Adventure on the edge of the wilderness can take on many forms…
My first winter in Montana was a special one. It was different from what I was accustomed to in the south. It was cold, but pleasantly so. Snow blanketed the ground all winter, and for the first time in my life I saw winter as a completely different season, not simply an extension of the prior one. It was a wonderful feeling to be in Montana; I thought it a delightful place, and knew that my husband and I had made the right decision in moving here. Although winter was a satisfying experience, there was a flip side as well. The valley’s skies were often gray and dreary for many days at a time, making me yearn for sunshine. I was new to inversions; the low clouds that hovered overhead like a giant dark spaceship preventing us from seeing blue skies.
One morning, that first winter, as I was standing in front of my house taking in the new day, a neighbor walked down the sidewalk towards me. She smiled and asked, “Aren’t the trees beautiful?”
“Yes, they are,” I said, and looked up towards the stately maples.
They were coated in hoar frost. Frozen fog had decorated the trees with tiny white crystals which were glistening in the sunlight. It was truly, a beautiful sight. So impressive, that I always look forward to seeing hoar frost in winter.
As my neighbor and I talked, I mentioned that I was glad that we had finally gotten some sunshine after several gloomy days. She shrugged and said something to the effect of – don’t let the cloudy days bother you, go over to the Hallmark store and read the cards if you need cheering up.
I gathered she was talking from experience and giving me good advice.
That first winter was an exciting one as I embraced a new climate and also realized that I could like cold weather. And the gray days of winter didn’t bother me as much as I had expected. As there is order to the universe, there was a pattern to the winter. Whenever I got sick and tired of the clouds, the sun shone.
Winter doldrums and cabin fever affect many of us each winter. Long nights and cold days find many saying they don’t like winter at all. But there is dramatic beauty in winter landscapes and much to appreciate about the season. Whether it’s gray or sunny, snowy or bare; winter allows us to take a deep breath and reflect on where we’ve been and where we want to go.
I’ve compiled 10 photos that we’ve taken over the years of chilly winter scenes and snow kissed mountains to remind us all that there is a lot to appreciate about winter.