Echoing Green

May 11, 2016

Euphorbia

Euphorbia

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
— Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Foliage of bleeding heart

Foliage of bleeding heart

Queen Anne's lace

Queen Anne’s lace

 

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“the leaping greenly spirits of trees . . .”
— e e cummings

Tall trees of the Hoh Rain Forest

Tall trees of the Hoh Rain Forest

Our second Olympic National Park destination was the Hoh Rain Forest.  This temperate rain forest gets 12 to 14 feet of rain each year, but we were lucky to be visiting on a sunny day.  We began seeing moss-draped trees on the road leading into the heart of the rain forest.  Instead of fifty shades of gray, we were seeing fifty shades of green.

Fisherman in the Hoh River

Fisherman in the Hoh River

The road into the Hoh valley

The road into the Hoh valley

Green, green stream

Green, green stream

Hall of Mosses trail

Hall of Mosses trail

Tall trees on a rare blue-sky day

Tall trees on a rare blue-sky day

Living giants

Living giants

New growth on fallen log

New growth on fallen log

Light through a lacey green curtain

Light through a lacey green curtain

 

Nurse log (fallen tree nourishing new trees)

Nurse log (fallen tree nourishing new trees)

Rings of a fallen giant

Rings of a fallen giant

Ground cover

Ground cover

Noah peeking around the trunk of a giant

Noah peeking around the trunk of a giant

These ferns reminded me of sea horses

These ferns reminded me of sea horses

Ferns with Holga-ish effect

Ferns with Holga-ish effect

190-foot fallen Sitka spruce

190-foot fallen Sitka spruce

Moss-Hung Trees
by Gertrude Gilmore, 1936

Moss-hung trees
Like the mantilla of a beautiful lady’s ghost
Bearing elusive fragrance of a faint perfume
Soft, caressing;
Shaped
Like the wings of huge, inert gray moths, —
Weird and uncertain branches veining them
Gossamer, intangible;
And reshaped
Like fairy cobwebs interlacing mesh upon mesh
With lights of foolish insects caught within them
Restive, darting
With shadows —
Like half reluctant thoughts lately modified
In a world of fantastical shapes and causes,
Mystical, fleeting.

Mossy branches of a maple tree

Mossy branches of a maple tree

Moss-laden maple

Moss-laden maple

The Last Day of Winter

March 19, 2013

“There’s no question winter here can take a chunk out of you.  Not like the extreme cold of the upper Midwest or the round-the-clock darkness of Alaska might, but rather the opposite.  Here, it’s a general lack of severity — monotonous flat gray skies and the constant drip-drip of misty rain — that erodes the spirit.”
— Dylan Tomine, Closer to the Ground:  An Outdoor Family’s Year on the Water, in the Woodland and at the Table

Moss-covered tractor, Whidbey Island

Moss-covered tractor, Whidbey Island

Lest you think I moan too much about the winter rain and gray skies, I am submitting today’s photo as proof that reality matches my glum outlook.  I saw this moss-covered tractor in a field on Whidbey Island.  This is what happens if you remain immobilized for too long during winter in the Pacific Northwest!  The moss takes over!

So it is with great anticipation that we greet the vernal equinox in Seattle.  It arrives in Seattle tomorrow, March 20th, at 4:02 a.m.  Welcome Spring!

Of course, Spring here is not without its April showers — and March, May and June showers, too.  But the longer days make a huge difference.  Still, as Emily Dickinson knew, Spring is an “Experiment of Green.”  The tractor might just be destined to stay a “green machine.”

Rain
by Frances May

Rain
on my window
Rain
on the ground
Rain
in the sky
Rain
all around

 

“No matter how barren the past may have been,
‘T is enough for us now that the leaves are green.”
— James Russell Lowell

The maple’s summer canopy of green

“The first bloom of the year is over.  It is now the season of growth.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Journal, June 1, 1853

Yes, it is summer and it is green, especially with all the rain and cool weather we’ve been having in Seattle.  I thought I’d check up on my “adopted” maple and willow trees to see if I could discover anything new.  And I did notice something unusual — the newest growth, the newest leaves are emerging in reddish-orange, not green as I would have expected.  I wonder why?  It certainly has nothing to do with lack of moisture.

Newest leaves of this maple tree are orange-ish in color.

Even the new leaves of the willow have a yellow-orange tinge.

 

 

Green Grass Growing

June 26, 2012

Sprinklers watering the grass

Watering the grass

“The grass has so little to do,
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain.”
— Emily Dickinson

“We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing.”
— James Russell Lowell

“No one thinks of Winter when the grass is green.”
— Rudyard Kipling

I love the smell of newly mown grass.  We do not water our lawn, so it does get dry and weedy in late summer.  This year June rains have kept it well watered.  In spite of the rain, I notice that some of our neighbors do keep their sprinklers going.  I liked the line created by these sprinklers, all in a row along the sidewalk.

Seeing Green

March 17, 2012

Here is a celebration of Green for St. Patrick’s Day!

Green candy on my window sill

Green and white striped candy canes

Green buttons

Green thread

Disposable fountain pen with green ink

My favorite sweater, a gift from my friend and colleague Kathy who finds treasures like this at thrift stores.

A new batch of Green Velvet Soup with ham (see my blog post for 12/10/2011 for the recipe)

Green shamrocks on my sister's Bleek sugar & creamer

Watercolor sketch of Bleek sugar & creamer

Changing colors of Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Toothed edges of these leaves are turning red

“Pattern is the crystallization of beauty.”
— Soetsu Yanagi, The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty

The leaves are just starting to turn color.  My eye was caught by the pattern of red edging on these hanging Virginia creeper leaves.  It’s interesting how they turn color from the outside in.

Watercolor sketch of Virginia creeper