Temperatures plummet, snow falls from the sky in heaps, and ice sprawls across the land. Chestnuts roast on an open fire; Jack Frost nips at your nose. All of this must mean one thing — it’s winter.
And when winter comes so does the magic, beauty, and, often times, wrath of Mother Nature. Sometimes we can predict the power of winter, but other times, it catches us by surprise. These 20 photos show how beautiful, yet fierce, winter can truly be…
1. When it’s so cold out that any bit of exposed skin will frost over… The only way you’ll be able to defrost your eyelashes after this is with a piping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup.
2. Ever wonder what would happen when hot water meets cold air? A beautiful display of instant snow in every direction around you! The allure of this ice show is something that can only be replicated on the coldest of winter days.
3. How about this ice sheet that was left behind after a freezing rain event? It looks as though a ghostly replica of the truck was left in place to document a moment in time that once existed… an eerie reminder of what was once there.
4. There are fewer joys in life to a dog than rolling around in fresh powder, and this American Eskimo Dog really became one with the snow this winter. If you had only glanced at the snow patch, you just might miss that little fluff ball.
5. What kind of sorcery is this? How is it possible that a powerful cascading waterfall can become completely frozen in time? We wouldn’t mess with any magical being capable of pulling off this level of voodoo!
6. One of the coolest things about winter is that your car can apparently develop defensive spikes on its hubcaps. Even Transformers would be totally jealous of your wheels — this makes the other Autobots look far less superior.
7. Billions of snowflakes can fall from the sky in a single snow event. All of them together create a swirling picture against the purple hue of the night sky. But have you ever caught a single snowflake on your coat and looked at the intricacy of that small piece of art?
8. This man didn’t go for the standard snowman, or even an igloo — he tediously created the world’s first ever snow fruit roll-up. This was definitively more than three feet of fun!
9. This time of the year, Mother Nature thinks she’s funny and likes to play games with you. Your guess is as good as the next person as to which traffic color is lit behind its snowy hiding spot. Red Light, Green Lot doesn’t seem so fun now.
10. Winter also can be a bit odd sometimes. In the chaos of the snowstorm, cascading sculptures formed off the edge of the roof. They look as if they are defying gravity because of some magical spell they’re under!
11. Everyone knows that heavy snowfall can block roads and make them inaccessible, and this city worker put that knowledge to the test: he built a few roadblocks out of giant, muddy balls of snow.
12. It’s all fun and games until Mother Nature decides to raise the thermostat from 32°F to 33ºF. Then all of a sudden your creation goes from Frosty the Snowman to used car lot’s wacky, waving, arm-flailing, inflatable tube man.
13. Porcupines are cool and all, but have you ever had a porcu-car? The pros include: all the fun of a porcupine with none of the responsibilities. The cons include: cleaning your car off. That’s probably a pretty dangerous task.
14. These ducks are literally all of us on a cold winter morning. The second that door opens and the blistering wind smacks you in the face, you respond with a big ol’ “nope” and retreat back to your cozy bed.
15. This photo can really play mind tricks on you. What looks like the middle of a storm-struck Bearing Sea is actually a windblown, frozen street. You don’t need a boat to cross this path!
16. Snow is a great sidekick when you’re a sleuth. It’s like memory foam, holding the imprint of anything that trespasses on your property behind your back. Looks like a gang of critters scurried through here late last night. Case closed!
17. Mother Nature said, “You shall not pass,” but thankfully we have snowblowers capable of plowing through several feet of snow. So have no fear, you’ll still be able to get to work on time and clock in a full eight hours.
18. When this person opened their trunk, the snow just…stayed in place. They didn’t have to play a game of snowstorm roulette and wonder, will the snow fall inside the car? Will the door be frozen shut? Hopefully their luck doesn’t run out.
19. When Stanley next door refuses to shovel his sidewalk after a sidewalk, it is, for the most part, a pain in the butt. Still, his disinterest in his civic duties makes for an truly wintry picture.
20. “Go outside,” they said, “it’ll be fun,” they said. If having your hat and scarf frozen to your face while your eyeballs become completely frozen shut is your definition of fun, then you must be missing something.