103 – Winter *

Special thanks to Amy for providing the photos – not only for this post, but for Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Seasons. Amy is in the USA and I encourage readers to visit her photography blog Heaven on Earth. Tell her I sent you. Amy’s work is copyrighted by Amy Rose Photography.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

As a snowbird, I go south for a portion of the winter. Whereas it is winter here, but I feel the essence of fall and spring.

I like getting away from my coldest season of the year. It’s good not to be concerned with boots, scarfs, and heavy coats – let alone the snow, ice, and cold winds. But I admit bringing light gloves and earmuffs for the beach walks with a biting wind. However, no matter how cold it gets here, it’s warmer than home.

Winter – the time of year when the Earth’s axis points away from the sun. This happens twice a year – once in each hemisphere – opposite to summer in the other hemisphere.

Winter is the time when many birds have migrated elsewhere for warmer temperatures, available food, and shelter – only to return in spring.

Winter is the time animal fur thickens, and some even change color. The feathers of birds also change. Some animals hibernate for a long sleep – a time when other animals use the food they store.

Winter is the time many plants shift their life to their underground roots as trees lose leaves, shrubs go bare, and others disappear while the evergreens live up to their name.

Winter is the time when the sun is low in the sky – a time giving us more dark of night than the light of day. The sun is lowest for the winter solstice – a day with the least amount of daylight – a day of special reflection for many. I find it interesting that the coldest days of the year are typical during the stretch of increasing daylight.

As a time for Jack Frost and Old Man Winter, this is the season for cold winds, blizzards, hanging icicles, polar vortices, Alberta Clippers, squalls, ice storms, black ice, slush, and snows ranging from a dusting to a load and from a dry powder to heavy wet.

Winter is a time for comfort, warmth, and a roaring fire – a time when snowflakes gently fall to the ground while painting trees white. We smile at the beauty of a red cardinal perched on the bare branches with a white background.

Winter is the time of various moods and the fun of sledding, building snowmen and snow forts, snowballs, skiing, and making snow angels. Besides, who hasn’t tried to catch a large dancing snowflake on their tongue?

For others, winter is a time for staying warm, the winter blues and blahs, even discontent and depression. Yet some find peace in winter – a time for rest, reflection, and renewal – a time for recovery and preparation for life ahead.

While the cold winter night can be chilling, we find comfort sleeping with wool blankets, flannel sheets, comforters, and heated mattress pads. Even with the ice, snow, and cold, winter is a quiet time – a time when our hearts and thoughts keep us warm – a time to appreciate a different beauty.

Winter is a time of comforting scents of spices like cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg; candle scents as pine and vanilla. Winter is a time of comfort with hot soups and stews, hot drinks as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate – a time to cherish the remaining smell of last night’s fire while watching a movie without being wrapped in a blanket.

Winter is nature’s time of silence. I enjoy the sound of falling snow. To me, soft, large snowflakes deliver a sense of calmness, but fine snow is a sense of franticness. There is something peaceful about a clean, smooth blanket of new snow free of tracks of any kind.

Not only is winter nature’s time to slumber, but it’s also a time of patience. Through the drabness of grays, browns, and occasional white, and with each passing day of winter, we are closer to spring because no winter lasts forever. The time will come when life awakens – but it will do so on its timetable, not mine or anyone else.

Winter at home has a chill and cold I no longer appreciate – so we became snowbirds. For me, winter here is like a time machine as a portion reminds me of the autumn that has passed. Other times, the time machine leaps me forward to spring. Either way, my winter is very short. However, after returning home, I experience nature’s time when it can’t seem to make up its mind if it is winter or spring.

Winter, like any season, the experience depends on the location. Some places get limited to no bitter cold or snow. So winter is relative – not only as compared to others but also to what one experiences in the other seasons.

For me and other snowbirds, winter is a time to experience winter on an Alabama beach – but to us, time here is an early arrival of spring. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on the beach.

See what other bloggers have posted about Winter

Next Post: Time v2 – Wednesday 12th January @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

107 thoughts on “103 – Winter *”

    1. Jo,
      I no longer enjoy the cold – or want to tolerate it. Cincinnati winters are primarily gray and brown with occasional white that will melt so the grays and browns return. But there is something to be said for the beauty side of winter. Glad you enjoyed Amy’s wonderful photos! Enjoy the warmth of winter of your region. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Perfect timing for your post for me, since we had our first two snowfalls of the winter here this week. It does look pretty, and it did seem peaceful, but it’s also very cold right now. I did make a pot of soup and baked a loaf of bread, and piled on the blankets. 😀 I think you covered it all, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merril,
      This week’s winter storm across our region turned into good timing for this post … and countering the weather with freshly made hot soup and bread is a great way to counter the storm. Then bring on the blankets! Thanks for sharing a wonderful remedy for winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. After spending a couple hours clearing snow yesterday and waking up to 8°f this morning, I can understand why you head south Frank. I still find winter invigorating.

