Parton was born in Hudson, New York. He studied briefly with his brother Arthur, before coming to London in 1873. Thereafter, he divided his time between England and France. He specialized in poetical landscape, this picture being the first of many which took the silvery effects of the birch tree as their theme. This and the wistfulness of his subject matter suggests Parton was influenced by the French painter J.B.C. Corot (1796-1875). When this picture was first exhibited at the Royal Academy a critic, writing of its place in English landscape art, noted 'if we go on in this manner we shall, in the international race, overtake France one of these days.'