Jack Frost’s the Man
Winter certainly has its detractors. All you need to do is stand in a grocery store line and complete strangers will grouse to you about the cold, ice and snow. Granted, winter has some things to answer for—think high heating costs, frozen car batteries and having to keep track of gloves and scarves—but it’s not entirely the bad-boy of the four seasons.
“Call me crazy, I love winter. The colder the better,” says Gerry Hicks, who with her husband, Clyde, own The Trail House on South Market Street in Downtown Frederick. “I love the crispness in the air. To me, it’s more invigorating than summer’s humidity. I love the light in winter. I love the snow, the stillness when everything shuts down, and hiking in the winter quiet makes it easier to see more wildlife.”
Hicks says generally the people standing in line at her store can seldom be heard uttering a discouraging word about winter, guessing maybe that’s because they’re outdoor-oriented people who depend on snow and cold weather to snowboard, skate, ski or hike. But, on the other hand, if you’re a slug-a-bug, winter should be your cup of hot cocoa. “That’s the other part I love,” says Hicks. “I love to snuggle in at home. I like cooking winter foods.”
“Call me crazy, I love winter. The colder the better…”
It’s all about cold and snow for Eric Flynn, president and general manager at Liberty Mountain Resort, located in nearby Carroll Valley, Pa. “Winter is magical,” he says. “For me it’s mostly about the snow—of course in my world, there’s always snow. At Liberty, we make it ourselves when Mother Nature doesn’t. “
For Flynn, “a freshly falling snow has a way of calming down a too-busy world. There is a special quiet that comes along with it, and it brings so much joy and happiness to so many people. Before, during and after a snowfall, you’d be hard pressed to find any child who is not thrilled. In my position, I get to see the smiles on kids’ faces everyday in the winter— kids and snow are like milk and cookies, they just belong together.” He says that “if you’re a skier, or snowboarder like me, you know the feeling—the joy of being on a snow-covered trail, the thrill of sliding down with cool air in your face, the beauty of the surrounding snow covered landscape and knowing there’s no other place you would rather be.”
Local photographer Lee Permenter has an artist’s appreciation for winter and recalls that “I grew up in the South, so when I moved to Maryland as a young teenager, true winter was a new experience. I have loved this season ever since. When I took up black-and-white photography seriously about 20 years ago, winter became even more important for me. Snow is the black-and-white photographer’s friend— a wonderful resource for creating contrast, something that monotone images depend upon heavily. White snow and the dark, bare, branches of a wintry forest—and, voila!, you have the potential for a great image.
Permenter believes “the mood a winter day creates is also special—cold, mysterious. Sometimes as still as ice itself. Snow can also blanket a scene with a soft, inviting layer of white, covering and transforming a setting that might otherwise not be appealing or photogenic. As a photographer, I’ll take a still, white, winter morning over almost any other photo opportunity. Of course, a red fox moving furtively across the silent landscape would perfect the scene.”