    I recognized Amy’s pictures, especially the woodpecker. We have one of those around here, and he always makes me smile.

    I hope you have a nice weekend. We are heading into a cold snap, with low single-digits in the forecast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan,
      Invigorating is a good word for winter. You remind me to two cold times of my life. When I went to college, I quickly learned there is a big difference between southern Ohio winter and northern Ohio winter. The first winter shocked the system – but hey – young ones can deal with it. The other when I attended the Bengals-Chargers AFC Championship game known as the Freezer Bowl. That was cold! …. and I chose to be out in it! Stay warm up and thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I attended the final game of the Steelers’ regular season in 1971 – I don’t think I’ve ever been that cold. We hadn’t yet made it to the playoffs, but fans do what fans do. In this case, they send their kids to the game 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That was beautiful Frank. I love to see the winter through its beauty. Stunning pictures of ice captured on the branches of barren trees, a brilliant blue sky hanging in the background. But I also have incredible memories of that deep silence and the squeaking of the packed snow as I stepped on it. Wonderful memories. A time for renewal, a time for reflection and a time of patience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was younger, I was a winter dodger. But now it’s a season I relish, despite its discomforts, for many of the positive reasons you outline. The trouble is, winter has become elusive. It’s mild and muggy instead of cold and crisp, and plants, birds and animals are thoroughly confused, as am I. So this sort-of winter is something I’d happily dodge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret,
      Thanks for sharing a bit of your winter journey from a dodger to an embrace. There you are – ready and willing to embrace the season – and climate change alters the definition – the expectation – so it’s back to dodging. I hope you get a dose of winter this season that makes you smile.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy’s exquisite photos and your winter apologetic are lovely. Yes, winter is pretty from inside our warm, cozy homes or as a fleeting thought along the southern shore. Hibernation works for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was beautiful to read, Frank, especially after our first snowfall in New England yesterday. Winter is a double edged sword, a world of beauty and a world of brutal weather conditions. Amy’s photography is is perfect, and I need to hop over to her blog. Best to you, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely collaboration, Frank. Amy’s photos are beautiful.
    I’m a weirdo. I love winter. Of course, come March, I’m done with it. (Mind you, that’s usually when the prettiest “surprise” snowfalls happen. Also when the biggest blizzards do.
    Bundling up in my snow pants, hat, scarf, big ski mittens and my coat that is so warm, I can only wear a t-shirt underneath, out I go, camera in hand and hope in my heart. I know that, upon my return, I shall make myself a decadent hot chocolate and relax with a book or movie. When my kitchen/living room overhaul are done, I’ll be able to turn on the fireplace (what a weird thing to say but hey, propane it is!) Until then, the wood burning stove in the basement is lighted and the warmth spreads through the house. Kinda cosy…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      There are many hearty people as yourself who enjoy winter – so I salute you and the rest of winter’s flock. As you mentioned, just get the right clothing! Cozy fires are one of winter’s plusses – and hey – gas fireplaces are less work! Good luck with the remodeling! .. .and thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, indeed. Though, in the end, I chickened out today. But tomorrow is another day. Yes, they are lovely, the fires. And yes, the gas fireplaces are nice too. I’ll keep you posted 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Another beautiful post Frank. I took your approach one step further and moved away completely from the winter and snow in the northern mountains of NJ. It was truly beautiful but I just couldn’t take the cold any more. And I found it primarily a depressing season because mostly it was grey and damp and cold – the snow falls were beautiful but few and far between. I do adore a pristine white landscape and Jack Frost’s ice on the plants and flowers but am happy to live where that happens only once a year if that! But I did very much enjoy your meanderings and Amy’s lovely images.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina,
      Packing up and moving like you did isn’t easy – and some people can’t do it. Glad it worked out for you. You remind me of an event many years ago. Cincinnati received its largest single storm snowfall in history – 17 inches. A relative called because she saw it on the news. I told her that except for the large piles in the parking lots, the snow would be gone in a week – and it was. Back to the grays and browns. Glad you enjoyed Amy’s photos.

