Jenny sent this picture to me of a recent visitor to her garden. I thought it worth sharing.
[black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes); most likely male]
North Texas had an absolutely wonderful snow storm on Valentine's Day, 2004. The snow began falling around six in the morning and continued for approximately three hours. Although mileage varied across the area, most folks received three or four inches — and some received much more than that. Here by White Rock Lake where I live, we got about four inches of the white stuff. It was a fantastic Valentine's Day gift. Of course I took pictures…
I've already opened the gallery for this story (if you want to skip the commentary), but know that there are a few large photos in this article that are not in the gallery.
Many people are often shocked to hear about winter weather in Texas. When we get snow or ice of any kind, those who don't live here often think it's entirely bizarre and out of place.
Contrary to that popular belief, 2.7 inches of our yearly rainfall is, on average, frozen precipitation of one kind or another. In fact, one inch of our normal precipitation in February is usually of the frozen variety.
So it's not truly a surprise when such things happen here. The real joy comes from the fact that they don't happen often and they don't hang around for long.
In this case, the best snow only lasted about 12 hours. By 3:00 PM that afternoon, we were above freezing and the snow was quickly melting. By the following day, it was up to 50 degrees — and what little snow had survived overnight was quickly vanquished.
The moral is that you must enjoy it while it's here because it won't be here for long.
So I went out early that morning (around 6:30 AM) to get some pictures. It was already gray outside with the clouds and snow, but the sun wasn't up when I first ventured out.
Billed as the biggest snow storm here since 1978 when we got eight inches (heh… he said he got eight inches…), I was not disappointed by the winter wonderland.
This is undoubtedly my favorite picture. With the bridge, the creek, the trees and all the snow, it feels almost imaginary.
There's one larger picture here (1024×768) that isn't in the gallery. It's looking up through the tree limbs to watch the snow fall. The problem is that, once I reduced the picture size below 1024×768, it became increasingly difficult to see the snow in the sky. This is only a slightly reduced crop section of the original 2592×1944 image.
Standing on the walking trail bridge over the creek that runs behind our property and into White Rock Lake Park, I snapped this photo looking over the creek and through the trees at the swimming pool area of the apartment complex next door.
That's a wider shot of the previous picture.
Back in White Rock Lake Park, this is looking up the creek (away from the lake) at the walking trail bridge. It just seemed like a very Normal Rockwell picture that needed to be saved.
Standing here (not included in the gallery), I took the next two photos trying to capture the snow falling against the dark background of the creek.
After I took this one, I realized I could zoom in further and get a better shot.
This is the tree line that is located near where our walking trail empties into the lake park. The thicket and trees generally make this a virtual wall of leaves and branches, but the snow seemed to blend it all together and make it even more impenetrable.
That's actually the same tree line as the previous picture. I had zoomed out a bit and included the tree I was standing under. The nearness and color of the tree made for a great contrast against the snowy background.
That is again the same view as the two previous pictures.