36 x 48 in | 91.4 x 121.9 cm
I have often observed the increased intensity of cool colors like violets and blues, on dull days. Nature photographers have a word for these dull days. They call them “low contrast” days. Without direct sun, there is not so much difference between the sunlit side of a leaf or twig and the shaded side and colors often appear richer. This phenomenon has been described by the nature photographer, Tim Fitzharris, who urges his readers not to stay home on rainy days.
As I walked around the marshy side of the lake on this late afternoon I noticed that everything was bathed in a violet glow which further accentuated the cool colors on the row of spruce trees in the foreground. Trees on the marshy side, especially black spruce, continually push out onto the boggy new land created by the grasses and aquatic plants. Now and then a high water level will kill some off and they have to start over again. I’m grateful that I came here before these snags fell into the marsh. Their moss encrusted bark offered a range of colors. In places the bark had fallen off exposing another color range—the ochres and silvery grays of the bare wood.
The shrubs and grasses in the foreground offered their own range of colors, but in tones that were muted after a winter under the snow. On the opposite shore the land rose precipitously. Trees grew right to the edge without danger of being flooded. On that side Red Maples were bursting with their icy green new leaves.
Black Spruce (Picea mariana), Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) and Red Maple (Acer rubrum) are common to southeastern Canada and the northeastern regions of the United States. This particular community lives in Le Parc de la Jacques-Cartier, in Québec.