Swamps aren't quite what you'd expect. I wandered through one this weekend with a friend.
In the summer, they're beautiful. Wetlands full of flowers and life. Oh, and we came across quite the stag party:
I won't say the area smelled great, but it wasn't an all-consuming, pervasive stench, either. Nor was it a gloomy area of lifeless greyness, and there wasn't a single set of Artax bones anywhere.
There was this, though.
We get a lot of ideas of what scenery "should" be like from the movies, but it's rarely accurate. If the next swamp scene you see in a spring or summer setting isn't teeming with life, with dragonflies and flowers and sunshine, and little fish swimming in the shallows and birds fluttering through the vines and brush, then don't believe it.
It's as easy to fell into stereotypes about scenery as it is to fall for character tropes. It's such a mood-setting tool! And it's not like people will get offended by stereotyping grasslands or tropical beaches. But I, for one, would love to see a scene that takes place in a cheerful swamp.
After all, there's something satisfying about turning a trope on its head--especially when you're justified doing so.