Nature’s first green
When I was a child growing up in Northern Virginia, I remember that every year in late March or early April, I would come home from school one day and see that everything had suddenly turned green, a bright, vibrant green. The leaves on the oaks would have suddenly popped out, the grass would have changed color, the maples would be donning their early leaves, the dogwoods would suddenly have leaves and flowers and it would be obvious that this was spring. I never noticed that in Florida, because here, things are always green. But today, when I went wandering along the trails in San Felasco Hammock, that same bright, new green was in evidence everywhere I looked.
Then new leaves made lacy patterns against the sky when I looked up, the small leaves unfurling. Soon, the canopy overhead will be so thick that the sky is hardly visible. Against today’s gray sky, you can see the green of the leaves.
The dogwoods here are much earlier than they are in Virginia, but they have been flowering now for weeks. Some of them are beginning to drop their petals, which look almost like snow sprinkles among the leaves. The caterpillar on the dogwood petal? Nope, I did not put that there, it was just sitting there so perfectly.
Florida is full of flowers. Beautiful, bright showy flowers. But sometimes I miss the more delicate flowers, especially the purples. There just are not many bluish or purple flowers around here. Every once in a while, I stumble across something like this violet, white streaked with purple. It soothes my soul to see this calm beauty in this jungle land.
Then, there are things that are just plain pure Florida that I love to see. This starburst of a palm frond makes me smile.