Friday, March 6, 2015

Green with anticipation

I'm more full of anticipation than a kid on December 23rd. The extended forecast has high temperatures above freezing for the next two weeks. That means that the snow and ice will start to melt, the ground will begin to thaw, crows will begin to caw and green will return to put us in awe. Some time ago I picked up a copy of the Artist's Little Book of Color. One of the major reasons I bought it is to help learn the names of the many shades of green that erupt each Spring. In anticipation of this year's Spring, and the upcoming St. Patrick's Day, here's part of what the book says about naming greens:
"Green is the largest color family discernible to the human eye. Prior to the standardization of pigment nomenclature many names were used to describe hues of green. Some of the following names are still in current use, while many have now disappeared:

list of green hues
Over the next few weeks, let's see what we can learn on the internets about the status of each of the colors listed above and add links for one or two colors every day or so. I recognize some of the names, but not all of them, and can't begin to match hues to most of them. With luck and effort, but the time the leaves ore out and we're through National Poetry Month, we'll be ready to name many of the shades of green in the leaves. Then we can sit in the shade under those leaves. Here's a sample of what green leaves look like, in case you don't remember.

redosier dogwood leafing out
Photo by J. Harrington

The Ecchoing Green

By William Blake 

The sun does arise,
And make happy the skies.
The merry bells ring
To welcome the Spring.
The sky-lark and thrush,
The birds of the bush,
Sing louder around,
To the bells’ cheerful sound. 
While our sports shall be seen
On the Ecchoing Green.
 
Old John, with white hair 
Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak,
Among the old folk, 
They laugh at our play, 
And soon they all say.
‘Such, such were the joys. 
When we all girls & boys, 
In our youth-time were seen, 
On the Ecchoing Green.’
 
Till the little ones weary
No more can be merry
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end: 
Round the laps of their mothers, 
Many sisters and brothers,
Like birds in their nest,
Are ready for rest;
And sport no more seen,
On the darkening Green. 


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