The beauty of Mother Nature in the winter is the theme of this photo. No! This is not in Alaska or Canada or the outback of Maine or Montana, This is south of the Mason-Dixon Line in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia. Actually, this photo was taken from the front yard of my old ranch near Winchester, Virginia.
Growing up in the northeast, I was fairly accustomed to winter. As a kid, I looked forward to snow and ice. Northern New Jersey saw its share of it when I was growing up, right through age 22 when I left New Jersey as my home state, never to return except for occasional visits. When I was 22 I moved away from New Jersey where we had a goodly amount of snow and some lakes that froze thick enough back in the 50's and 60's to go ice boating on and even drive a car out on the ice. But, that didn't prepare me for my first winter in central New York State when I moved there to attend Syracuse University for graduate studies. I had no idea what I was in for, but it made New Jersey almost look like the tropics.
Then I moved "south," south of the Mason-Dixon Line, that is. First, I lived in Maryland for about 14 years and I saw some serious snow and ice there, too. I even remember the Chesapeake Bay freezing so thick one winter that they had to bring in ice breakers to free up freighters and tankers that were frozen in place. They had to break open the shipping lanes and use airlifts to get food and supplies to some of the islands. And people were driving their cars and pick-up trucks on the ice just like in New Jersey and New York State.
Then I moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Now, as a kid growing up in New Jersey, to me, Virginia was the deep South. Well, here is a photo of the "deep South" one winter. The log house with the green metal roof belonged to a neighbor about half a mile away. I shot this with a long lens through the ice coated trees. This was one of several such ice events I recall during the 27 years I made my home in the Valley. But, you have to admit, it is ever so beautiful.