Poets and writers have expressed their love for and the joy of spring in words flowery and rich, reflecting the time of new beginnings and hope. Spring can also be a mammoth photographic subject. There is so much happening. In the mountain west of the United States, spring takes its sweet time arriving, methodical in revealing its details. However, when it is ready, spring seems to appear overnight, and the spectrum of colors involved is astonishing.
For instance, trees are producing leaves in what I call "spring green." In the Crayola brand spectrum, an aspen leaf can be anywhere from a yellow green to asparagus, maximum green, or standard green. Frequently in each aspen tree stand, a range of all those greens are represented. The colors change with the longer daylight hours, becoming a deep green in the summer, and then autumn arrives, bringing an entirely new stage show.
The diminutive leaves of young aspen have a clean and clear color of yellow green, as shown in the photograph below.
In this photograph, a stand of aspen along Highway 64 between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla is lush with spring leaves playing with the morning sunlight. Because the leaves haven't reached their full summer size or color at this time of year, a photographer can also gain the essence of the trunks under dappled light.
Gambel oaks, also called scrub oaks, have yet a different color of spring green. If you are from any other part of Planet Earth that has huge hardwoods and conifers, scrub oaks would be considered shrubs rather than trees. But in the Southwest, where the moisture is often spare, these trees are compact and squat, with gnarly branches tied up in knots. They have an incredibly short growing season, some times as little as four months, but their spring green leaves are the surest sign that summer is about to arrive.
until next Monday,
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