      Like

      1. LOL we’ve had snow here twice in 20+ years and both times it was gone the next day. Now THAT is my idea of winter weather! As for our move, it seemed at the time all of our friends were doing the same thing as we were for the most part around the same age. That made it much easier to leave.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely winter scenes by Amy and deep thoughts by Frank. I can’t remember the last time I tried catching a snowflake on my tongue ❄️ 👅. Oh yeah, it’s because of all those other cold flakes pelting my face (and eyes) during the attempt! At least we get lots of winter sunshine to make those flakes sparkle.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First of all, beautiful photos, Amy. I love that sort of winter which leads me to my thought/s for today and thoughts I just mentioned to my husband today when driving back from a wonderful visit to Tucson. When people talk about winter, the general assumption is that it includes cold, snow, ice, etc. But as today in Arizona shows (and in places such as southern California, much of New Mexico, Texas, and “the South”, that’s not at all what winter is. In fact, winter in quite a lot of the world doesn’t include any of the aforementioned things. So I wonder where that came from? 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet,
      Thanks for sharing a bit of winter in the SW US, which is definitely different (as you well know) from the midwest. Plus, northern Arizona is different from southern. I imagine your winter displays its own version of beauty. Glad you enjoyed Amy’s photos. Happy that she was willing to share all the seasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Frank – another excellent post and Amy’s photos were a great fit for your thoughts and exploration of winter.
    The song plays now and it is delightful – we used to have Winston CDs for a while and so it was a flashback to see that name

    also, loved this line from the post
    “Not only is winter nature’s time to slumber, but it’s also a time of patience.”
    so true
    cheers and Happy New Year

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette,
      Thanks for the kind words about the essay and Amy’s photos. I hope she stops by to read the comments. You did two things that I greatly enjoy – you let me know you enjoyed the video & you shared your favorite line. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      Like

  12. We’ve had such an unusual (and not in a good way) winter on Vancouver Island this year that I am a tad over it.
    But your waarm words and Amy Rose’s beautiful photography did help me forget my ‘winter tantrum’…at least for a little while. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. There definitely is something so peaceful about gentle snow falling and the sight of everything blanketed by it in the morning. It always seems so quiet too, like all of nature feels it must stay reverently hushed in awe of it.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Phew! Exonerated by Frank! We did take a trip up the mountain last winter and got a bit of snow. That was fun. Then having a fire inside–also nice. I like the cold and snow in small bits, not for a full season! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh, undoubtedly. And my husband and I wanted them to experience actual cold for a bit, just to know how so much of the rest of the country, and world live. They have no idea how good they have it here. I don’t want them to be entirely spoiled. My husband grew up in MN, so he had it even “worse” than I did. 😉

                Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m one of those who loves the peace and quiet of winter. Silent falling snow. I cringe when I hear the snowplows and snow blowers starting up, even though I know they are necessary activities for those who have to go out. Sometimes I wish we could hear sleigh bells outside instead of engines… ❄️ Loved Amy’s photos and your warm, comfy descriptions of the fun parts of winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Enjoy your mellow warm southern winter. I like how this season can be one of quiet reflection regardless of the weather. I like the cold and bleakness of a northern winter, but this year it seems more like spring here than a real winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. In the south of England, the winter’s are very mild, gloomy and dull. But moving to Canada has made me fall in love with Winter. I adore the snow and ice; I love walking in the snowfall, the crisp morning air and light, and photographing all the crazy ice formations. It’s all very picturesque to my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Winter never really feels like it has begun for me until it snows. It may be cold and the wind sweeping the frozen ground, but I need the white blanket and snow flurries to realize it is winter. I love the little snow birds too; watching them flit in the drifts makes for a glorious winter morning!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh my. What a beautiful tribute to winter. I love the seasons in general, and winter has a special place with its stark beauty and gentle silence. Great music selections too. George Winston is playing in the background as I write this comment. And thanks again for including a link to my poem “Winter Calls.” ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wallace,
      Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts about winter. I enjoy your description of “stark beauty and gentle silence.” Well stated! Glad you also enjoyed the music. Reading comments about the music is special to me because I put a good effort into selecting the closing music video. Thank you!!!! …. and thanks for writing your poem. After all, if you didn’t write it, I wouldn’t have found it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I would love winter a lot better if the snow and ice we get…and have recently had …would stay off the roads and sidewalks…yup, as if!
    I enjoy the seasonal changes; to me it would be boring to have the same climate year round. Each new season has its own beauty and things to look forward to. Ice storms that we have around here are dangerous, but yet, when the sun shines after that there is exquisite beauty to be seen. Hoar frost is so pretty too. And the thick heavy snow makes one yearn for Christmas, as it looks so much like all those sweet cards we get.

    One of my blogging friends lives in Australia, and she loves to see any/all of our bad weather pictures, esp the snowy, icy, forlorn and barren beaches…as she and her dog love to run on their nearby (never cold) beach. Somehow I think if her dog was here on a wintry beach, he would just hate it, LOL! (Check out the Lake Michigan in winter images on the web…whoa!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid,
      I can’t believe snow hasn’t figured out how to stay off the roads, therefore only fall on the land. You would think it should know better.

