Last year color curled up tight, rolled itself into a ball and hid like a bear in winter. Emerging tentatively
now it spritzes the air with a stippling of pale mint green on charcoal gray branches,
blushes the twigs of dogwood blood red, or gold,
washes the magnolia tree’s petals faintly, with rose and cream
and softens the horizon with a thousand filmy greens
as the swollen buds of birch, alder and maple rejoice.
Color paints the tips of tiny moss leaves gold, and in the wetlands
shines see-through light on brave grass sprouts,
fixes a silky shimmer on the fur of willow catkins,
lights the sky with a delicate shade of lavender blue,
and invites reverie. Color returns, indifferent to all our small sufferings
ignorant of our diseases and wars, just the season’s dependable procession
- Magnolia flower; Rhododendron Species Garden, Federal Way, Washington.
- Magnolia petals on the ground; Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue, Washington.
- Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) buds and foliage; Bellevue Botanical Garden.
- Moss spore capsules; Bellevue Botanical Garden.
- Moss-covered rocks border a stream at the Seattle Japanese Garden, Seattle, Washington.
- A yellow variety of Red twig dogwood ( Cornus sericea); Juanita Bay Park, Kirkland, Washington.
- Native shrubs and trees in early April on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, Duvall, Washington.
- More trees and shrubs, including willows, on the trail in Duvall.
- New leaves of Red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium); O.O. Denny Park, Kirkland.
- Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), another Pacific northwest native; Juanita Bay Park.
- Flowering tree and cloud reflections in a stream at Bellevue Botanical Garden.
- Forget-me-nots (Myosotis arvensis) at Rhododendron Species Garden.
- A pair of Douglas fir cones nestled in moss at Rhododendron Species Garden.
- The woods are greening at home too. The moss glows like neon on the branches, but the Big Leaf maple (the gray-barked, spreading-limbed tree) hasn’t unfurled its leaves yet; Kirkland.
- Red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) and Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) intermingle at Juanita Bay Park.
- An old willow begins to leaf out, and bright green Licorice fern adorns its branches at Juanita Bay Park.
- An insect pauses on a Magnolia bud at Seattle Japanese Garden.