Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 24 comments

Live Oak Tree in Snow 2076

Austin doesn’t often get snow, but that’s what happened on February 23, 2010, and I went out to take what pictures I could before the snow melted. Here you see a live oak tree, Quercus fusiformis, as it looked on that afternoon.

Those of you in cold climates probably won’t find anything unusual in this photograph, but one thing that might differentiate this tree from any snow-covered oaks you’re used to is that this one has lots of leaves on it. If you look carefully, you might well see some of them.

The photograph may seem to be in black and white, but I took the picture normally and didn’t reduce or eliminate any color after the fact.


I’m away from home. You’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if I’m slow in responding.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 21, 2015 at 5:24 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Quite often winter photographs can appear to be monochromatic, especially a scene like this, which you have composed well.
    While it is mostly unusual for there to be leaves on trees, some oaks and beeches keep their leaves, albeit quite sere and pale tan in color, through the winter only to drop them shortly before the arrival of spring. I’ve been looking for a beech composition all winter but haven’t seen one that I liked. The quest goes on but I am running out of winter….at least I hope I am running out of winter.

    Steve Gingold

    February 21, 2015 at 6:10 AM

    • I also hope you’re running out of winter, Steve, but from the little I’ve heard of the news, it sounds like the Northeast is in for another snowstorm.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2015 at 2:51 AM

      • Yup. Another 5-6 inches just winding down to be followed by a return of arctic/Siberian air tonight. Fun stuff.

        Steve Gingold

        February 22, 2015 at 3:50 AM

  2. It could be just my screen, but I’m seeing lovely subtle olive and brown shades of the leaves amongst the snow rather than black and white. It looks very three dimensional as well and reminds me once again of those pictures that if you look at them a certain way, an image appears. I’m sure I’ve made that comment about a past picture. Perhaps it’s just my old eyes though and I need a new glasses prescription! 😉


    February 21, 2015 at 7:03 AM

    • Because this is a color photo, I think you’re right that traces of olive and brown are there to reward the careful viewer—in this case you. I wouldn’t be too quick, Jane, to discount your experienced eyes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2015 at 2:56 AM

  3. snow on green leaves!!!!


    February 21, 2015 at 7:08 AM

  4. Or, as my friends down da bayou say, “Sneaux!”


    February 21, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    • crawling out of my ‘allergic illness’ i am on my way home w/a stopover for breakfast….linda, your comment made me laugh, and oh, did i need that!

      steve, i enjoyed seeing this and wondered why the limbs didn’t break with the weight of the snow.. but hey, it’s a strong oak, and it had a great opportunity to display its strength!

      Playamart - Zeebra Designs

      February 21, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    • That spelling’s eauxkay with me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2015 at 2:58 AM

  5. It’s beautiful, and probably all the more so knowing the snow will soon be gone there.


    February 21, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    • That’s why on those rare occasions when we’ve had snow I’ve done as much picture-taking as I could. I don’t think we had any this year, and I expect the usual early wildflowers are already coming out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2015 at 3:05 AM

  6. Totally cool shot!


    February 21, 2015 at 3:09 PM

  7. I like this photo – it’s almost like an abstract work with the pattern created by snow, branches and leaves…


    February 21, 2015 at 4:44 PM

    • The more abstract the better, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m glad to hear you’re in accord.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2015 at 3:08 AM

  8. Snow is a rare event in Christchurch. We rush about taking photos when it falls. Sometimes it is springtime when the snow falls so there is green foliage peeping out from under the snow.


    February 24, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    • It seems Austin and Christchurch are sister cities in that respect. Now if Austin only had as good a farmers’ market as the one in Riccarton Bush….

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2015 at 12:38 PM

  9. […] plants, including these cedar elms, Ulmus crassifolia. Like the recently shown picture of a snow-covered live oak, this photograph is in color, though you could easily mistake it for a (brown-toned) black and […]

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