original perspectives of nature’s limitless beauty to creative, highly-intricate textured masterpieces that push the frontiers of imagination have further enriched the Ipernity community. The growing global community that has populated Ipernity is the site’s greatest strength.

In the days and weeks ahead, I look forward to enjoying the memories that are continually be shared. With all the images that are being created and uploaded, things are always new here. That newness is, in respects, a nice reminder of what living life is about.

It’s great to able to participate again.