The winter solstice has passed, and winter itself has finally arrived. It was a long time coming, and the season so far has been uncommonly mild. Until today Nahant Marsh has been graced by only a light dusting of snow. So different than the last few years, when snow storm after snow storm freight-trained over the marsh, frosting the land and ice with a thick white blanket.
Although cold and snowy midwestern winters can be harsh and fierce, they can be breathtakingly beautiful. When the air is so cold that any open water smokes, the rising steam freezes into thick frost on anything it touches. Even on overcast days, the crystalline structures of snow throw out little scintillations of light.
It has seemed unusual to have passed through a December of so little snow and such warm temperatures. Photos taken near the same spot at about the same time of year do show a striking difference. The warmth, or lack of it, doesn’t really show as clearly. Each balmy day this season is another day closer to March.
A winter storm, though, has at last arrived, the first substantial snow. It will be fun to bundle up in cold weather gear and venture out early when I next get the chance. When the light is just right, it is like being in an enchanted fairyland of golden sun, blue shadows, sparkling light and shifting mists.