It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “the grass is always greener…”. In the case of “spring” in Northern Alberta, Canada, this adage couldn’t be more true. While rows upon rows of spring bulbs pop up in other places, my early spring world is still coated in a deep blanket of snow. And when it does come, it comes soooo slowly. Last year, I was picking some groceries in April. The checkout girl was chatting with me about the “nice” weather (read: it wasn’t still snowing).
I was so exasperated that the world was still brown and the plants were all still asleep. I remember asking her if the grass even EVER turns green in this place. She laughed, and the man behind me in line laughed. They both assured me that yes, the grass does eventually green; and yes, spring eventually does come. It’s hard. It is hard not to be jealous and grumpy and anxious for my world to look like your world over there. As a photographer, I desperately want to join in on the spring themed images and posting on Instagram. But the subzero temperatures just don’t oblige.
While spring is my temptress and my nemesis, I’m sure you have yours too. Nowhere is perfect, right? I live in a cold climate so spring looks a lot like winter and summer is short; but autumn comes early and you can bet we will have snow before Christmas. Do you find yourself cursing your hot climate when all you want is some darned leaves to change colour; or perhaps you feel depressed that you ALWAYS miss out on gorgeous snow photos because it just doesn’t snow where you live? Or maybe it’s not the temperature that really gets to you, but rather the geography.
When I lived on Vancouver island, I lived 30 seconds from the beach. We walked rocky shorelines and evergreen rainforests, totally oblivious to the fact that not everyone enjoyed such luxuries. I would see images of snowy winterscapes and endless, golden fields, and I would yearn to photograph my children in them.
Now, I live in a place with canola fields and snow in abundance and all I want is some SPRING, some BEACH, and some real, evergreen TREES (fields of spring bulbs would be nice too).
The point is, nowhere has it all. Surely my friends in the UK are dying for some sun to break through the endless days of overcast skies; while I could really go for a cloudy day. And rain, I would love some rain once in awhile! I think some of this yearning is natural. I grew up in a paradise of old growth forests and beaches so I do, naturally, yearn for that; but most of my climate yearning in relation to photography happens when I get too caught up in what everyone else is doing on social media.
It’s a race to be first to post spring images after Valentine’s Day, summer images as soon as possible, fall images once kids are back in school, and snowy holiday images the day after Halloween. When Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate with our photography plans and projects, it can be super irritating! So here are three things that I try and do to steer clear of this “the grass is greener” syndrome: