Seeing that my hike today would be happening in a bone-numbing -17°C, I suited up and headed out into the prettiest morning I think I've experienced this winter. Sunlight twinkled off frosted tree branches and the white blanket of snow covering the ground below glistened. Though the crisp air burned the lungs initially, there was an invigorating freshness to it, waking up my senses and enlivening my brain.
It was the kind of morning that reminded me winter really isn't all bad. Not to say that I'm not eager for spring, but I did have a moment's appreciation this day for the value of living in an area where there are four distinct seasons — even if each can suffer a little bit of an identity crisis from time to time.
Seeing the value in three of them has always been easy for me. The receding snow free patches of grass, buds breaking though soil, tiny verdant buds appearing on naked tree limbs are spring's promise of rebirth. The flowers, the sun, the heat of summer warm body and soul. The colours and new freshness to the air are autumn's final hurrah.
But winter's arrival always leaves me feeling needy, sombre and sad. It's difficult to look at the starkness, feel the cold and be weighted under layers of clothing and not miss all of the beauty of the other seasons.
And then a morning such as the one experienced today arrives and I can feel that little spark of enthusiasm again. How brilliant is the world around when a cheerful sun meets a pristine carpet of white.
So to give winter a little respect, I thought it would be nice to offer a few photo collections of it at its best:
iPHOTOS.com Winter Landscape Photos
Clipart.com Winter Landscape Photos
Acclaim Images Winter Landscape Photos
ClickArt Online Winter Landscape Photos
Stunning Winter Landscape Photos by Chip Phillips
National Geographic's Winter Landscapes
20 Photos of Winter Landscapes
50 Gorgeous Winter Landscapes