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In the Stillness of Winter - Little Observationist
It was one of those January days when everything seems layered in shades of white: a moody grey-white sky brushed by sparkling white branches covered in fresh snowfall that flutters to the white ground, which is spotted with random footprints before they’re erased hours later. The snow clings to everything: falling into the irregular groves of tree bark, settling on benches inches thick, balancing on the thin tops of signs that caution “Slippery Walkways” and “Fallen Ice Zone” and on the needles of Evergreens. Wind creeps into your body from all angles: frozen thighs, tips of fingers white beneath gloves, cheeks so cold they’re numb to the touch. Walking closer, into the freezing mist, eyelids stick together if you blink for a second too long, nostrils stick together if you breathe in too deeply through your nose and you can feel the frigid moisture in every inhalation. And in Niagara Falls, looking over the gorge to Canada, close to the thundering water that barrels down from the Niagara River, the mist turns solid and wraps around the viewpoints, weighs down the top of street lights, pulling them over, and re-creates the fences in its own winter version. Lampposts become ice sculptures. “What a severe yet …