Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Little snow islands

with 14 comments

Last month I posted a photograph showing the bed of the San Gabriel River that low water had given a better look at than usual. Some viewers thought the light-colored bedrock with narrow channels of water running through it looked like little islands of snow, and now the snowfall of January 10th has unexpectedly given me a chance to show the real thing. Below is a closer look at one snow islet. I took both of these pictures in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183.

And here’s a relevant quotation for today: “The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” — Robert Henri.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 18, 2021 at 4:30 AM

14 Responses

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  1. Saint Gabriel is the patron saint of messengers.


    January 18, 2021 at 7:43 AM

    • Maybe St. Gabriel can help me out, as I’m not sure I infer the right message in your comment. Perhaps that the commenters last month were harbingers of what was to come on January 10th.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2021 at 7:52 AM

  2. Looks like my kind of place. Robert Henri was wonderfully wise.


    January 18, 2021 at 8:32 AM

    • While this area isn’t a bog—I’ve walked through it when it’s been dry—it does readily collect water when Austin gets a good rain. Had I not had the foresight to wear high rubber boots I couldn’t have gotten pictures like these.

      I was made aware of the quotation from Robert Henri from a program on PBS the other day about the early painters in Santa Fe. In fact while watching it I thought you’d enjoy it too:


      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2021 at 8:41 AM

  3. Keep the snowy pictures coming. I am enjoying them! I am not sure we will get any this year. Now that I have said that…. 🙂

    Lavinia Ross

    January 18, 2021 at 10:26 AM

    • After having done a week of snow and ice pictures I expect to have two or three more, but after I inject some variety by diverting to something else for a couple of days. I still hope you get some snow just for the fun of it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2021 at 10:43 AM

  4. ‘s no joke. The quote was wise.

    Michael Scandling

    January 18, 2021 at 10:38 AM

    • Wise indeed. I heard it Saturday on a television show about painters in Santa Fe a century ago. I hadn’t known that Henri spent time in Santa Fe in 1916, 1917, 1922, and 1925, and that he did some 30 portraits there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2021 at 10:46 AM

  5. Nice. Maybe Amherst will look like that someday.

    Steve Gingold

    January 19, 2021 at 3:31 AM

  6. At first I thought there was a river running through the MoPac intersection; that seemed improbable, but your comment clarified it. No matter how I try, I can’t get away from seeing images like this as the powdered-sugar topped cookies we always made at Christmas. Because we’d sift the sugar onto them from above, they always began life ‘snow-topped,’ even if some of that was shaken off later.


    January 20, 2021 at 6:59 AM

    • A river runs through it—not. There is a pond, triangular in shape and divided unequally into two sections, that I’ve never seen dry up, though of course during droughts the water level has dropped noticeably.

      If snow reminded you of powdered sugar on Christmas cookies, your spelling of Mopac as MoPac (which I also sometimes spell that way) reminded me of when I moved to Austin in 1976. The first time I saw the name Mopac my intuition somehow knew the word must be a portmanteau of Missouri-Pacific, even though I don’t think I’d ever heard of the Missouri-Pacific Railroad, whose tracks the expressway follows. You’ve not shaken off your memory of those cookies, nor I of the construction the northern part of the highway was still undergoing in 1976.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2021 at 7:20 AM

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