Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winter Color

A gray thick fog has set in this morning making these colorful birds a welcome memory of yesterdays vivid winter palette. There is a stillness of naked branch and fragile trunk lines of the various apples, lilacs and viburnums just outside my doors and windows. Though with the temperatures climbing into the 40's I imagine stirrings in roots anchored beneath the snow below the thawing earth. Rock Maples are dripping sweet sap and farmers gather buckets to their sugar houses.

Feathers of birds are slowly beginning to show more saturated hues towards Springs bounty of mixed colors and song. The Robins breast glows in tones of burnt sienna with touches of yellow ochre. The winter plumage of the goldfinch is still attached to part naples and cadmium yellow with a trace of green, while brilliant cadmium red and red purple hues paint the male cardinal. The males may add richness to their red colors by eating rosehips, as seen in this photo. They must be very agile while dining with the numerous sharp thorns surrounding the fruits.

These rich colors are what our mostly white winter landscape offers, while out west the desert is dotted with thousands of blossoms including California poppies... washed in orange and yellows from desert dandelions, brittlebush and desert sunflowers.

As we anticipate springs return here in New England, we are thankful for the fleeting flashes of color the birds offer us while feasting on fruits in the winter garden.
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