I can distinguish no less than eleven shades of green in the hillside I see before me. I name them: lime green, forest green, emerald green, olive green, sea green, shamrock, neon, yellow-green, pale green, blue-green and grass-green. This patchwork of hues brings a smile to my face this time every year here in the hilltown where I live.
Fresh, light-colored twinkly catkins stand out against the dark-colored pine needles that have weathered the winter. Even a single rhododendron sports contrasting greens as new emerging leaves look almost yellow against last year’s leathery forest-green foliage. Does every plant species have its own emergent color?
Soon the light-colored foliage will darken as chloroplasts pack the mesophyll. The earth is breathing heartily once again in its annual upsurge in gas exchange, sugar production and carbon sequestration. It is a beautiful sight to see the greening of my hills.