The days are growing shorter and the temps are dropping and the winter solstice is still several weeks off.

What’s a Vermonter to do, faced with many long months of darkness, cold and snow? There are two options.

  1. Head south for warmer climes or
  2.  Go outside.

There’s a video on YouTube right now titled “Vermont Snow Show” ( that features a rapid-fire slideshow of people playing outside in Vermont during the winter.

The video was created with the photographs of Times Argus photographer Jeb Wallace Brodeur for the Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry Lands Project benefit fundraiser and is accompanied by the rollicking “Calamity Song” by The Decemberists.

It’s compelling because while it certainly features people playing with gravity on ski slopes, it also features people simply going outside to play in the snow and ice of Vermont.

There are shots of yellow school buses framed by snow-covered trees, snowbanks and a completely white road. There are shots of people making snow forts, skating, playing, climbing, sledding, snowmobiling, walking, shoveling and much more.

What is spot on about the video is not just all the great things there are to do here in the dark months of winter but how critical it is to get outside in the winter.

The best and only way to defang and demystify winter is to go outside and be part of it. Find out what layers work for walking, keep track of gloves and boots and hats.

Go out on a night when it is below zero and watch the sky. Walk out in the late dawn and take a deep breath of that cold, fresh air.

Because it’s a long, dark, cold slog from December to April if you’re going to stay inside. Better get outside and play.