The dawn was bright, but bitter cold.
A light crust of fresh snow and frost covered the meadow and surrounding aspen groves.
The aspen were my quarry that morning – since their golden autumn leaves were quickly turning black in the freezing temperatures.
As I crossed the meadow towards the trees, the ground and grasses crunched under my feet, and the icy shrubs left layers of frost on my pants. Despite heavy boots and socks, my toes began to go numb. I came to dread each batch of low, frozen bushes I had to wade through on the way to my goal.
But as I paused to remove a large chunk of ice that had worked its way down into my boot, one of the annoying shrubs caught my eye. Its leaves were turning brilliant autumn red, and the sugary layer of frost gave them an extra glow and depth.
Despite my frozen toes, I crouched down and took a closer look at this little treasure hidden in the middle of a cold meadow.
In the end, the photos I took of this small, ordinary shrub that had been transformed into a delicate work of art by a fresh coating of ice and snow provide me with much better memories and understanding than the beautiful, glowing, and yet totally plain, aspen grove images I took later that morning.
As the winter snows appear – keep an eye out for the world showing you things anew.