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Through The Lens Winter’s Beauty 24vHISVOICEvJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 vBy Angella and Ryan Byykkonen Most of us dread the season of winter each year. We cringe at the very thought of subzero temperatures, shoveling snow from our driveways and sidewalks, and driving on icy roads and streets. I will be the first to admit that I am not fond of the cold and the relentless winds that seem to blow forever here in the Midwest of South Dakota. But I will admit there is something calming and magical about the first snowfall of the year. The season brings a newness to our landscapes, blanketing what remains of fall with a crisp coat of white. Wintertime transforms landscapes and locations into dreamlike scenes different from any other time of year. Snow, frost and ice have a way of making every day mundane things look amazing. Yet most will never truly stop to see the beauty that Mother Nature has provided in this season. We get lost in the responsibilities of adult life, our jobs, homes, spouses, children, grandchildren and aging parents consume our time and our thoughts every day. We move through each moment in life so fast paced that it becomes a blur of images. We look around at the routine of our day as we hurry out the door for work or to rush our children to their many activities, to take our senior parents or grandparents to their multiple doctor appointments. To the grocery store, the post office, the school, our jobs and back home again and never pause to truly see the beauty that Mother Nature has presented to us like a gift wrapped present waiting to be unwrapped. That fence post and barbed wire now coated with a heavy layer of frost or ice, becomes glistening jewels. The dried weeds and plant pods have captured the frost crystals changing their very existence into a natural wonder. The trees are held suspended in time, every branch embracing each snow flake and it becomes alive once again. The pastures and fields, tree lines, ponds and lakes seem to glow as the sun shines anew off that blanket of snow or ice that winter has laid before us. Wildlife once camouflaged and hidden in the lush green of trees or thick prairie grass of the fields, are now visible, their natural colors even more striking against the iced ponds and creeks. Even the crisp cold air brings out the most vibrant blueness in the sky. Most will wander aimlessly lost and obtuse to the beauties in life,

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