Multiplicity – a very large number (the simple definition) – from Merriam-Webster

A snowstorm quietly moved through western Pennsylvania earlier this week, sifting fine wet snow onto the garden and woods, snow that clung to every branch, leaf, and twig. An early morning foray outside revealed a magical wonderland, a multiplicity of shapes and forms delicately outlined in white.Lutyens bench in snow
















The first inch of snow melted on pavement, outlining stepping stones.stonepathWP
















An oak leaf on the driveway became a pillow of white against the black asphalt.oak leaf snow


Bronze leaves still clinging to branches held small tufts and caps of snow.bronze oak leaves


A loose hedge of forsythia was transformed into an ethereal cloud.Forsythia in snow


Ornamental grasses stood tall, capturing snow crystals in their curved inflorescences.grass gate snow


The straight lines of a bench echoed the bold trunks of trees.Monet bench in snow


The lower garden became a study in curves made up of a million tiny lines of black and white. I became lost in the looking, entranced by an endless multiplicity of growth and life stripped down to its skeletal beauty. Winter suddenly became as beautiful as any fair day in May.
February snow in the lower garden


What an amazing world we live in! A complex harmony of shape and form and line that changes from day to day, season to season, beautiful without measure.Snowy wood

All photos ©2016 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved


28 thoughts on “Multiplicity

    • Steve, the stillness was part of the enchantment that a photo can only suggest – thanks for commenting on that. Nothing like standing in a snowfall and feeling like you’ve crossed an invisible border to another world.

  1. These are the scenes to have anyone fall in love with snow and winter! 🙂 So beautiful!
    This year we had mostly the sort of ‘dry’ snow that comes with cold weather. I really like it when is wet and clings on everything. More cold on the way here…

  2. A fresh snow can do wonders to the woods, covering up a lot of clutter, for instance, and greatly simplifying the scene. It also has a remarkable way of turning the dark(ish) tree trunks and branches into magnificent, contrasting (with the white of the snow), patterned elements. The final image in your series is an excellent example of this. Well done!

    • Kerry, thank you – your comments are so apt. Not only does snow simplify the scene, it also clarifies essential lines and forms in such a beautiful way. After I took my photos in the early morning, I e-mailed all of my students in a Photoshop class to go out immediately and start taking images. Alas, none of them took advantage of the visual gift.

  3. Oh, Lynn, these are all so exquisite and so beautifully partnered with your words. Thank you! The snow keeps missing us (not the cold, just the snow)! We have a bit on the ground, but more ice this year, so, of course, I worry about garden trauma. Nothing for it but waiting till spring. I hope, in the meantime, we’re blessed with one of these wonderful snowfalls, the kind with a bit of moisture, so it clings so gorgeously….really missing it. Thank you for the gift of these photographs. 🙂

    • Thank you, Kitty – it was such a beautiful morning and I had enough time to capture it. I know what you mean about snow and the garden – white mulch is important in so many ways. May you get some snow soon!

  4. You’re so right–what a beautiful world we do live in. Magnificent pictures and so serene. The older I get the more I value scenes like this. Thanks for sharing them.

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