I probably looked at Spring for the first time in late June 2010.
Then I forgot about it. Until this year.
Back in 2010, Ruth and I were kayaking down an arctic river, the vegetation grew with the warming weather and decreasing latitude. Of that journey I wrote:
The scenery slowly changes as we paddle south. The birches grow taller and straighter, pines appear on the banks, the surrounding hills are lower and covered in trees. When the sun is out, my eye discovers shades of green that it never knew existed. There is the tender green of bursting buds, the bright green of birch foliage, the darker green of pine needles, the silvery green of the grey willow leaves. Their intensity varies through the day and with the flutter of the wind; once the evening has arrived, they all don golden tones.
“What I like most is the variety of greens,” Ruth reminded me recently when we shared a beer together, enjoying the evening light on Westbank park’s trees, a precious, joyful hour after a long winter.
The first time was over Easter, in south-western France. The young poplar’s leaves were surprisingly red; the greens intense; the bursting buds full of life.
Now it’s in Yorkshire, more precisely, in fine and secluded woodlands growing south of Leeds. The shades of green are there, some almost autumnal.
But watching the grass, a friend and I did notice more. The green itself changes.
It changes with the observer’s relation to the Sun. It changes from psychedelic to more subdued, from vibrant to soothing, from alight to lit, from yellow to blue. The transition as sudden as it is subtle. The same forest-scape, blue one side, yellow the other. Blue, yellow; yellow, blue, as we turn our heads, or the camera – yet both green, both in harmony.
We look at each other and laugh in disbelief.
This Spring, I found out it’s possible to get drunk on green.