Snowy CreekWhen snows falls in the city, it’s dirty before it hits the ground, having to sift through pollution and the grime that comes from thousands (sometimes millions) of car, truck and bus exhausts.

Not so in the country. Snow adds a clean look to the landscape, a white covering that obscures mud, clear-cut hillsides and litter that doesn’t belong in such a beautiful setting.

Even today, after some partial melting on Monday, the remaining snow offers a beautiful reminder of nature.

This also reminds us that this has been a winter of discontent — too many cold days, too much ice and much more snow than normal.

HillsideBut what is normal? When I was growing up in Floyd County, snow was part of winter, something we expected and learned to deal with without closing schools (or delayed openings).

The school bus drivers just slapped some chains on the rear wheels and made the rounds. Nowadays, lawyers rule the schedules. Don’t take a chance, they warn, and bus children in the snow. If there is a wreck, the school district would be liable and God knows how much that would cost.

So, in the end, school districts spend their money on overly-cautious legal advice and the children stay home. At least we can still enjoy the snow in Floyd County, even if these times of global warming snowy winters are more the exception than the norm. As a photographer, I love snow.

There’s a picture anywhere you choose to point your lens. In the city, you photograph people dealing with the ravages of snow — slipping and sliding on slick sidewalks, shoveling driveways and slogging through slush. In the country, you photograph the pastoral beauty. Big difference. Thank goodness.