      I can’t imagine winter in your area and to the north. I grew up in southeast Ohio, and went to college in northwest Ohio – I could believe the difference! Meanwhile, no matter how we explain it, ice is both beautiful and dangerous. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  20. 🎼Jack Frost roasting on an open fire
    Chestnuts nipping at your nose 🎼
    Yes, I am not a fan of winter. I am however, a fan of Amy’s gorgeous photos. Amy doesn’t take pictures of ice, she captures diamonds.
    Yes, the coldest days are after the solstice, when the days get longer.
    However, up here the days are also their darkest after the solstice. This is due to the dark, even black cloud cover, that is part of the lake’s contribution to winter.
    Usually early February shows us that the days are getting longer, but last year, that did not happen until March.
    Amy, I will be around for a visit, soon!
    Cheers to both of you!
    (heading to AFA for a list of bands, done!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      You may not enjoy winter, but you’ve learned to deal with it. Meanwhile, thumbs up to Amy’s fab photos. I’m lucky that she’s willing to share them with me. Nothing like the lyrics of a Christmas Song that captures winter. Of course, I feel sorry for Chet.

      Like

  21. Frank, I am one of those annoying people who love winter, as long as it doesn’t last too long! Bottom line; go to the mountains, even if you don’t ski……there is little more invigoration than snowshoeing in the pristine ❄️ thanks for the words and photos! Go outside and play (in gortex)😊

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Winter is my favorite season. Or one of them, anyhow. I’m beginning to appreciate them all. 🙂 Beautiful post, Frank, with beautiful images to go with your words about winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Winter might just be my least favorite season, Frank. Too cold, too wet, and miserable for getting outdoors to exercise this little Monkey! Winter also is the time when people congregate indoors (read: COVID cases rising exponentially). Still, when I lived down South, I found myself missing Winter just a wee bit. But with the climate changing, it’s hard to know where the ideal places are anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ah – must be nice to leave winter behind and travel South. Winter has its own beauty as the animals that don’t migrate and plants settle in for the cold season. I settle in too – in the warmth of my house with a cup of tea. I only venture out when I see a fantastic photo opportunity. Nice post and I loved Amy’s photos. I shall pop over and check her blog out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy,
      In general, your Arkansas winters are milder than my Ohio winters. But I also know that it gets cold enough for you that it’s still a seasonal change. After all, some animals still leave! You winter is also shorter because you fall lasts longer and your spring starts sooner. Enjoy your tea! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. First let me say that Amy’s photographs are magical. They capture wondrous winter scenes. Bravo on selecting her, aFrank. Winter was wonderful when hubby and I were renting our friends chalet in Woodstock New York. The fresh snow that would fall at night. It was fun to walk through it in the morning. Imprints of rabbits or deer hoofs ahowcasing natures morning. No driving, no time schedules, now responsibilities. Aahhhh … just rollicking fun. BUT … winters snow can be brutal when life needs to be lived. I’ll stick with the odd Florida winters. They can get cold – 40’s at night. However, it’s always temporary and bearable.
    Great thoughts on one of the seasons … Stay Safe 😷 Isadora 😎

    Like

  26. I enjoyed this post, Frank. I think it’s wonderful that you can get away and spend part of your winter in warmer climates. We see so many snowbirds in California, coming for the weather, and they typically are identified by their clothing and lack of outerwear! It’s sometimes really obvious. I’m in a coat and hat and cold, and they’re walking around in short sleeves, no coat at all. How winter is experienced is truly relative, isn’t it! My Massachusetts friend sends me photos almost daily of her winter wonderland, and I ooh and ahh with her. But I’m not sure I’d adapt too well at my age. But it is gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      I must admit – you had me laughing throughout your comment. I see it when I’m south – the locals more bundled than the snowbirds. This reminds of the days of going to college in NW Ohio and going home in SE Ohio. What a difference! … and when I first went, I had no idea the difference was that great. Yes – my first winter there was shocking! Meanwhile, knowing you a true-and-true Lady of SoCal, I also laughed at your thoughts about the pics from your friends. Nonetheless, I must admit, winter does offer a special beauty. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  27. Winter used to be my favorite season, but that was back when I was skiing every chance I got. On top of that, I actually had a lot of things I enjoyed doing outside during the winter season. Hiking, believe it or not, was right there at the top of my list as well. I loved a winter hike since I didn’t have to concern myself with insect bites or the occasional itchy leaf I might come upon. Winter hikes were so much more peaceful to my way of thinking.

    Now? I still dig winter just fine, but outside of a very rare ski trip, running is the only thing I do outside. Well, maybe I build a snowman too.

    Like

    1. Donna,
      Thanks for the kind words. It’s interesting how winter is also a matter of perspective. Cold to one may be warm to someone else. I would imagine even Phoenix has a big difference between summer and winter. But I also know that northern Arizona is much different.

      Like

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