Macro Series – Feb 2019

What is there to photograph in the gloom of February?

Winter still has its grip on seasonal weather.  In the Pacific Northwest that means grey, overcast skies on a routine basis, punctuated by chilly rains.  Spring shows barely a hint of the growth to come.  Flowers are in hibernation, and bugs hunker down.  I mostly hunker down too.  It’s not a colorful time of year.

But one day we had a break from the mundane.  We had snow.

In much of the country, snow in February evokes little more than, “so what?”  Out here it’s, “ooh, look at the pretty snow”, or “OMG how will I get home?”  Folks here don’t know how to drive in it, and there’s not much equipment for plowing roads.  A couple inches and the city shuts down. When I first moved out here from the Midwest I thought that was hilarious; now I just shrug and roll my eyes.

But it does add a new dimension to the landscape. Pure whites, where drab greys and browns used to sit.  Contrast, at least until the snow piles up, with what greenery remains in our winter season.  And that new dimension gives an excuse to break out the camera.

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Reds pop.  The usual tired brown of dead and decaying leaves gets spritzed up with a freshening white accent.

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Foliage dons a crown of crystalized water, with a few droplets for gems.

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Rhododendrons play make believe. “Look Ma, I’m a cotton plant!”

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Winter waves the sword of a white night, vanquishing, for a moment, the black heart of a cold evening.

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Hydrangea wears a white sheet, revealing the ghost of an old flower.

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Yet at the same time, it gives a gentle hint of things sleeping, but still to come.

Warmer days are but a dream, but for some it’s a dream that sustains through the cold days and nights.

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I’m oft amazed at the resilience of our resident Anna’s Hummingbirds.  How can something so tiny, that burns so many calories just flitting about survive?  We do our best to help, cycling unfrozen nectar feeders into the yard, but still.  I’d freeze to death were I in their feathers.

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Camelias also dream of warmer days to come.  Early spring bloomers, they’ve gotten a jump on hanging out with their buds.

So there you have it. In the deep of winter, when both my camera and I were inclined to hibernate, a simple event that would cause much of the country to do little more than scrape the snow from the car windows was inspiration for me to look into a fresh dimension.

31 thoughts on “Macro Series – Feb 2019

    1. It doesn’t hurt that it’s relatively easy and convenient. Nearly all the shots in these macro series posts (including upcoming posts) were taken in the yard, or within a few blocks of the house. I’ve enjoyed it ever since taking it up in underwater photography back in the 90s.

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  1. This was a surprise post, didn’t expect snow shots in August, I think in Milwaukee, this kind of behavior might lead to an angry mob outside your door! We’re still at least a month away from snowfall. These are really nice shots, and the plant showing some bling, and the B&W with the fern are particularly cool.

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  2. All of this series of snow photographs are very beautiful. I love the delicacy of the snowdrops and of the leaves.

    Because I grew up in South Africa with NO snow, when I first moved to Cincinnati Ohio and had the experience of a first real snow storm, my friends thought I was absolutely crazy because I would run outside and stay outside in the snow as long as possible. That novelty never wore off for me! Years later living in Chicago, snow falling still got me outside no matter the time of day or the temperatures.

    Probably the only time that snow is less appealing is once it has been “muddied up” by cars and dogs and so on and then the only thing to do is wait for it to melt or wait for another snowfall.

    Beautiful photos Dave.

    Peta

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    1. I grew up in the Midwest, so snow lost much of its charm over time. Still, I enjoy seeing a fresh snowfall, and if it wouldn’t have been for the cold temperatures in winter I’d probably still be living back there.

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  3. It’s definitely more difficult to get motivated to go outside with the camera in the winter. To go outside, period. But your images show that it’s so worth the effort. Snow has a way of enhancing the little things.

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  4. So poetic, Dave! A side of you I don’t often see. 😉 I remember that snow – it was fun to have the opportunity to photograph it, and your photos (and descriptions) are really nice. Rather refreshing on an August day.

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    1. A poet is about the last thing I think of myself as, so not surprising you don’t see it often. But folks keep telling me it’s there. Maybe there’s something about photography and describing the sense and feeling of it that elicits picturesque phrases.

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    1. Yep, still summer here too. It’s just that blogging the Ireland/Scotland series took so long that I’m just getting around to the Spring photography set. So season wise, I’m about 6 months out of phase. I don’t have a lot of summer stuff, so eventually I’ll get caught up again.

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  5. Feels a little strange to look at images of a snow-covered landscape now when it’s still hot and the sun is still high on the sky. But we are moving in that direction, aren’t we… You surely captured the touch of winter beautifully in these images.

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    1. My Macro folder is a bit of a posting catch-all, I use it when I run out of other stories or to space out topics a bit. I chewed up a lot of time on the Scotland/Ireland series and other stories, so the macro shots are about 5 months behind. I suppose they’ll eventually catch up…

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