From December through March, the essential fact of life is winter. Where temperatures can remain below freezing for weeks at time and even below zero for days at a time. Frosted deep blue skies of afternoon turn to a dark star-filled sky crisp with the scent of burning cherry wood from a nearby stove. The mountain towns come alive with the hurried pace of skiers and snowboarders. On average, Vermont will receive five feet (more in the mountains) of snow each winter. Vermonters learn to respect winter, even as they curse it.