Interpreting the Green

by Helena Uber-Wamble

With spring just arrived and signs of green popping out everywhere, it is very fitting that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with many folks “wearing the green”. Have you ever thought of all the shades of green out there? Kelly green is of course the color most often worn on March 17, for all those true Irish folks and those that wish they were. Then there are those folks who just want to be supportive by wearing of any “shade” of green.

What actually popped into your mind when you read this title? Did you think I was talking about money–that mysterious amount that we try to earn? Did your mind go to golf and those that play the links and “interpret the green” before they play their ball? Or did recycling and environmental issues come to mind?

Now, think of the color green–what shade was it? Was it the color of money? Was it Shamrock or Kelly Green worn typically on St. Patrick’s Day? Was it Army green commonly found in camouflage pants? Are you a person that typically associates colors with food, so avocado green, olive green and green bananas popped into your thoughts?

Spring leavesIn this case, I am referring to the glorious green that is popping out all around us as the spring season hits. It refers to the glossy deep green broad leaves of the daffodils, the soft fuzzy light-green buds of the red-buckeye as it expands to reveal the leaflets hidden inside; it is the shade of clovers springing up in the yellow-green grass and it is the slender blue-green stalks of wild onions raising taller than all the other plants in the yard.
Notice that the deep duller hues of the pine trees seem to melt into the landscape as the brighter splotchy green leaves of the trout lilies and the lobed leaves of the bloodroot emerge. Ferns unfold their soft-light green fiddleheads and tiny bright buds begin to swell up revealing even brighter green hues. It is a color that energizes you and fills your emotional needs with hope and an extra pep in your step especially as more green fills the empty spaces of the forest that just a few weeks ago looked so bleak.

Green is the color of life. It brings forth a feeling of hope that winter has packed up and is gone. Dorothy found hope in the Emerald City, a coincidence? — I think not! Green is just a happy secondary color, coming out of the blending of yellow and blue combinations. Over 58 colors are recognized as some tint or shade of green. It is a color that can shimmer on the backs of ruby-throated hummingbirds and yet be as dark as hunter green of the forest. There is no better time than spring to appreciate all the different shades of green.

Now how would you “interpret the green”?

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