This resource was made by Joanne Vogel.
Exploring the outdoors during the winter months often provides unpretentious yet spectacular views of our natural world. The winter months reveal nature’s basic structures as we marvel at the complexities that exist within.
“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
Aldo Leopold, captured in black and white on a frozen Wisconsin waterway, exemplifies this reality, as do his words in from A Sand County Almanac which remind us of the imperative ecological work that lies ahead. Aldo Leopold is considered by many to have been the greatest influential conservation thinker of the 20th Century. Learn more about the Aldo Leopold Archives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
If oak trees serve as symbols of great strength, protection, and spiritual wisdom, then conifers represent protection, hope, and rebirth. In the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest day of the year is December 21st - this day is referred to as the winter solstice. This marks the beginning of winter, a season dreaded by many in ancient times. Their belief was that winter came as a result of the sun deity's weakening over time. Ancient civilizations celebrated the solstice as a way to encourage the sun to regain its strength and return in spring to warm the earth. Evergreen boughs served as a reminder of all the new life that would sprout and flourish again when the sun's health was renewed.