Winter is a slow time here on the mountain. Not much is moving and wildlife is elusive. However, Nature does provide a little interest in the variety of strokes in which she uses her frosty paintbrush. There are leaves carefully rimmed with ice crystals. On the cliff sides, bladelike crystals arise from the earth, separating roots from soil and rocks from their beds. And there are those those tiny, rimming crystals — flakes that stand on end in seeming defiance of gravity.