Winter has a stark beauty all of its own. The branches stripped of their leaves have a sculptural look. They contrast with the sky so much more than they do in any other season especially when there is snow on the ground. There is a crispness in the air that is visible as well as tangible. The snow squeaks under my booted footsteps as I trudge through the drifts. Because of the bitter cold, I have this snowy world all to myself...a world that seems vast and unending with its cover of white as far as my eyes can see. The wind swirls around me and slips insidiously under the scarf wound around my neck. Somehow it is able to find any vulnerability and strike with its icy sting, one that makes me head for the coziness indoors.