lichenous tree in snowstorm 1

Yesterday morning’s small rain turned into fat snowflakes by mid-afternoon. I went out for a walk with camera and umbrella. Because of the soaking rain that had preceded the snow, the lichens and mosses on the tree trunks were still a vivid green, contrasting nicely with the snow. For an hour and a half, I kept shooting variations of the same photo.

lichenous tree in snowstorm 4

The snow was exceptionally sticky, making for the most picturesque snowfall of the season. Something like six inches fell here. By this morning, even though the wind had scoured the treetops, snow still clung to all the lower branches, getting thicker the closer it got to the ground. If someone from a country without snow had seen this, they might have imagined the ground was mounting an insurrection against the sky, which was as achingly blue as it ever gets in January.

lichenous tree in snowstorm 5

But this is March: the sun is much higher in the sky, and getting warmer as the day goes on, so it’s all turning to mush. A classic onion snow, I’d say, even if the wild onions have barely broken ground. The trees, at least, are sporting that scallion green.

Click on the photos to see larger versions on Flickr.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. How very lovely, that green and white! Reminds me of our recent late snowfall at the end of February.


  2. Greensleeves and Onion Snow – you’ve captured a fantasyland.


  3. I love the muted greens on white. Sticky snows look so nice in deciduous woods.


  4. Thanks, folks. Two days on, it’s more of a struggle to like the stuff. I’m sure it will be gone soon enough, though — only a couple inches now in most places.


  5. Yeah — you’ve made beauty out of a situation that’s sorely trying our patience!


    1. They’re forecasting snow and freezing rain for tomorrow here. Even I am beginning to tire of winter at this point.


  6. Loved these, despite having just shoveled two new feet off the drive and unburied the car–now I run, as it is Wonderland-busy, and one must run to keep in the same place–


  7. Gorgeous photos, especially the top one. Did you use a greenish filter, or is that achieved in Photoshop? Anyway, it works wonderfully.


    1. Thanks, Natalie. No, no filters, just adjusting light levels and color balance in PS.


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