Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two views of snow-covered greenbrier leaves

with 23 comments

Smilax bona-nox; Great Hills Park; January 10.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 16, 2021 at 4:32 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

23 Responses

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  1. Top!


    January 16, 2021 at 5:33 AM

  2. Beautiful


    January 16, 2021 at 5:59 AM

  3. Now here is a plant I am quite familiar with! I spend a lot of time cutting it for fawns when I’m out foraging for browse for them. Deer eat it green or dried. Your images give it a sugarcoated appearance which is quite beautiful.


    January 16, 2021 at 7:58 AM

    • Sugarcoating with snow is one thing, but I would never sugarcoat the hazard that this vine presents to walkers in the woods, as we both know so well from experience. You’ve surprised me by saying that fawns eat greenbriers; how do they deal with the sharp prickles?

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 16, 2021 at 8:15 AM

  4. The snow looks like crystalized sugar in these elegant photos.


    January 16, 2021 at 8:25 AM

    • Two in a row: Lori in the previous comment also saw sugarcoating. That’s sweet (as is elegance) for a nature photographer to hear, yet with not a calorie in sight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 16, 2021 at 8:31 AM

  5. The icing on the leaves make some beautiful photos, Steve. The word graupel came to mind, but I am not sure that is what this is.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 16, 2021 at 10:33 AM

    • I thought graupel, too, Lavinia. I waffled between graupel and garden-variety sleet, but some of our forecasters were talking about graupel showing up here and there, and this sure looks like it.


      January 16, 2021 at 10:29 PM

      • We had a mix of types of precipitation. Some of the time real snowflakes came down, and at other times barely raindrops just barely freezing, or sleet. When I looked up the definition of graupel I found ‘precipitation consisting of snow pellets,’ which might suit what’s on these leaves.

        Steve Schwartzman

        January 16, 2021 at 10:42 PM

  6. So nice, it looks like sugar.


    January 16, 2021 at 1:12 PM

  7. This was one of the few plants that I did not like when I encountered it in Oklahoma. (I took seed anyway.) It was weird that it was foliated while the weather was so cold! I do not know how long it was like that, since we left before New Year’s Day.


    January 16, 2021 at 3:10 PM

    • I’m used to seeing green greenbrier leaves all through our mild winters. Individual leaves can die off, of course, like the one in the second picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 16, 2021 at 9:15 PM

  8. Looks more icy than snow-like, both fine photographs. Ironically, it’s just in the 40s up here in the northeast.


    January 16, 2021 at 7:28 PM

    • It soon went back to normal for Austin, too, with high temperatures in the 60s. You’re right that the snow we got was very wet; in fact some of it was mixed with sleet, and that’s why what you see in these pictures looks icy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 16, 2021 at 10:17 PM

  9. The trefoil shape of the leaf in the first photo is especially appealing, and just a little surprising. I’m not sure I would have guessed greenbrier if I’d seen the leaf without any context, although the stem and the thorns might have been the clue. There’s a certain drama to the second photo. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s giving it that flair, unless it might be the brown and black combination. It’s quite striking.


    January 16, 2021 at 10:40 PM

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