From the perspective of mercury--or those who loathe the Michigan winters--the nadir of winter has finally arrived. It's cold! From my perspective, winter is finally peaking.
I love extremes, and the numbing, humbling months of January/February are what sweeten the forthcoming relief of the spring thaw, when it finally arrives.
Having said that, I know my limitations, and when it's hovering around zero snapping pictures with frozen digits gets difficult, especially if it requires stealth or quickness. That's why I compromised with the elements and took a day trip up to the Allegan State Game Area's Farm Unit to photograph rough legged hawks. The reason being: I can take pictures from the relative comfort of my car!
The hawks perch on trees and telephone poles next to the road and have a limited tolerance for cars. So I can drive up and stick my rocket size lens out the window and have a relatively close encounter with an animal that otherwise is pretty mistrusting of humans.
The whole time, I can enjoy the fine blend of arctic air outside the window mixing with the blast of engine-hot air from inside the car.