Warmth and daylight get most of the attention, but those aren't the only elements that dwindle during a Minnesota winter. With grass, leaves, flowers, birds, butterflies and open water mostly out of the picture, color is in scarcer supply, too.
There's beauty in winter's neutrals and patterns and textures, of course. And you can admire a fresh white blanket of snow even as you're shoveling it from the driveway. But let's face it, week after week of whites and browns and grays can get a little drab, leaving the eyes craving brighter hues.
They're out there, though, if you look for them: Dramatic pinks and oranges at sunrise or sunset. The bright flash of a cardinal or blue jay. Berries against the snow. A brilliant azure sky. Sundogs that glow like mini rainbows.
Even snow itself is deceiving. Give it the right conditions — a late-afternoon sky, a deepening twilight —and it can reflect surprisingly vivid color.
Here's a feast of colorful photos to help tide you over until spring brings the return of a broader outdoor palette.