Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Slow Greening

When I returned here late Sunday from Lexington, I could tell that spring hadn't gotten much further than it was when I left three days earlier. And no wonder: Virginia had the same cold rain and snow bursts over the weekend that Kentucky did.

Which means that spring is delightfully long this year. The trees, just greening, are paused at a precious and delicate moment. For some, too much cold now means no blooms later on. The hydrangea comes immediately to mind.

For others, though, the cooler temperatures mean a slower greening — a longer run of "spring green," a Crayola color I remember from childhood. It's a hue closer to yellow than to green. "Nature's first green is gold," Robert Frost said. "Its hardest hue to hold."

Some years, that "hardest hue to hold" lasts only hours; other years it might linger for a few days. This year it's going on a week — a slow greening that's a long tease and a rare treat. It's all I can do not to aim my camera at every leaf and tree.

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