We all get excited when we get news from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or just the Smokies in general about some new attraction or restaurant. Anything, really.

That's because we know anything new those in charge come up with to further entertain the tourists will be spectacular and well worth the wait. There IS no off-season in the Great Smoky Mountains.

I've only ever been in the region in the summer and fall, but I've always been intrigued about visiting in the winter. For one thing, there will be lots of PANCAKES in Gatlinburg, and that's a good winter dish.

But since we're talking about the Great Smoky MOUNTAINS, we can never rule out nature taking over and showing us a wonderful time, too. Seriously, if you were to venture to East Tennessee just for a scenic NATURAL getaway, you'd be well rewarded.

But what you would not expect is a rare occurrence that can only happen during the winter, and not EVERY winter at that. Have you ever heard of a "light pillar"? Well, granted, if floodlights shooting straight into the heavens--something you might see at an awards show--came to mind, you'd be forgiven. But we're talking natural occurrences here.

Light pillars are an optical phenomenon caused when light is refracted by ice crystals. These lights tend to take on the color of the light source. They appear as beams of light to the observer.

Simply stunning. I've never seen anything like that before in my life. It looks like blue light dripping out of the sky. At first, I thought this could only happen in mountainous regions because of ANOTHER example I found from Colorado:

But then I found these even MORE beautiful examples from Minnesota:

Well, it looks like I've found a rabbit hole to go down. Seeing as how all of these examples differentiate from one another, I think I'll search and see how many more I can find.

Drone shows and fireworks are a blast and I'll line up to see them every time, but there's hardly anything that can top nature when it's on its game.

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