Montanans usually see their first snowfall by early October, acting as a gentle reminder that seven months of winter lay ahead.  If there's no snow on the ground by New Year’s to brighten up the landscape, a nature photographer’s spirit as well as the landscape, can begin to look pretty grim.  A few years ago, I was suffering from a bad case of the winter blues.  Looking for a remedy, I went for a walk along the river.  I brought my camera along, hoping that taking pictures would put me in a better frame of mind.  After seeing the dismal landscape in various shades of black, brown and dirty white, I wasn’t overly optimistic about my homemade remedy.  After taking a second look, though, at subjects that I had always passed up, that's when I realized that a winter without snow wasn't so bleak after all.  I just needed to look beyond my camera lens, to find nature’s subtle, hidden beauty.  It was always there.  I just hadn't taken enough time to see it.

Please join me for a winter walk along the river where slow-moving water, peaceful ice flows, swaying cattails, cheery leaves, fluffy clouds and even a friendly creature will greet us.  If you're feeling tense, frustrated or blue, the stress reliever images will help you relax, daydream and think happier thoughts about warmer weather, frisky wildlife and nature’s soothing landscapes.