ICE2.JPGWinter arrived a day early in the Blue Ridge with sub-zero temperatures and howling winds, leaving thousands without power, water pipes burst and propane tanks running dry.

The cold seemed especially brutal after what has been a mild autumn. In the higher mountain areas, the wind chill plunged to 30 below or more. Cars wouldn’t start. Those that did too often encountered slick roads and police reported hundreds of fender benders throughout Virginia and North Carolina.

But winter temperatures also bring beauty, like this ice from the mill trace at Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County, Virginia. The ice from the water, diverted from the wheel of the mill, creates its own beauty, especially when viewed from the inside.

Actually, this photo was taken more than 30 years ago but the ice of winter, like the season it represents, is timeless.