What Colour Is Winter? 4 – Nature’s Got the Winter Blues

blue_icicles1– Winter Blues

You’ll see it in an icicle –
The cloudless, aqua sky.
In cobalt rivers, churning water
Into silver ice.

In shadows that streak landscapes
With steel bars of indigo,
In bitter wind that sculpts blue crystals
Into drifts of snow.

In sun-dappled depressions,
In star-filled, sapphire nights;
You’ll find the blues of winter
In daybreaks and in twilights.

I think this glacial color
Is my favorite, frosty hue.
Hand of Nature, swaddles Earth
In shades of winter blue.

– © 2008 Nancy Bond


Although it might be hard to find the colour BLUE actually growing this time of year (at least in my part of the world), there’s certainly no shortage of the hue in Nature.  Winter brings with it some of the most beautiful skies — clear and cloudless days and dark, twinkling nights — as well as some of the most breathtaking landscapes.  In keeping with the What Colour Is Winter? theme, I offer some of the blues I found this weekend.

The icicles pictured above were just a couple of the gigantic stalactites that hung from the eaves of my parents’ house.  The entire south side of the roof dripped and refroze, creating these interesting formations.

blue_brook1Flawless blue sky, blue shadows and indentations on the snow, and even the dark, cobalt blue of  barely moving water could be seen at Three Mile Brook on our route.


As the shadows lengthened later in the day, a darkening sky offered a feeble outline of the rising moon.


As the sun continued to sink lower in the sky, a lavender-blue spread over frozen cakes of ice, left stranded on higher ground by the outgoing tide.  (below)


Finally, Nature offers blue in the form of feathers — this likely thief posed politely before flying off with a beak full of peanuts.


This has been a fun exercise and has encouraged me to open my eyes a little wider to the wonderful colours of winter.  We think of winterscapes as being neutral or colour-less, and indeed, that is true on some cloudy days.  But if you keep your eyes open to the possibility of colour, even on those monotone days, you may catch a fleeting glimpse of bright yellow feathers, or notice the luminous red of a neighbouring barn.  Last evening, we watched a rainbow form and fade in the eastern sky, so, even on the coldest of days, any colour is possible!


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

18 thoughts on “What Colour Is Winter? 4 – Nature’s Got the Winter Blues”

  1. Blue is my favorite color! As much as I enjoyed the yellows and reds you found, the blues are special. I’ve noticed a distinct bluish tint to the snow I didn’t see before, especially when I upload photos to the computer. Your photos are magnificent examples of the color blue. And I always look forward to reading your poetry, Nancy. “Cobalt rivers, churning water into silver ice”–a powerful image!

  2. Your poem is lovely, Nancy, as are your photos. I love an icy blue sky touching winter white snow. Thanks for this outstanding series of posts ~ a winter gift for sure!

  3. This reminds of a book we just finished reading in one of my classes called, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, by Rebecca Solnit. She has four separate essays in there caled “The Blue of Distance.” They are all good, but the first one is stunning.

    I’ve been thinking about the color blue ever since, and now here comes your post…

  4. This is so nice, Nancy. Your photos, as always, are awesome. Blue is my favorite color…and these blues are pretty indeed. The sky-shots, all of them, wow…gorgeous. That bluejay is a little darling. Is that his little pink tongue? Hmm, do birds even have tongues? As you can see, I’m not too ‘knowledgeable’ in that area…but I do love watching them:) Thank you for sharing these and for your idea for a series of colors. What will be next, I wonder:)

  5. I DO love the blues of winter, Jancy. Just looking outside on this cold clear morning, there are long lines of blue shadows on the snow in parts of the yard…but I’d be blue with cold if I ventured outside so think I’ll stay here til the weather warms up a bit.

  6. Terrific Nancy! I’ve really enjoyed your winter color series. You’ve surprised me and made me think with it. You’ve also been so right ~ there IS color in the winter. You just have to look a little harder for it.

  7. Lovely Nancy…the poem and photos! Like Rose I love the blues! Cobalt, azure, indigo…vibrant colors that can be warm or cold. I so loved seeing the moon in the afternoon sky recently. gail

  8. You have held me captive with “what next?” ;-) This is a fitting end – if it is the end – to the colors of Winter. Wonderful array of photos. And you couldn’t get by without a photo of the Blue Jay. It’s a dandy! :-)

  9. Nancy:
    There are more examples of blue in nature itself than in the horticultural world, and witnessing them through your eyes has been a pleasure. Your prose that accompanies the photograph is just as special. This is something for all ‘blue’ fans to rejoice about! Thank you!

  10. Wonderful poem, wonderful photos of your ‘blue’ winter, Nancy. I loved the yellows too, but blue is my favorite. The soft glow of the sinking sun on the snow in that last photo is especially beautiful.

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