Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Snow falling on Ashe junipers

with 30 comments

Here are two views of one of Austin’s most widespread trees, the Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei), taken when the snow on January 10th was probably falling at its densest.

The bits of brown you see indicate male trees, and this is their time to release the airborne pollen that causes allergies in susceptible people, who are as numerous as the snowflakes.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 13, 2021 at 4:31 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

30 Responses

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  1. Nice images! Those are some big flakes of snow falling! What a wonderful boon of fortune to get so much white fluff so far south.


    January 13, 2021 at 8:21 AM

    • There were times when real snow was coming down, as shown here, rather than just a light dusting of flakes. You’re right that for a photographer so far south it was a boon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 9:13 AM

  2. These are very nice images. Kind of epic looking.


    January 13, 2021 at 8:52 AM

    • I certainly made it into an epic, photographically speaking, breaking my five hours outdoors just once so I could eat a bowl of soup while my wet jacket and gloves spent time in the dryer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 9:15 AM

      • Yes, brrrrr. I remember spending days like that…


        January 13, 2021 at 9:17 AM

        • You’re hardier than I am. Even when I was growing up in New York I don’t remember ever spending five hours out in the cold on a single day.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 13, 2021 at 9:20 AM

          • I’m sure not that hardy anymore. I walk Pete around the block and that is about it unless it gets close to 40, and then I’ll take him to the park for a quick hike.


            January 14, 2021 at 8:46 AM

            • I’ve noticed in the past couple of years that when I’ve been out in the cold for two or three hours taking pictures of frostweed ice (and this Sunday regular ice and snow for a change) I haven’t much felt the cold. Part of that comes from dressing warmly, and part I assume from being so caught up in my photography.

              Steve Schwartzman

              January 14, 2021 at 11:35 AM

              • Yes I assume so. I’ve learned to dress more warmly…but I still prefer dirt and plants to snow and ice.


                January 15, 2021 at 8:20 AM

                • Yup, I moved this far south to get away from half a year of cold weather.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  January 15, 2021 at 8:24 AM

                • I hear you. I just fear that I would then be spending the other half of the year huddling inside with the A/C, which I hate.


                  January 16, 2021 at 8:29 AM

                • Different strokes for different folks. My body has always been fine with heat (though a little less in recent years), while it has never done well with the cold.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  January 16, 2021 at 8:34 AM

  3. Your blog is interesting … Congratulations 🌻🌿



    January 13, 2021 at 9:27 AM

  4. Those are some big flakes! I enjoyed the photos, Steve. The local children must be having fun playing in this unusual snow, too.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 13, 2021 at 10:07 AM

    • Yes, the flakes were big at times, just the way I remember them from childhood. And the snow was wet, so that four families on my block had no trouble building snowmen. Remains of them were still visible yesterday, two days after the snowfall, but I doubt anything will be left by the end of today.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 10:14 AM

  5. I gave you a like for the Austin snowfall photos. Then the power went out and I had to drag in my heavy marine battery to get the router working. An unusual rain storm had knocked out the power to a 100,000 BC Hydro customers. Nevertheless, my wife and I went on our daily walk on the local golf course. What else could we do?

    Peter Klopp

    January 13, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    • Sounds like you two are hardy souls. I see on the BCHydro site that strong winds caused the outage.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 1:22 PM

  6. Nice flakes, nice snowfall, and nice snow cover. I bet it didn’t stick for very long.

    Steve Gingold

    January 13, 2021 at 4:46 PM

    • It stayed with us all day, which pleased me. By the next day a lot of it melted. Two days after the snowfall I was surprised to find a few patches of ice in shady places, even though the temperature had been above freezing. I’ll be doing a post about that ice eventually.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 5:36 PM

  7. Hey, I met Ashe juniper. Of all places, I saw it in Arizona, where it was planted as something else. Now that I think of it, it seems odd that it was even available in a nursery there. Perhaps someone brought it in from somewhere else. Or, perhaps it is used in landscaping there. I would not have known it was the wrong juniper if I had not been told. I do not know what the correct juniper looks like.


    January 13, 2021 at 10:31 PM

  8. Your first image is my favorite of the snow images you’ve shown to date. It brought to mind a Japanese woodblock print, like this one. It’s an image that’s both strong and serene in its simplicity.


    January 14, 2021 at 6:06 AM

    • I’d thought about Japanese woodblock prints in connection with the snow-covered huisache picture, and now you’ve seen the same tradition here. Aimin upward, as I did in the first picture here, had to be done quickly to minimize the chance of wet snowflakes landing on the front of the camera’s lens.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 14, 2021 at 6:22 AM

  9. Not Cedars, but a very suitable substitute with a spectacular snowfall.


    January 15, 2021 at 12:43 AM

    • The Anglo settlers here called them cedars, and that name has stuck in the vernacular. The allergic reaction that people have to the pollen is called cedar fever, which is double wrong: it’s produced by a juniper and fever isn’t among the symptoms.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2021 at 6:35 AM

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