This was the view from my office a few days ago. Some recent winds in the hills surrounding Fairbanks has shaken all the snow off the slender branches of the deciduous trees. The birch tree seeds and some errant dried leaves lay on the snowy surface and a fresh snowfall is needed to restore the white blanket. It would also be a benefit for skiing as well. The shortest day of the year is just two weeks away, and following that, the days will lengthen with advancing light.