Sunday, April 24, 2016

'tis the season to green

Several times this past week, I've wondered why some local farm fields had such tall lumps of soil. Each time those soil lumps moved and magically became sandhill cranes. In most of the pictures I take, I try to be sure that the subject stands out from the background. I need to rethink that approach since it's not always accurate, such as with "soil lumps." There's a sandhill crane, maybe two, plus a tree stump, in the midst of the marsh grass in the photo below. They stand out more against the background than cranes foraging in plowed cornfields do. I'll see if the cranes and the weather and the farmers cooperate and try to get a photo of those tall lumps of dirt that become cranes.

one, or two, sandhill cranes plus a tree stump in marsh grass
one, or two, sandhill cranes plus a tree stump in marsh grass
Photo by J. Harrington

Fortunately, the rain we're getting helps "green up" the fields and reduce the danger of grass fires. It's also bringing the green back to the tamarack swamps we have in the neighborhood. Their soft green is incredibly pretty this early in the season. Some years ago, I picked up a little book of artist's colors.

the early Spring pale green of tamaracks
the early Spring pale green of tamaracks
Photo by J. Harrington

The shades of greens it lists that could match the tamaracks are:
  • saffron (I have no idea how "saffron" became "green")
  • lime
  • bright(green)
  • light (green)
  • yellow-green
  • cinnebar
few, if any, of which match the colors in this green color thesaurus that we've mentioned in previous postings here. Maybe poets, rather than visual artists, can help us sort out our colors. To start with there's D.H. Lawrence on Green or Laurie Allmann on The Color of a River.


D. H. Lawrence, 1885 - 1930

The dawn was apple-green,
The sky was green wine held up in the sun,
The moon was a golden petal between.

She opened her eyes, and green
They shone, clear like flowers undone
For the first time, now for the first time seen.

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