marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

chiaroscuro and color

Swans, off-white, bob on the lake, which gleams silvery from the clouds. One has its head tucked back as it sleeps; one is preening, so its head can only sometimes be seen.

The median dips down into a valley, and so the hawk perched on a tree there is level with the cars streaming by, as it watches with a stern gaze.

How oddly varied the grass is. Some is growing green and lush with the rain; other stretches -- even with standing water in places -- are still dead and yellow, perhaps having perished in the summer's drought.

Trees to either hand of the street spread their boughs over it and every inch of their branches is lined with snow, giving arches over the street in black and white.

To one hand the snowy scene is subtle and devoid of color: the clouds billow in leaden shades and the trees are burdened on every branch -- and next to the snow, the green of needles and dark brown of bark look more dark than colorful. Ahead, the cloud part for a stretch of flagrant color, the sky blue and robin's egg blue spread, and below, the highway is so wet that it redoubles the overwhelming color. It eases as the day goes on, and the sunlight and gravity disencumber the pines from the snow, so that we have green against the blue, in colorful array, and on the way home, the yellow and coppery leaves, still clinging to saplings, are bright and cheerful.

Snowmelt has turned the waterfall from drought-dry to a foaming path of whiteness between the rocks, all but black, with swan-white snowbanks to either side.

Before the snow from the last storm all melts -- while large stretches of it spread over the ground still -- more snow comes sifting down, down, down. Some crows seem to like it, they fly from tree to tree, cawing.

It rains and rains, the very air seems gray, and when I leave work, all the snow to either hand have melted except for the plowed up heaps. But I look across the parking lot and can see stretches of snow, with clearings only under the trees, and mist rising. . . the vacant lot, tree-covered, is splotches of brown and white earth, but the highway has a snow-free median and woods to the side with every inch white and the only brown the rising trees. And when I take a jog off on a sideroad, it is white on one hand and brown and greenish on the other, and while the white side faces north, I wonder, for the day has been all diffuse and grayish light, with the rain, I would think, doing much of the burden of snow removal.

The bitter cold did not kill the crocuses, or other sprouts. Indeed, the day after, in the warmth, all the snow melted from the garden, and dozens of sprouts poked their little green noses up (since I doubt they sprung up under the snow). And already I have crocuses blooming -- pale cream, bright orange, as yellow-orange as the pollen -- in the warmth of February.
Tags: nature
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