It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.
— John Burroughs, “Winter Sunshine,” 1875.
When snows come to Michigan and cover the landscape, burying all we know under a blanket of white, our sense of beauty shifts perceptibly. No longer are we drawn to the brilliantly colored wildflowers that fill summer fields and prairies, the bright yellow underbelly of an American Goldfinch at backyard birdfeeders, the sunny gleam of marsh marigolds along shaded streams or the endless green hues that fill forest canopies.
Often stark and white, a minimalist portrait at peak of season, we focus on the shapes, the shadows and subtle undulations, gradations of gray, white and black and, perhaps, a splash of color. Red berries capture our full attention. Found tracks in the snow tell us stories our ancestors knew well. A fence line transforms into something special while the intricate pattern on frosted windows elicits our emotions.
Photographers understand the winter phenomenon. There is beauty in the simple monochromes of the season. In this issue of BLUE, we present those visions.
Dune grass bends in the frigid winds off Lake Superior near Au Train.
The sun breaks through at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse
The lighthouse was in service from 1868 to 1908.
Joshua Crossing Bridge
Iconic Joshua Crossing Bridge in winter at Lake Ann.
A windblown horse ranch landscape at Rapid City.
Ice patterns in Clinton River Park, Sterling Heights.
Upper Bond Falls in Ontonagon County.
Foggy Winter Woods
Fog enshrouds a forest in winter, Kingsley.
Huron Ice Dresses
Ice accumulations on pilings in Lake Huron, Forester.
Howard Meyerson is the managing editor of Michigan BLUE.