Just like a mother with 4 kids, I too have a favorite ….Springtime. Hey, just like that mother, I love em’ all, but if I could only keep one, I know exactly which one I’d keep!
This is the number one reason why!
In fact, I feel so strongly about this, that I have not experienced a single day of Canadian winter since January 4th 2013! Like a Tyson or Ali fight, I remember the exact date when we had our final battle.
Nevertheless I have since been back for springtime several times, to witness the magic of life reemerge and because the beer is better than what you can find in Asia.
In my book there is nothing better than watching spring unfold. Look, if Jesus never came back from the dead, the story wouldn't have the same pull, well the same can be said about the seasons.
Regardless of where you may witness it, there is nothing like watching the resurrection of nature.
2 Canadians entertaining a foreigner
It goes far beyond the fact that the snow is gone, there are countless things taking place during just a few short months that make this the season of all seasons.
First of all, the transition from Winter to Spring gives Canada its flux capacitor. Our holy grail, the life blood of our civilization. Worth more that 1000 gold medals in hockey, the true measure of our GDP, the reason we all get out of bed every morning... MAPLE SYRUP.
Our first harvest every year is the sweetest, why even bother planting a vegetable garden after harvesting this? I mean, the rest of the year all together could just not happen and we'd all be cool with that as long as we got to keep our bounty of syrup.
Now, well before all the birds and the bees come out, and we've all gotten our fix of syrup, us Canadians get our asses outside as soon as we see a glimmer of warmth. Usually underdressed and full of enthusiasm, you see us everywhere, filling the parks and walking trails. I've always loved that vibe of the camaraderie when we simultaneously leave our humble abodes and get back outside where all animals belong. We've known confinement long before covid-19 ever hit the market.
It gone as far as becoming an international stereotype about us. In northern European tourist locations, when they get a 5 or so degree day, and they see some idiot in short sleeves or shorts, their first assumption usually is "Look at that silly Canadian". Fuckin Eh Bud, sometimes you gotta' have the top down when going out for a rip!
Once all the snow is gone, it reveals not only all the dog shit that was conveniently buried, but also all that yellow and brown we had to look at during October and November, except this time, the situation is about to improve!
Mother nature has been on life support for the majority of winter and now she's about to unleash her powers. Just like the day after a hangover, she's back to 100% and ready to dance. Her first move is to unleash her full arsenal of springtime colors, punching you straight in the retina.
It all starts with green. Those yellow fields and empty brown trees show those first signs when the buds start poppin' out. In order to get your buds to pop out later on in the year, now is the time when you want to get your green planted outside. You may have been smoking green all winter and if you want to do so again next year, your green has got get a nice and early start.
Canadian spring time means marijuana season has begun! Legal, clean, home grown marijuana. If you want to talk about freedom, this is an unparalleled freedom found only in Canada and Uruguay! I don't smoke nearly as much as back in the day, but it is a pretty magical rewarding plant to grow.
Ol' Bry's Baby Brother ™
Now once the greenery has started to emerge, the rest of color show is soon to follow. Flowers, flowers and more flowers. There is nothing more symbolic of the season than flowers. Every color of the rainbow can be found, luring insects and bees to come cross pollinate a staggering amount of species.
If you're lucky enough to be in Ottawa during springtime, the tulip festival is a must every spring. A human manipulation of the colorful power of nature yet nonetheless impressive. A few million tulip bulbs get planted in the fall and come spring time create a colorful tapestry that make your grandmother quilt look like it's not even trying. (Do 2021 grandmas still have quilts? hahaha)
With all the grand changes in scenery, its easy to forget that they are the result of a whole bunch of tiny changes coming together in a grand collage. Sometimes you have to look close and pay really close attention to see whats really going on in front of your eyes. The stages of springtime go by in the blink of an eye and some things can only be observed but 1 or 2 days of the year.
Take the pinecone for example, brown and common year round, but have you ever payed attention to the growth cycle? Amazing right! These stages only last for a couple of days and then the pinecone is cast brown with minimal transforming afterwards. This is just an example of one of many transformations we can witness.
While all this is going on, the animals are starting to get back in to it. This is the season for all the little babies that us photographers can't wait to get out and shoot.
A dollar and half Canadian
The first to come back are the birds. These guys usually start coming back around the same time us Canadians emerge from our winter slumber. The variety of colorful birds to be found is staggering and sightings are much easier as the leaves on the trees have yet to come out.
My dad says "Spring hasn't begun until you see your first robin"
Reptiles start laying their eggs and coming out to bask in the warmth of the sunlight. Frogs thaw out from their icy winter mud and start making tadpoles. Snakes, turtles and frogs are just as happy as us humans to get the nice weather back. At least we didn't have to burry ourselves in the ground for 5 months and wait for the snow to go away!
Canadian geese and swans return to their breeding grounds, little Bambi's start emerging from the wood works and the infamous Canadian mosquito has yet to arrive!
All that snow that just melted has created a breeding pool where the mosquito larva are developing to take flight. The early months of springtime have no mosquitos as they haven't had the time to develop. All seasoned Canadians know this is the time to enjoy those warm evenings outside, because once summer comes around, your gonna turn into an all you can eat buffet for the mosquito invasion. I've lived in tropical countries in central America, Asia and Oceania and have never been eaten by mosquitos quite the same as in Canada.
Did anyone say playoff hockey? Canadian springtime (unless covid-19 has a say) is when things get interesting for our favorite sport. There is nothing like watching grown men skating on artificial ice chasing a rubber cylinder, trying to get their name on some dead guy named Stanley's cup. Getting tickets to any Canadian Playoff hockey game is like getting tickets for the coliseum in roman times. Canadians tend to get a bit wild when it comes to playoff hockey. Maybe it's all the beer we drink fueled by our failed childhood dreams of becoming pros ....Who knows! If you could go back in a time machine to the Romain era, you'd probably check out the gladiators. Maybe in the future people might want to come back to watch hockey.
It's a collection of all of these things that no other season has. It's the longest possible time till more winter and peoples sprit for the outdoors is elevated. It won't be long until Canadians start complaining that it's too hot and hiding inside again, with AC replacing our furnaces. BBQ season is now in full swing, it doesn't get dark at 4:30 pm anymore and summer is right around the corner.
I love Canada, and as much as I'm not the biggest fan of icy cold winters, it's what makes the springtime and our bounty of syrup taste just a little sweeter. From early April till the end of May in most parts of the country, these are the golden months, where nature can be witnessed in all its glory and peoples spirits are highest. I've been around the world several times and have seen astounding nature yet I've never experienced anything quite like a full Canadian springtime!