Round the spruce top the blue was deepened, concentrated by the fixed point, the memory of that spot, as it were, of the sky is still fresh – I can see it distinctly – still beautiful and full of meaning. It is painted in bright color in my mind, color thrice laid, and indelible; as one passes a shrine and bows the head to the Madonna, so I recall the picture and stop in spirit to the aspiration it yet arouses. For there is no saint like the sky, sunlight shining from its face.
–Richard Jeffries, The Open Air 1863
Winter skies are among the most expressive, for they change so dramatically from day to day. From the inky dark before a snow or rainstorm to the incredibly bright, clear air of a cold winter day, there is always something to admire. Yet we tend to take the sky for granted until autumn fires cloud our view or summer humidity lays a haze on the land. Only in winter do we find skies almost fluid, like clear water flowing from under the snow. When coupled with evergreens, the startling contrast can arouse us in something close to religious devotion.