Winter in Denmark can be long, dark and harsh. But as we reported in December, the mysterious power of "hygge" helps many Danes stay serene throughout these bitter winters, and may even help explain why they inhabit the happiest country on Earth.

While hygge is all about defying discomfort, it's doesn't mean pretending you're in Hawaii. It's more about homegrown happiness, about finding beauty in bleakness. Sometimes that means escaping the cold for a candlelit family dinner, and sometimes it means embracing the raw wonders of winter like you're Calvin and Hobbes.

Danish photographer Alf Pilz has a knack for capturing that sense of wintry wonder, even if he does it without a toboggan or a transmogrifier. His most recent time-lapse video, "Frozen," is a dramatic visual study of freezing and thawing in nature, juxtaposing up-close shots of growing frost crystals with ice-covered lakes and snowy, windswept landscapes.

Check out "Frozen" below, ideally in HD and full-screen mode for the full effect:

And for a more in-depth look at Danish winters — including "the magic world of freezing water, growing and disappearing hoarfrost, amazing crystal diversity and enchanting twilight situations" — check out this longer video Pilz released last year:

Russell McLendon ( @russmclendon ) writes about humans and other wildlife.

Frost forward: Watch ice grow in time-lapse
2 time-lapse videos by a Danish photographer capture winter in haunting detail.