Through many years of photography, I notice the changes in light and color from one season to another. It's not just about the color of the leaves on trees, the color of the grass, or if there is snow on the ground. The light itself is different and unique. The angle of the sun changes the appearance of the light.
The light in Spring is very "open". There are no dark shadows cast by trees full of leaves. Hiking on an early spring day in the mountains with no leaves on the trees is a completely different experience than hiking in the summer. The sun comes through the bare trees easily and the forest floor is very bright and "open". There is hardly any better time to hike than a Spring day with warm sun, cool air and a bright open blue sky. In the spring, it is lighter... brighter... more "open".
The color palette is also different. It too is more "open" - not pale or washed out. Just lighter looking and lighter feeling. The sky is a different blue than in summer, fall or winter. The greens are rich, but also very light and airy. Maybe it is the unique combination of colors that only happens in Spring - the light browns and tans leftover from winter and the bright greens and blues of Spring.
My daughter and I spent a Sunday afternoon doing a short hike on the Appalachian Trail above Allentown last weekend. It was one of those days - warm sun, cool air, and bright open blue sky. Both the photographs in this post were from before and after the hike as we drove through the spring countryside.