Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Despite the snow and sleet

with 14 comments

Despite the snow and sleet that came down from the morning into the afternoon on January 10th, this is still Austin, and the very next day I noticed that a goldeneye bush (Viguiera dentata) in my neighborhood was putting out new flowers. As is true for various composite flower heads, the opening was asymmetric. In case you’re wondering, the background brown came from leaves on the ground that remained conveniently featureless at my macro lens’s widest aperture, f/2.8. And if you’re also wondering whether I’m already done showing snow and ice pictures, I’m not.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 12, 2021 at 4:32 PM

14 Responses

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  1. The flower’s quite lovely, and your last sentence is pleasing. I couldn’t imagine you were ready to move on from the flakes already (snowflakes, that is).


    January 12, 2021 at 5:34 PM

    • There’s a balance to be had. I don’t want to tire people out with snow and ice pictures, especially people for whom that’s the norm at this time of year, and yet because it was so special here I feel I should show some more of it. I interposed the goldeneye for a bit of floral relief.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2021 at 6:32 PM

  2. Flowers in the snow! I look forward to seeing more of your unusual weather.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 12, 2021 at 9:26 PM

    • If only I could make more weather like this appear as easily as I can show more pictures of it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 5:02 AM

      • Weather seems to be out-of-kilter all over these days. You may get more of this. 🙂

        Lavinia Ross

        January 13, 2021 at 10:08 AM

        • I think twice in one season is out of the question, but I’d be happy to see you prove me wrong.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 13, 2021 at 10:16 AM

  3. It’s humorous to see Texas snowy flowers while here we are relatively barren of flakes.

    Steve Gingold

    January 13, 2021 at 4:03 AM

    • They talk about temperature inversions. Relative to Massachusetts, we got a snow inversion.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 5:04 AM

  4. What a breath of fresh air in the middle of winter! And how interesting that the muted background is dried leaves. I love the way the focus on the center of the flower really highlights its details.

    Birder's Journey

    January 13, 2021 at 4:43 PM

    • Goldeneye is a native species that has peak flowering in the fall but it’s not unusual common in mild winters to see it put out a few flowers in December or even January. However I’ve never seen it blossoming less than 24 hours after we got hit with snow and ice.

      I could have used flash but chose not to, because it creates a harsher look. Instead I went for natural light and the soft look that would result from the necessarily wide aperture. Focusing was difficult, and I threw away some of the pictures I took, but this one worked out okay.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 5:32 PM

  5. Your finishing comment made me laugh! It snows so infrequently where we are that I may spend an entire day just exploring and shooting the unusual and short-lived beauty that resulted. I imagine that’s what you did.


    January 17, 2021 at 6:29 AM

    • Yes, that’s what I did. I put on my rubber boots and multiple layers of clothing and drove/walked around for two hours taking pictures in the morning. Then I went home to put my soaked jacket and gloves in the dryer and eat a bowl of soup. After that, with snow still coming down, I dressed back up for the outdoors and spent what ended up being three more hours in the afternoon. I regret that I didn’t go back out again the next morning to see if I could find residual snow and ice worth photographing. Surprisingly, two days after the snow I went back to Great Hills Park and in the shade discovered some thin sheets of ice that made for interesting closeups.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2021 at 6:43 AM

  6. Great macro f2.8 shot! Waiting for more snow shots btw …


    January 20, 2021 at 12:16 AM

    • I try to avoid apertures as large as f/2.8 because so little is in focus. I was surprised it worked okay in this shot.

      After this came eight more snow and ice pictures, and a couple of others are still in the offing after a break for other things.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2021 at 5:04 AM

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