Cross country skiing to work

Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Cold weather creativity

Alison Mueller skis to work through several inches of snow on Jan. 6 along Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Mich. The region has been grappling with a polar vortex — a weather pattern that has ushered in some of the coldest weather the U.S. has experienced in almost 20 years.

While many folks resolve to stay home during this kind of severe weather, some people (and animals!) just use it as an opportunity to get creative.

* * * 
 
Japanese macaques in snowy hot spring

Photo: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

A man relaxes inside a hot spring frequented by Japanese macaque monkeys, also known as "snow monkeys," at an onsen in Jigokudani, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

* * * 
 
Homeless man keeps warm with a cup of coffee and a bundle of blankets

Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

A bundled up homeless man smiles and sips a hot cup of coffee while resting on a park bench inside McPherson Square in Washington, D.C.

* * * 
 
Woman and her children ride a bicycle through the snow

Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

A woman is well-equipped for a frosty bicycle ride with her children through a snowstorm in Hefei, China.

* * * 
 
Men jump in freezing water during Epiphany celebrations

Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

Bare-chested men dive into icy water as they compete to catch a cross in the middle of a lake during Epiphany celebrations in Sofia, Bulgaria.

It is believed that the man who is the first to grab the cross, which is thrown into the water by an Eastern Orthodox priest, will be healthy throughout the new year.

* * * 
 
A dog in the snow with plastic grocery bag booties

Photo: Scott Christian/Flickr

A dog wears improvised snow booties made out of plastic grocery bags during a rare snowstorm in Atlanta.

* * * 
 
People in snowy hot tub

Photo: John Mottern/Getty Images

After shoveling snow from a snowstorm, members of the Van Brunt family bask in the warmth of a hot tub at their home in Sherborn, Mass.

* * * 
 
Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.