Saturday, August 23, 2008

Green: A Color in Many Shades


Our pond wears a heavy green blanket.
Even as I approach slowly and quietly, hundreds of frogs launch themselves in a seemingly choreographed sequence from the shallow, muddy edges into deeper water—skittering across the thick, clotted surface with noisy squeaks and plops.
A tremendous bowl of pea soup, bubbling with activity.


It would appear that much has been neglected here.
The edge grows wild and untamed. Grasses and jewelweed lean forward, dangling seeds from delicate stems. The clear water of spring has all but disappeared beneath a curtain.

Water droplets on Spotted Touch-me-not appear jewel-like,
hence the common name, Jewelweed.



My morning drive to work takes me past a hillside where tall trees once covered a steep slope.
Bales of straw now attempt to anchor the newly planted grass, a lovely green entry to the latest subdivision.
A sign with gilt trim advertises proudly.




There must be many shades of green.
Those that exist as a definition of color, alone. And those that are defined by a philosophy.
It is the spaces we do not conquer, that wear the truest shade.




As I was crouching by the edge of the pond to photograph this Jewelweed,
a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird buzzed into the picture to feed from its flower.



Our Green Space, the pond, and 35 frogs.

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12 comments:

KGMom said...

Nina--I have often wondered, when I see ponds all covered with green scum, whether animals are inadvertently caught therein. I can imagine a rabbit running breakneck speed and falling into the seeming solid space.
Does it happen?

nina said...

Yes, it does.
But I don't think to any serious consequence.
We had a cat once, who saw us on the opposite side and made a dash for it.

Then walked back to the house--very embarrassing, you know!

letspaintnature.com said...

Awesome jewelweed and hummingbird!!! They're so quick it's hard to capture them. I love your green pea soup of froggies too!

Luiz Ramos said...

Great shots. Beautiful Nature.

Webradio said...

Hello !
Very green, and beautiful flowers...

bobbie said...

I love your froggie pictures!
And that is one fat little hummer!

RHCarpenter said...

Lovely pond, Nina. It must sound wonderful at night with the males calling for females - or is it too late in the year for that? And your words: "It is the spaces we do not conquer, that wear the truest shade," really made me think. So often we want to manage, subdue, change, cultivate everything in our midst. And as a painter, I find that, too, trying to conquer that mix of paints, that color next to that one, etc. - I love this quote!! I hope you don't mind if I use it again.

scienceguy288 said...

Going green I see.

nina said...

Yes, Rhonda, the little green sign is laughable. Green space is a designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild land surrounding suburban areas. To know the history of this plot--that there had been wild land here, an entire hillside of mature trees, that has now been beaten into submission by mowers, herbicides and insecticides and replaced with a groomed, grassy bank. Appearing "green," but not truly green.
Why can't left alone be good enough?

DigitalZen said...

Pond scum is one of nature's wonders...the very basis of much of the pond's food chain, feeding on the production of bacteria and other small organisms in the water, and providing food for myriad creatures -- including many waterfowl such as ducks and coots -- in its turn. In the Winter it lies on the bottom. In the Summer, the increase of light causes photosynthesis to increase, and tiny bubbles of oxygen in the fibers cause it to rise to the surface. This, in turn, helps keep the pond cool.

A place for everything, and to each its purpose.

Eco Enthusiast said...

Nice post on green. I like the shots of the hummingbirds on the jewelweed.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

All of those froggies look like little green bumps in the blanket.