“The woods are lovely, dark and deep . . .”
–“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
The nighttime winter sky often shimmers with piercing, icy-like starlight. This isn’t an optical illusion. In the Northern Hemisphere, during the winter season, the Earth’s orbit directs us toward the edges of the Milky Way galaxy. The sky is darker; the stars appear brighter. In summer we’re directed more toward the Milky Way’s cluttered center. Cold air is also typically drier than warm air, which improves atmospheric clarity.
The winter woods sharpen human hearing, too. That’s because sound travels farther in cold weather.
Winter campers are well-acquainted with these delightful phenomena. They are why we retreat to the woods in winter. But they are hardly the only reasons.
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