Winter landscapes are some of the most beautiful, in part because they're somewhat rare, at least in the part of the country that I am from, and I enjoy them the most at night. The stars are so clear in the wintertime, and are spectacular when viewed through a veil of frozen breath. A rather nasty combination of ice covered with snow just descended last night and the campus lights reflect off of snow crystals and the virgin ground looks as if it's covered with diamonds. The branches of all the trees and branches are encased in glassy ice that hold the light inside of them.

Every spring I look forward to thunderstorms that regularly roll over Tornado Alley between April and June. There are few things that are more beautiful than a sunset reflecting off of a towering anvil cloud as it builds and watching the lightning within and around it. Against all warnings, I love being outside during a storm as well, I remember coming out of an evening final with a friend. We could both feel the energy in the air and the sky was shimmering with cloud-cloud lightning so we sat on the hill that slopes down off of campus and watched the sky for a while. Came back to find that there was a tornado warning out, but no matter, we then went out for ice cream and sat in the park watching the lightning.

Many natural disasters have such appeal, I can't figure out if it's because they're so random and dangerous or if it's because they really are beautiful. A friend of mine and I are in Geology 101 (aka Rocks for Jocks) together, and after watching videos from the lecture on volcanoes, her new life goal is to see a volcanic eruption in action. I really don't think she minds dying in the process, she just wants to experience the beauty. I don't blame her. Sometimes I feel guilty in finding beauty in things that cause others pain...

But some of these things are inevitable. If the world is ever destroyed in my life time (knock on wood), I hope that we know about it in advance so that I'm able to watch my own destruction and that of everything around me.

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