Spring Green

The mountain in the distance has taken on the sudden color of spring green. This pallid green contrasts sharply with the surrounding dark evergreen forest. A once a year occurrence this color is unique to early May in central New England. It is the color of a brand new leaf, burst from bud, and still deplete of significant chlorophyll. Solar energy radiating from our closest star will activate the chloroplasts in the leaf structures. Photosynthesis will begin anew. Carbon will be converted to sugar to be utilized by the tree as sustenance. And the by-product, oxygen, will be most beneficial to all of the other biota which depend on this valuable commodity.

That spring green is closer to yellow than green is inconsequential. That this exact color goes unnoticed by many is a matter of concern; a major disconnect from the natural world. Perhaps it is the loss of a moment that should be treasured by all. Spring green is reminiscent of faith for all that is good. Like the first wild flowers of spring; wild oats, trout lily, red trillium, spring beauty, bloodroot, squirrel corn, hepatica, and yellow clintonia it wrestles with our emotions. Truly a sign of hope and aspiration the pale green of spring evokes breathtaking memories of yesterday and optimism and exuberance for tomorrow.

This green we call spring draws out a visceral wildness that allows us to commune with the natural world. If ever there were a time to revel in the beauty of this planet it is during the spring freshet. This joyous planet: moist soil, blue sky, green dotted with the color of wild flowers is just what the doctor ordered. A remedy for all that ails us. A cure for the apathetic. A tonic for those who may be weary and worn out by the modern world.

I hope I’m never so old or decrepit that I become separated from this celebration and I hope that others who may, at times, neglect the natural world never drift so far away as to miss this party! This would be a sad day for all; and indeed nearly criminal. A gross injustice to the the soul; an insult to our primordial past. All that is living needs renewal and these spring days do just that. To open a window and breath clean, fresh air or take a walk beneath a canopy of green branches, to walk along a bubbling brook or at the edge of a burgeoning cattail marsh is to experience beauty, love, and joy! To listen to the early morning song of a bird, the chorus of spring peepers, or the croaking of wood frogs near a vernal pool will fill your heart with song. To smell the sweet nectar of spring flowers, watch bees gather nectar, and butterflies flutter from stem to stem will bring anyone as much wonder as they can hold. This is the time of year to be absorbed; the time of year to be in love.

Spring green; a reminder of hope. Spring green; the color of joy. Spring green; a message for peace. Spring green; the feeling of love. Spring green; the symbol of life. Spring green: reverence for this planet. Spring green.

Written for www.wildramblings.com in May 2011.

Reminder: double click on photos for enlargement.

  • Out On The Prairie

    As I was walking around a lake yesterday I noticed the color across the lake looked so different from where I stood. There is a large spectrum of colors that all make up the Spring green. There is an inner romance to be part of this for me each year.Each bloom, the emmergence of new leaves all make up a lovely feeling to be part of.

  • http://swamericana.wordpress.com/ Jack Matthews

    The spring does bring all those things. I like the list of newly-sprouting plants and flowers you make. The looking at spring catches us up in the renewal process of nature after winter. How can anyone seize upon any other ideology but this? Aside from the first eruptions of verbena, it is ground sel that is gorgeous here with its yellow in spring. Spring green certainly is the color of joy.

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Yes, the human relationship with spring is romance. Each new living entity is miraculous. Thanks.

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Although Texas is dramatically different than New England there are probably more similarities than differences in the spring time of year. Do you have a lot of members of the mustard family like they do in the southeast during the spring? Thanks Jack.

  • Teresaevangeline

    Wow, man. :) This is some seriously beautiful prose, so much so that it could take form as poetry. “A gross injustice to the soul,” indeed, to miss this party. I’m reminded of Vince van Gogh’s letters to his brother, Theo, in which he talks about all the greens. You’ve written about them with artistry.

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Thank you Teresa my intention was to be poetic using prose. You caught on fast! I really appreciate the compliments, I’m going to check out the Van Gogh comments on green. Sounds fascinating!

  • http://www.landingoncloudywater.blogspot.com Emily

    Normally I am what one might call a “cautious driver.” But this morning, my head was swiveling this way and that as I was driving into work, and it had nothing to do with traffic and everything to do with the trees. SPRING GREEN! You enthusiasm here is palpable, Bill, and I am right there with you. I always await the first appearance of leaves with childlike excitement. I can’t help it. You’re right: hope, joy, peace, love, life, reverence. Yes!

  • http://allycatadventures.wordpress.com/ allycat

    a wonderful post

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Thank you allycat. I appreciate your comment!

  • http://fourwindshaiga.wordpress.com/ sandy

    I am looking out at that green right now. Your leaves seem to be a bit ahead of ours. You described the “experience” of spring perfectly. No, you will never get so old that you won’t notice the celebration. It is in you, or it is not. You have it, for sure. Happy Celebrating!

