Today, with the sun shining bright all day, I believe the green will make it to the top of the mountain. Each year I watch the transformation from winter to spring in anticipation of this day…the day the trees on the tip top unfurl themselves proclaiming that winter is officially done. All around the shades of green are spectacular. The pine green that has been around throughout the winter is joined by a moss green on the chocolate trunks and a carpet of hunter green on the forest floor. Fingers of light green start to grip the mountain, spreading up it like they are grasping for warmth. The laurel bushes celebrate by putting out their avocado green foliage. The fern green underbrush mixes with the warm tones of decaying leaves left over from the fall. Soon the green will wipe away all remnants of the dead and take back the woods. Life pulses up through the roots, into the trunk and out the branches until they can hold it in no longer. Leaves and flowers bud, then burst with joyful celebration causing little explosions of pollen to rain down giving all the greens a yellow hue for a time.
The mountains have differing patterns of asparagus green leaves, and dark green so that it looks like the artist just kept mixing a monochromatic palate to see how many shades of the same color he could create. Jungle green, mint green, laurel green, bright green, muted artichoke green, and even olive green are among the varieties. The differences are subtle which give depth, and drastic which bring drama. Every mountain has a unique pattern that depends on what types of trees grow upon its inclined slopes. Patches of hardwoods fill spots on the hills covered with pines. Pines dot the younger hardwood forests. It is a time where each individual type of tree contributes its own part of the picture, and the picture is stunning. It is like the mountains are breathing because each day new colors and life surface that were not there the day before.
All of these greens begin at the bottom, in the valleys… and over the roller coaster weather weeks, through the rain, and the cold, and the bright sunshine of the bi-polar climate they steadily move forward. It seems like a battle in the intensity of the movements. One shade moves up the flank. Another tries a sneak attack over a nearby hill. Yet another takes on a full frontal assault, going right up in the front for all to see. In the process, they spread as they take the ground back from the winter. They mix and their power grows stronger the further up the mountain they go. They do not shrink back once the climb is begun. They steadily and faithfully take on whatever counter attack the weather can throw at them. The shades of green sometimes move slower…other times they seem to be running up the incline. The rain speeds them along, as does the sun…as if they are fueling the fight and trying to gain surrender from the bleak colors of winter. Today I believe this year’s battle will finally be won. Weeks of consistently taking ground have resulted in a glorious victory. Now there is nothing left but celebration. There is dancing in the wind which causes the mountain to pulse. There is a sigh that can be heard throughout the valley, and it calls the other colors to come forth, notifying them that it is safe now to come out of hiding. The pinks of the rhododendron are shyly appearing among the greens. The purples of the wisteria are on the edges the forests, notifying any species with a nose that it is safe to tread on the trails. Honeysuckle will appear soon adding to the spring symphony of smells and soon the heat will be upon us. The greens will settle in and the hundreds of shades will intermingle into the smooth and blended summer green. Lovely.