That Grey Season

Appalachian Trail, Pawling, NY I find it most difficult to photograph in the late winter and early spring. Perhaps it is because I am worn out by the long hard winter we faced this year, on the heels of last year's long hard winter. Maybe I am getting old, but it seemed to really beat me down at the end. The snow is gone, the leaves and sticks have to be picked up, and the flowers are starting to come up, but still it is so grey and lifeless for the most part. In Vermont they call this part of the Mud Season, as the snow melts and the rains come, before the plants and grasses take hold.

In 2012 I was in Washington, DC in mid March, and the warm spring had the Cherry Blossoms in bloom in mid-March. Almost missed them, but got some images. This year, it is just happening now, almost a month later. You never can fully plan for Spring or the seasons.

I get excited to see a yard with snow drops in it, but that lends itself to limited images. Perhaps a macro lens, wide open, to repeat the pattern. The crocuses are small, and the backgrounds are dull. I love forests and water, but the forest floors are matted with last years leaves, and little if any growth. It is a time that is hard to get motivated.

I liken Spring to sunrise. You have to plan and get out there even when it is dark (or grey and lifeless). You need to prepare, and be in the right spot, as it soon awakens like sunrise, with one or two warm days and showers. Then all of a sudden everything is in bloom, and if you haven't planned, or gotten out there, then you miss it. It is like hoping to get up for the sunrise, but turning over in the bed or sleeping bag and catching a bit more sleep.

Appalachian Trail Pool

Let's get ready. Exercise your camera and yourself. Challenge yourself to make an image when all is not in full bloom. Make a note of where you are and what you want to shoot, and return to the spot when the season starts. It is a short season, so get out and enjoy.