Saturday, March 21, 2015

Palettes of Spring

Happy World Poetry Day! Now that we're enjoying our first full day of Spring, tomorrow's weather forecast is talking about rain, snow and slush, although there was a report on Twitter yesterday that the trees along the St. Croix River are starting to show a green haze. I thought I had seen something similar in some of the nearby aspens, but wrote it off to a hallucinatory wish. It's hard to see the slight shift from Winter gray to the lightest shade of Spring's pewter, almost like the proverbial ghost in a snowstorm or black cat in a coal bin at midnight.

All of which suggests it's time to return to our consideration of shades of green. Here are today's. We're now halfway through the alphabet and slightly more than halfway through our original list.
Local fields and forests are still dominated by earth tone shades, tans and ochres, but, when the sun is shining and the clouds are sparse, there's a beautiful dappled sunlight pattern on the duff.

sunlight dappled woodland
sunlight dappled woodland
Photo by J. Harrington

Gerard Manley Hopkins, whom I remember from my long-ago schoolboy days, celebrates dappledness as Pied Beauty. How would you compare our ability to split the atom with our capacity to create this much beauty?

Pied Beauty

By Gerard Manley Hopkins 
Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.


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