Looking For Spring Amongst The Snow

Ferne Clyffe State Park - Winter in Spring

– by Gary Marks

Spring is Here, Enter Snow

The calendar has finally rolled over to spring, the time for change in the Shawnee Hills.  This is the season that trees come back to life and the cooler temps give way to warmer breezes.

Yeah, right!  I started off my last article Looking for Fall Amongst the Brown in a similar  way, but even though the calendar says spring, we are still experiencing winter’s bitter chill.

It’s odd to wake up on a late March day, look out your window and see a scene that you expect in January.  My mind is not in the winter season, though. I am looking forward in anticipation to wildflowers, waterfalls, and the flourishing of green.

As I packed up my gear, I set out to have one last photo-op with winter.  The first destination was Bork’s Falls.  The waterfall was flowing and the touch of snow on the borders gave it that wintery feel.

Southern Illinois Easter Flowers (daffodils)

Not Right?

Something felt wrong, though.  This was spring, not winter.  Shouldn’t I be photographing spring?  The answer was, YES!

So the goal now was to photograph the struggling new growth amongst the remnants of winter.  I drove around Ferne Clyffe State Park looking for spring.  In the campground area I found a shrub that had sprouted yellow flowers.

Next, I headed to an area that I had passed on my way there.  Easter flowers (daffodils) were drooped over stunned with recent cold.   The snow and flowers were and odd combination, but somehow worked.

The final stop was Giant City State Park.  The snow was beginning to slowly melt, forcing me to pick up the pace.  Fresh leaves of shrubs near the forest edge, wildflower leaves poking up from the recent snow, all provided the feel that I was looking for.

Giant City - New Growth
Giant City – New Growth

What’s Next?

As I looked around at the disappearing snow, I was reminded that in less than a month this will all be a memory and the color, smells, and feel of “true” spring will be in full force.  I watched as large snowflakes wisked by the camera lens, and relished in the moment as winter came to spring.

Giant City State Park- Winter in Spring
Giant City State Park- Winter in Spring


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  1. says

    This time last year we were at LaRue-Pine Hills where we identified almost two dozen species of wildflowers. We plan to go again this year, but can’t decide how long to wait. This morning’s snow only adds to the uncertainty…. :-)

  2. Gary Marks says

    Thanks for the comment William. Yeah last year was one of the strangest springs that we’ve ever experienced. It had it good and bad qualities. It seems like late April is when things really start rolling again.

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