Minnewaska State Park orchard area in snow.

Natural beauty in winter is a poor man’s luxury, infinitely enhanced in quality by the diminution in quantity. Winter, with fewer and simpler methods, yet seems to give all her works a finish even more delicate than that of summer, working, as Emerson says of English agriculture, with a pencil, instead of a plough.

The bare, writhing branches of yonder sombre oak-grove are steeped in snow, and in the misty air they look so remote and foreign that there is not a wild creature of the Norse mythology who might not stalk from beneath their haunted branches.

These are fresh and real pictures, which carry us back to the Greek Anthology, where the herds come wandering down from the wooded mountains, covered with snow, and to Homer’s aged Ulysses, his wise words falling like the snows of winter.

From ‘Snow’, The Atlantic magazine, February 1862 (Archive)
Minnewaska State Park, Castle Point trail, with cross-country ski trail

Beautiful conditions at Minnewaska on Sunday were a gift to all travelers crossing over the snow.