In Dutch we always say “April does whatever it wants” and last Friday couldn’t be a better fit for this saying. A nice amount of snow covered the country, especially the forests of the Veluwe.
I chose this location for a couple of reasons: I don’t have photographs of this forest covered in a dusting of snow, it’s close to my hometown Apeldoorn and last but not least: I know this forest like the back of my hand because I have visited and photographed it many times. I imagined some dancing trees in foggy, snowy conditions; and I found them that morning!
Dancing Trees, Fog and Snow
I arrived just minutes after sunset, at 7:15 AM and it was slightly foggy. I realized I came to the right location! Moments like these are the reason I enjoy landscape/nature photography: Perfect, magical conditions. I walked to a couple of pre-scouted locations in the forest.
You can see paths running through the forest — it is a common theme across many of my photos. I like it because it gives the viewer a leading line.
The bicycle path was still untouched; I was the first one here.
Spring Colored Trees Covered With Snow
I must admit that it was quite hard to find these fresh green spring colors in the canopy. It was still a bit too early for that. But I managed to capture some.
In the following photo you can see small fresh green leaves on the top left and especially right.
In the next photo, you can see some larches.
Larches are deciduous which means they shed their needles in autumn and regrow them in spring. Hence they also change color. You might know them from places like the Dolomites or maybe Alberta, Canada. Right now, they have a fresh green color which is proof that it is spring!
In the next photo, sunlight was already high enough to hit some of the trees in the back which creates a nice contrast with the darker trees in the foreground. Some of the snow on the trunks was already melting and falling off.
Winter, No… Spring Wonderland!
After hiking for a few hours through the forest the crowds slowly roll in, especially other photographers; and with good reason! With a bit of patience I managed to include one in my frames.
I imagine he got a couple of good shots too!
I turned around and noticed another of those larch trees but this time with frosted branches. It was almost glowing with light. I continued and took two more compositions.
The next one is one of my personal favorites of this morning — it’s why I chose it to be the opening photo of this article.
I like the light that is just starting to illuminate the snow-covered branches in the back.
It was an absolutely mesmerizing and surreal experience to see a winter wonderland during spring. Almost every path, every tree, and every branch looked photogenic. In the Netherlands, snow in winter is a rare occasion. It’s usually grey and dull. Snow in spring is even rarer!
I hope you enjoyed my adventure in the Speulderforest.
About the author: Jeroen Schouten is a photographer based in the Netherlands. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Schouten’s work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was also published here.