Connecting with Nature in Winter, Part II: Loving the Subtle Beauty

Photo courtesy of Kelly Riccitti, from her gorgeous blog Red and the Peanut

I’ve gotten several good comments from blog readers and TLN Facebook fans about what keeps them healthy and sane during the long, dark, cold winter months. Many are about getting outside, even if only briefly, and appreciating what winter has to offer:

“I have to go out every day. I feel pent up if I don’t. I wrap up and go for a walk.”

“I think the trick to getting outside is to just get yourself out the door. Even if I don’t have the time and energy to be outside for long, it still refreshes my spirit to go out for a bit and closely observe just one plant or wild animal.”

There is so much beauty in the winter landscape, though we may have to look a little harder to find it. Unlike the knock-out displays of summer, winter is quieter and more subtle. When I told Kelly Riccitti that I loved her blog post The beautiful grays of winter,she replied with this, which really sums it up:

“Here in Ohio, the weather can really be trying midwinter and many suffer from SAD [Seasonal Affective Disorder]. It’s so important to get outside and see the beauty hiding behind the gray. Finding texture, form, birds, and recognizing the soft, soothing color keeps me happy. I hope I can inspire others to look past the gray and be calm…”

Photo courtesy of Kelly Riccitti, from Red and the Peanut

So for the rest of this post, inspired by Kelly, here are some photos that I’ve taken on winter forays. And what about you? What, in winter, strikes you as beautiful and life-affirming? What feeds your brain and your soul?

Long blue shadows – Fahnestock State Park, NY

Icy stream – Hiddenbrooke Park, Beacon, NY

Icy leaf

Snowy Hakonechloa grass

Wetland marsh – Fahnestock State Park, NY

Serviceberry branches, stone wall, snow

Root, moss, needles, leaves – Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Snowcapped Clematis – Little Stony Point, Cold Spring, NY

Sumac against an uncommonly blue sky