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Thank you Emily. I’m happy your are looking at all the beauty around you! Still, be careful when you’re driving. I once almost caused a wreck because I was looking at a Moose while driving.

    I like palpable, I’m glad you think so.

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Thanks Sandy, you are inspirational! I’m happy that the development of our leaves are ahead of somebody! You are in Maine, after all, but your turn is coming. Today we had a high of about 40 degrees so a bit of a set back!

  • Find an Outlet

    Spring back east was the most anticipated part of life. I remember
    seeing pale red buds first, very early, before they turned green.
    Reveling in the sound of peepers and the smell of skunk cabbage. Walking through the town I lived in
    under crab apples blossoms fluttering magically through the air as if in
    a living fairy tale. Shedding layers, putting winter clothes away,
    turning the damn furnace off, impatiently waiting for the sun on your
    face. It’s not the same here in AZ.

    I don’t think I’ve ever read such a beautiful description of spring as this post. I can feel your joy, your boyish high spirits. How I would
    love to frolic along the banks of Taylor Brook or one like it with a couple of dogs, and experience the same rapture you’re feeling now. You will never let the natural world drift away from you. You embody it in a very special way, not only through your passion, but through your exceptional understanding.

  • http://nature-drunk.com Nature-Drunk

    The same has been occurring here in California and I find myself in awe of the chartreuse colored countryside. Today, as I drove a good friend to get groceries, I couldn’t shut up about the trees. He just kept saying yes and uh huh. Crazy about nature, I am…I know you understand.

  • Montucky

    Very well stated, Bill! Just the past few days, the country here has begun the spring celebration, with the explosion now of wildflowers and the backdrop of all of the new greens. So welcome it is, and so much hope it has!

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Thank you Debra. Spring is inspirational on both the physical and psychological levels, there is no doubt about it. We had a hard freeze last night so we’re not completely out of the woods yet. I think it is the contrast between seasons in New England, and other northern climates, that makes spring so grand. I like each of the seasons equally and am excited to see them all come but the arrival of spring and autumn are the most dramatic. Yes my spirits are occasionally boyish, but the rest of me not quite so much.

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Isn’t it interesting how the natural world inspires some of us but not all? I know it takes all kinds but that some could not find connection with their very foundation is curious. I think it all starts with our childhood and the outdoor experiences we had then. Some of us probably had someone in particular that gave us the gift of love of nature. It would be interesting if some of us could write about this and post it on our websites.

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Yes, like a symphonic concert, the beautiful music of spring just keeps building until it reaches a crescendo! And yes we should celebrate it. There should be an official spring holiday just to celebrate the birth of the new year! Not the calendar year, but the biologic year. This would remind us of the hope that each new year holds!

  • http://www.slugyard.com Mike B.

    “Spring Green” is in full display in my yard. My cherry trees are starting to lose their blossoms, but maples and walnuts are leafing out with their catkins, and the woods are taking on that light green hue. Camas is in full bloom, and meadowfoam is getting ready. A great time of year!

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    You are significantly ahead of us if your cherry trees are starting to lose their blossoms. I would expect my cherries to blossom in about two weeks from now. This is a wonderful time of year!

  • http://alsphotographyblog.blogspot.com/ Al

    I’ll have to keep a close eye out for this color as we’re just coming into spring now, although I don’t live in beautiful New England. I’m not sure I’ll distinguish it from regular green as my color vision isn’t very good. Interesting post.

  • http://everyday-adventurer.blogspot.com/ Ratty

    Spring is my favorite time of year, and there is no other time that comes close. New life is everywhere. And I noticed that spring green color quite some time ago. It’s different and fresher than any other time. I love it.

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    “my color vision isn’t very good” and yet your photographs are so clear, crisp, interesting, and colorful. How do you do it?

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    I’m guessing most people’s favorite time of year would be spring. It’s alive, colorful, vibrant, and chuck full of hope. And as you say “fresher than any other time”. Thanks for stopping by Ratty!

  • http://www.marierust.blogspot.com Marie

    Wonderful post! While I am more of an Autumn girl there are a few weeks in spring that just pull at my heart strings. It looks much like fall when the leaves are emerging, with so many different shades of green, yellow and red. Throw in the blooming redbuds, serviceberries and wildflowers and you have a sensory experience that just can’t be beat. And you are right–it is a pity that anyone lets it pass unnoticed.

  • http://www.wildramblings.com Wild_Bill

    Although we don’t have redbuds in this area they are just beautiful in the spring. Serviceberries, called shadblow up here because they bloom when they shad are running up the rivers, is another one of my my favorites. Thanks for stopping by!

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