The shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The sky turns steel grey. The river runs from black to corrugated white as the ice forms, creating small windows of rippled flowing water. The roads are white from that first layer of salt, laid down by midnight trucks that rumbled ahead of scattered snowflakes. Brown fields are scattered with white wisps of snow, rustling across dry harsh leaves. The sun visits for a few hours, then hides away to satisfy those that have gone south.
This can be a harsh tableau. But it carries its own beauty, sharp and clear at every angle. The air is not distorted by heat, or thunder, or slashing rain. Just a shiny collection of cold edges, reflecting an angled sun, trying to catch whatever warmth can be shared.