Something about the snow's ability to transform the ordinary mesmerizes me.
I remember as a child hiking along the nearby canyons after a fresh snowstorm and conjuring up characters from the odd shapes the snow created over everything. The snow transformed rocks into frozen looking creatures and other ordinary objects turned magical.
I was fascinated by the tracks left in the snow by little creatures, too. The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Wind in the Willows, Beatrix Potter, and Watership Down all influenced my imagination because of the secret lives of the animal characters. This is termed anthropomorphism and it was my favorite type of literary characterization back then.
I loved to construct my own miniature snow scenes. One year while suffering from strep throat and condemned to stay inside, I filled a wash tub with the first snow of the season and replicated what I saw outside----twigs for trees, pebbles for boulders, miniature toys filling in for the people and animals. My own children find miniature scenes fascinating, too, as in the example above. (Check Bella Dia for a similar activity).
As a child, I used to look on in wonder at the little animal holes underneath those snow covered rocks and along the banks of the nearby river. I believed that down inside the holes were families of rabbits: the father rabbit with a proper black vest and the mother rabbit stirring a pot of carrot stew on their little makeshift woodstove. Or the holes might house a beaver family with a cozy little haven. My imagination was the world then.
Even now, while looking out into the monochromatic forest transformed by new snow, I wonder where the animals are----little hints of my childhood magic. Are the chipmunks curled up inside a cozy hole in the side of that old Ponderosa Pine?
Perhaps snow is another one of nature's mysteries----cutting us off from much of the backwoods, forcing us to rethink what we know, and laying a carpet of mystery out for the little creatures to hide.