Late Winter. One of my favorite times of the year in North Carolina!
Most of the russet Oak leaves have succumbed to wind, snow, and rain – only a very few remain in the tree tops – dancing and twirling as if invisible puppeteers dangle them from strings. The coppery Beech leaves have faded to translucent, the color of pale rose gold.
Daffodils, Pansies, and Camellias are in bloom, each lending color and beauty to the landscape. Flowering Pear and flowering Cherry – always first, and usually too early – are covered in clouds of delicate white and palest pink blossom. Saucer Magnolias – one of my favorites – reduce my vocabulary to single syllable exclamations of “ohhhhh”, “ahhhhh”, and “mmmmm”. Drifts of tiny blue Wild Flowers open to warmth on sunny slopes. Yes, Spring is almost here!
But it is the Winter Green that catches my eye today! Grey brooding Sky, cold Mist, damp chill to the Air, the smell of woodsmoke – Winter is not finished yet. There are treasures to behold, for it is now that the tiny ones, the unassuming ones, draw me in to the Woods. It is their turn to shine. Perfectly complimented by the silver-grey of late winter Tree trunk, Tree limb, and damp carpets of Leaves, they go quietly about their work – returning Matter back to Mother Earth and protecting Her, holding Her, with a beautiful blanket of green.