January 5, 2016

Ah, Winter!

Winter has finally arrived after weeks of worryingly warm weather. Although there were some cold days and some winter phenomena––such as the rime ice I wrote about and photographed here on December 6––most days were milder than normal. The New York Times published an article on December 30 titled "Climate Chaos, Across The Map", detailing anomalous weather across the globe. So it was a relief to have cold and snow and sleet. And to see the beauty that is reserved for winter with white ground and laden trees within a neutral landscape, as seen above on the last morning of 2015.

There were continuous soft snow flurries on the first day of the new year. I love winter days like that, with the snow adding some brightness, and deepening the quiet. A day of light snow, watching the flakes fall, is a soothing one.

Quirky small events happen during winter's cold, such as oddly shaped icicles....

....and branches encased in sparkling packages....

....and conifer needles delicately enhanced by icy caps.

A tiny brook in the woods runs a rich black between white banks.

Sometimes geometries appear, such as a dark icy circle surrounded by snow.

 There are poignant details, such as tiny seeds scattered alongside the deep footprint of a deer....

....and fine lines of grasses barely marking the expanse of white. I love the hiatus of winter, the suspension of the growing season; it makes spring all the more precious. Winter can be a difficult season, but I would hate to be without it.


  1. I so agree about enjoying that muffled light hiatus, and hope that our unseasonably warm winter so far will turn cold enough for snow in the next few weeks. Somehow spring does not feel quite the right beginning without that harsh beauty.

    1. I'm glad you agree about winter, Olga, about the "harsh beauty".

    2. The last shot encapsulates in secret calligraphy the crystal-clarity, the wabi-sabi longing, and the immediacy of winter's simple, though not-easy, beauty.
      Thank you.

    3. Thank you, JBS; I'm glad you also see the touching quality of that image.

  2. Altoon, this is vintage you! Just gorgeous, the photos, the commentary, the heart for the land, the life. Thank you for your two feet on the Vermont ground and for all you give to your readers.

    1. Thank you so much for your generous appreciation, Heather.