So, in less than an hour of posting this, the first month of 2011 will soon make way for February. I usually make an effort to stay indoors as much as possible in January, but this year was different. I found myself outside for extended periods of time, camera in tow, taking pictures and listening to my surroundings. As a kid, I grew up with a creek (we called it a "crick") and woods in my back yard, and I spent hours on end back there. I find I'm still drawn to these places, and as dead as the woods may seem this time of winter, they're surprisingly brimming with life. I found that spending this time outside is perhaps one of the most refreshing, (excuse the corniness) and life affirming things I can do. Words can't really explain it, nor should they have to. I'm glad it finally snowed some in January, which is when all these photos here were taken. My favorite part is when the snow and ice begins to melt and you can see and hear the water running down the trees and hills and into creeks, streams and ponds. These sights and sounds also cause me to look forward to the arrival of spring, which is right around the corner now.