Someone in Toronto is documenting spring flower growth and it's so uplifting
With Ontario in the midst of its worst COVID-19 outbreak since the pandemic first began, it can be extremely tough to find the bright side of things right now, but one Toronto resident has been bringing just a little bit of hope and joy into people's lives by documenting spring flower growth in the city and sharing her findings on social media.
Jennifer Evans has been partaking in the #flowerreport trend, started by Texas resident Alyssa Harad, for nearly five years now, and she says she's taken more than 25,000 photos of blossoms along Toronto's waterfront in that time.
"People file reports every week from all over the world, and [Harad] shares what shows up on the hashtag," Evans tells blogTO. "There are a few people in Toronto. It's so cool to see what is blooming all over the world at any given moment."
"Five years ago I knew nothing. Lily of the valley, lilac, daisies and roses were about the only ones I could identify on sight," she says.
"Then I just got obsessed with the cycles of the Music Garden. I was also going through an extremely stressful period in my life, and I'm a pretty creative person, so photography was an amazing new outlet. I probably take between 40-200 shots a day — gradually you want to know more and more about what you're taking pictures of."
But Evans has come a long way from being a flower newbie, and says she now knows exactly what blooms in the garden and where.
"It changes every month," she says when asked about her favourite flower.
"I'm obsessed with African daisies and I really love crocuses, probably because of everything they signify, and dahlias. Anemone, because they have two seasons and look so delicate but persist for so long. Echinacea are amazing to photograph. And of course orchids."
With the current state of the world, Evans' flower reports are just what people need to see interspersed between depressing news stories on their social media feeds, and she says the practice of sharing the photos has become even more important amid the pandemic.
forget me nots are out! 😍 pic.twitter.com/WL0oDdgcvY— jennifer evans (@nejsnave) April 11, 2021
Evans adds that she loves everything that springtime flowers signify, including colour coming back into the world and making it to the other side of another cold winter, as well as"the inevitability and constancy of certain things even when it feels like the world has gone slightly mad."
And it's not just the flowers she loves, but also the act of photographing them.
Although Evans says she knew nothing about photography when she first started, it has become a beloved pasttime of hers thanks to the inexhaustible sources of inspiration and subjects she discovered in nature.
"Everyone needs beauty and colour in their lives at the best of times, and this is not the best of times," she says.
"The best thing my pictures can do is give someone pleasure for an instant or, even better, cause them to go outside — one of the best things for mental health."
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