April showers, May flowers, the saying goes. We expect vibrant colours from Spring. Warmer weather transforms the landscape rapidly. From cold and lifeless, the surroundings become a vibrant display of revival. All this cannot happen without a violent and rain soaked change in the weather. But even in this chaos of an early Spring storm the first signs of the oncoming season are here. Fresh green shoots break through the debris of recently departed frost, a clear signal the new colourful season is upon us.
The end of March brings the Spring Equinox, the beginning of Spring. We get more daylight and the sun shifts northward. A change in the angle of morning light transforms the colours. Morning skies take on warmer tones and water gets a deeper shade of green. This subtle change in the landscape’s look is the first sign a new season is upon us. At Humber Bay, nature seems poised for awakening. The ice is gone and harsh coldness has been replaced by a pleasant morning breeze coming off the lake. Warm air from the south is here, time to get going.
Photographs by Toni Skokovic
Olympus Digital, Kodak Ektar, Fuji Velvia 50 films
Winter is about long cold nights and tones of blue and white. These are cool and harsh colours, just like the season. As Winter slowly gives way to Spring, brighter, lighter reds and yellows take the place of dark blues. At Humber Bay, Sunrises become brighter and more colourful. Days grow longer and colours transform the scenery. The Spring is coming, washing away the winter blues.
Winter has a way of showing us things we don’t notice in other seasons. Rocks and branches hidden during most of the year are now brought to the forefront. Ice is the hi-lighter and snow becomes a painter’s brush. Ice covered trees and rocks are Winter’s sculptures. These abstract pieces are impossible to see at any other time, just in Winter. The exhibit is available only to those venturing out during this harsh and unforgiving time.
Landscape changes during the Winter. Familiar surroundings are transformed into an altered space. Covered by snow and ice, few landmarks remain to help us navigate this changed space. The trees are reduced to ominous silhouettes in this season, but are the few familiar elements, helping orient ourselves. Like silent, sleeping, sentinels, trees withstand the cold darkness of the winter, standing on the lookout for another cycle of warmth and nature’s awakening.
What colour is Winter? When thinking of Winter, we tend to imagine a monochrome world. It is the landscape of muted tones of gray and white. In Winter, the Sun peeks at us at a lower angle, sparse with warmth, yet full of colour. Soft glow of first morning rays on ice and fleeting hues of purple and blue light up the skies for a few brief moments. This colourful light show is there for minutes, bridging a long night and a cold, bland winter day.
Ice is one of the essential elements of a winter landscape. The grip of deep cold sculpts a delicate layer of ice at the edge of the water. Rocks and pebbles slowly become something different. A temporary outline of the winter stillness against the restleness of the lake. Ice outlines are a winter’s mirage, there for a moment, gone with the first thaw.
Winter is usually associated with stillness, silence and cold. Winter also brings different colours, a changed view on the familiar. Snow covered shapes appear different, more mysterious. Ice build-up creates new shapes and adds to a new landscape, here just for the season. This cold landscape appears permanent but is anything but. This snowy mirage gives us a stage, a place to observe a different world and think of what comes next.
The great water that connects, divides, and provides. Great lakes have made adenturers out of all of us for millenia. As we make home of these accepting but rugged shores, admiration of this massive waterway just grows. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior,
H-O-M-E-S, is how school students remember them on their geography tests. Once you behold the water, though, there is hardly a way to forget. The big water that makes us all eternal voyageurs, hopeful adventurers.
Photographed at a variety of Great Lakes locations in period between 2010 and 2017 using Olympus Digital Cameras.