Gray Day, I Daresay

HydePark-2-28-13Oh there are plenty of gray days each year, but they don’t have to make you sit back and sigh. We have snow this week and it looks like it is here to stay for a while too.

Yesterday a blowing snow, gray day above and a sunny day below, which do you prefer?

I have no problem with gray days, especially when the snow is falling and I have my camera in hand. These images were shot on the way back from grocery shopping knowing I would be passing by this park. The washed out look of the gray day images reminds me of a being in a fairytale land.


Above is the same scene on a sunny day in 2011, and I must admit, it was a more pleasant photo shoot with the sun shining as I remember. I did not even get out of my Jeep to photograph on the gray day. Is there something to this?


There is evidence that gray days affect people and are responsible for making them feel less energetic, irritable, and even downright grumpy. Also, gray days keep people in bed longer. From studies, serotonin levels drop on gray days making us more sleepy and even apathetic.


Melatonin is produced less on cloudy days, and is still being studied for how it affects mood and physical response.  Depression occurs more often in winter, so much that science even gave the effects of the gray days a name, seasonal affective disorder, SAD. The prescribed cure to alleviate the blues by SAD is sunlight. Makes lots of sense too.

I just saw on the Dr. Oz show on Wednesday that folks born in the Spring months have a higher incidence of SAD than those born at other times of year. Ha! I was born in May and I love winter. Where do they get these statistics from anyway?


The gray day did not pull me out of the truck like the bright sunny day, but really I thought the scenes pretty none the less, although devoid of wildlife.

Have you ever noticed that there is less animal activity on gray days?

Hunters know this. Why?  There is lowered visibility in foul weather for animals and noise level is heightened in their surroundings if it is windy or raining. This means animals’ own senses are compromised.


Snow will deaden ambient noise and makes the landscape a white backdrop, so animals themselves are more readily heard and seen. They become more cautious if not remaining in cover. Think these conditions are stressful for animals?

Most people only think of winter as being cold, drab, and dreary. I think a drab day actually has a lot going for it if you wish to photograph nature. The only thing stressful about it is making sure your photographs of snow are white and not blue.



About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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23 Responses to Gray Day, I Daresay

  1. That is a beautiful park.

  2. Sonja Daniel says:

    Well, your photos make the day quite “loverly”, look forward to your blog and photos. Well done!

  3. Carolyn says:

    It’s no secret that I love Winter and enjoy braving the cold to capture Winter’s images. (I was born in December 🙂 There are times I actually prefer the twilight blues of snow… they seem mystical, magical. But other times only Winter Whites will do. Our last patch of snow disappeared yesterday. 71°F in my gardens. Sunday, snow is in the forecast. Crazy.

  4. I love your positive attitude my dear Donna! That shows in your beautiful pictures too!
    Have a lovely weekend!!

  5. Every time I visit your site I am uplifted by your amazing images.

  6. All your statistics are fascinating. But a gray day with snow and a gray day with nothing but cold, damp, and dreary are two different things. I love snow but this winter has been nothing but the ugly dreary type of gray.

  7. Christy says:

    Love the picture of the geese! I was so happy today….sunny and 76 degrees. Of course you know where I spent my day….in the garden!!

  8. Gardengirl says:

    I actually like the picture of the gazebo on the gray day better. You’re right, it’s reminiscent of a fairy tale land. I was born in December and hate winter. Maybe we should have a counterpoint show on Dr. Oz. I am so looking forward to spring and gardening.

  9. Every time I think spring is here, I get reminded that we’re still in winter. Lovely images.

  10. I like the fairytale quality that snow gives your kingdom…a gift.

  11. janechese says:

    Actually i have heard that colours are stronger on a grey day, more saturated. And a grey day has ambiance but i admit this spring chick finds too many grey days a bit taxing. I like all your photos especially the touch of snow in the trees and bushes.

  12. Andrea says:

    The scenes are great for me who always love unfamiliar sights. It seems your winter has already been too long, if only you can blow a bit of those colder temps here, then both of us can live happily in moderation.

  13. aberdeen gardening says:

    Plenty grey days here Donna, yet strangely enough I liked your grey day shot the best.

  14. EcoGrrl says:

    I love gray days! Too harsh of sun gives me headaches and gray is the best for photographing in black & white.

  15. Ugh. It is grey here as well, today. Plus it is snowing this morning. You have way more snow on the ground than we do, though.

  16. I love the way the gray can make the pictures look black and white and I love the blue of the winter sky on a sunny day…I also love the look of snow because it does appear blue and sometimes purple given just the right conditions…

  17. Marguerite says:

    One of the things I love about living on the east coast is that winter is not completely gray. there are so many bright sunny days sprinkled throughout the season I don’t mind it at all. Living on the west coast was another matter. There were times when 3 months would pass by, rain each day and not a drop of sun to be seen. I got to the point where I wanted to tear my hair out by winter’s end. I’ll take snow and sun any day over gray rain.

  18. Brian Comeau says:

    It’s funny I’ve never really been bothered by grey days (great for shooting) but short days with less sunlight, for sure. I have generally found January and even February seem to be long months.

  19. Funny, I have never equated a snowy day with a “gray” day, so your top photo wouldn’t meet my criteria. A gray day for me is an overcast day, maybe with fog or haze, but where the sky doesn’t stand out distinctly from the hills around here. It’s easy for me to feel “down” on a gray day, but not usually on a snowy day.

  20. From a grey day in Majorca, I say I love snow landscape, whether grey or sunny. My favorite pic is the first one, you have captured the essence of snow in its beauty!

  21. thequeenofseaford says:

    Yesterday my husband and I were observing that on gray days here we see more wildlife…especially turkeys. Not sure of the reason why other than the gray day seems to be like dawn or dusk when they go down to the water….maybe??

    • You might be right about the perception of the time of day. But turkeys are usually in groups, so that makes anyone of them less vulnerable. Like water buffalo crossing a river I guess. I know what my hunting friends tell me and they have been right on everything so far. I learned so much from them on animal behavior. On some gray days, like in winter, the animals are easily seen because there is no leaf cover. They can be the same place in summer, and one would never see them.

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