On Being Green

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge It IS Easy Being Green! I’ve obediently tried out a gallery. The format allows us to compare and contrast the great variety in greenness, as in any colour in nature, but it doesn’t let me explain what the pictures are – and you’ll be hard pressed to make out much detail on a smartphone. So here they are a bit bigger, with descriptions: 

Green bottle tree sconce by Stephanie Dwyer

Part of a bottle tree sconce by Stephanie Dwyer, decorated with green bottles, framed by tree branches and sky. See how one bottle has recently succumbed to the elements?

Luna moth

A green luna moth with long tails and wonderful, comb-like antennae. These are big creatures! After emerging as moths, nature gives them just one week to mate and reproduce. That may not seem long, but they don’t eat in their adult form. This one seemed to have a stoically calm disposition as it waited for the garden party to get started.

Heptacodium miconioides against a dry stone wall

The decorative leaves drew me to this Heptacodium miconioides, which was fortunately labelled as I wouldn’t have had a clue what it was. The leaves are heart shaped, hanging in opposing pairs with their pointed bottoms curled inwards. Very nice.

I often like the sound of Latin words and test them out mentally rather than just sweeping my eyes over them. Heptacodium sounds fine – a little functional perhaps – but miconioides…?  Perhaps it’s my accent or pronunciation, but it sounds like a one word protest song. After all, despite the prompt, we all know it ISN’T that easy being green. Not nowadays.

Giant coneflower leaves (Rudbeckia maxima)

Anyone who can take green leaves for granted just hasn’t met the right patch. I vividly remember seeing these Rudbeckia maxima leaves in Austin, Texas at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre. You may think of me as a flower junkie, but these had a fresh, living lushness this picture barely captures. Amongst all the plants I saw that day, including swathes of the famous wildflowers that had drawn us there, this is the sight that amazed me the most.

I suppose beauty is different for all of us – it’s doubtful that anyone else there on the same day would cast their favourite vote along with me if asked. But I’m unrepentant. Nature had built a kneehigh cathedral in a quiet corner out of green leaves and my response was rapture.

37 Replies to “On Being Green”

  1. When I first found this in my Reader — two days ago? — I couldn’t leave a comment! The format was a little different and of course I have no idea what was up with that. And there I sat, helpless, wanting to tell you how loudly I agreed with you on the matter of Heptacodium (lovely) and its companion, the protest song. Had to stop to laugh at that. As to the greens, I’m in love with the curly green leaves. I also agree with Laurie about unchewed greens — would that they remained so. Your green gallery works handsomely!

        1. Most computers never make imaginative leaps. As yours is the kind of mind that happily does, there’s a natural disconnect the computer cannot bridge. I assume computers that are designed to learn must make leaps that are very puzzling or funny to a human mind. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

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