Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's not easy being green

In case you were looking, we left out yesterday's shades of green. They didn't seem to go well with the rest of the posting. Today we'll skip any rants, or at least keep them to a minimum, and get straight to today's shades of green:
We're not quite halfway through the list, but I think I'm learning something. When I look at the variety of greens that often show up under a search for a single color, I start to wonder if my original idea makes sense: to learn the names of shades of green so I can better describe Spring's leaf out and development. As you probably know, on the Internet and in computers, colors are mostly defined by hexadecimal codes. I just can't find myself relating to 2e4242 nearly as well as I do British Racing Green (not that I'm suggesting 2e4242 is BRG, mind you). There's also the fact that not everyone perceives colors the same way (remember the gold-white : blue-black dress from sometime last month?) It's almost enough to make me sympathetic (or at least pathetic) about former President Clinton's "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is...."

I also these days encounter setbacks when I notice the stunning colors that show up before sunrise and try to decide if they're fuscia, rose, pink or purple, fading into saffron as the sun climbs above the horizon. We truly live in a world of color and wonder, but, sometimes, I wonder how we ever manage to communicate. One way is with pictures. Here's what our currently snow-free back yard looked like one year ago. The dominant color was white, tinged with gray shadows. Today it's shades of brown and tan.

what a difference a year makes. no snow cover in 2015
what a difference a year makes. no snow cover in 2015
Photo by J. Harrington

My sister, who lives in the Boston area, recently expressed concern that, after all they'd been through this Winter, they still needed 2" more snow to set the all time record. I shared with her this morning the piece in Writer's Almanac about today being the anniversary of the great blizzard of 1888 that dropped 50" of snow along the eastern seaboard (scroll below the Almanac poem). I  much prefer continuing to sort out what the meaning of the word green is.

Orange Berries Dark Green Leaves

By John Taggart 
Darkened not completely dark let us walk in the darkened field
trees in the field outlined against that which is less dark
under the trees are bushes with orange berries dark green leaves
not poetry’s mixing of yellow light blue sky darker than that
darkness of the leaves a modulation of the accumulated darkness
orange of the berries another modulation spreading out toward us
it is like the reverberation of a bell rung three times
like the call of a voice the call of a voice that is not there.
We will not look up how they got their name in a book of names
we will not trace the name’s root conjecture its first murmuring
the root of the berries their leaves is succoured by darkness
darkness like a large block of stone hauled on a wooden sled
like stone formed and reformed by a dark sea rolling in turmoil.

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Please be kind to each other while you can.