Winter in North Idaho

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  • Photo by DON BARTLING Looking west from Mirror Lake Road at the Selkirk Mountains covered in snow.

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    Photo by DON BARTLING View of Clifty and Black Mountain looking east across the Kootenai River Valley from Riverside Road.

  • Photo by DON BARTLING Looking west from Mirror Lake Road at the Selkirk Mountains covered in snow.

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    Photo by DON BARTLING View of Clifty and Black Mountain looking east across the Kootenai River Valley from Riverside Road.

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt: and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, til the summer comes again.” — Lewis Carroll

When I breathed in I could feel the crisp air tightening and freezing around my nostrils. This is always my telltale sign for when the weather is really, seriously cold. I like the fresh crispy air in Boundary County when the air is cold and fresh with white snow on the ground.

I like the way that the sunlight is caught in little tufts of snow as they fall down, pushed by little birds in the trees, making it look like pixie dust was falling down all around me. It was completely silent, perfection, reality.

Every now and then I had to pause and look through the trees at the dramatic mountain formations, as I was inching through the powdery snow, which looked a lot like meringue on top of a pie.

Maybe the meadowlarks and mourning doves have the right idea. When the snow flies, take the flight out of here.

We are a four-season people here in North Idaho. We work hard; we play hard. We embrace our hard winters as rites of passage, as proof that we are hardy enough to call ourselves North Idahoans.

There’s nothing quite like a North Idaho winter. It is an admirable season, cozy, comfortable, quaint. The winters are good for curling up by the fire with a hot cup of chocolate and a good book. But North Idaho winters are all that and more. They’re inspiring, wild and majestic. They surround you with natural beauty every which way you turn.

Night at 4:30 p.m., well ... there’s not much we can do about that but just adapt. The snowy seasons in North Idaho are a thing to behold, they comfort you and inspire you. Winters in North Idaho are as close as you can get to the unspoiled wonder of the frontier from hundreds of years ago.

Quiet and still as the winter months may be, wildlife still abounds. Anyone with a passion for feeding birds is treated to a daily performance as sparrows, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, woodpeckers, ravens and Steller Jays vie for space at a feeding station. Squirrels busily search for their buried stash or, if unsuccessful, raid the bird feeders.

So when the winter blues bring you down and cabin fever abounds, look to the outdoors for a new experience to help you weather the winter wonderland in Boundary County. Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.

Enjoy beautiful Boundary County, winter comes only once a year!

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