Sierra Foothill Green
The Sierra foothills celebrated
Brown thirst gave way to
a hearty drink of spring.
There are but two seasons
in the Sierra foothills.
The brown and gold season
and the green season.
The rest of the time--
waiting for green season.
Twice a year the artist in residence
colors the landscape.
In the Spring, yellow wild mustard
fills the vineyards
and edges every field.
Shades of purple
from the wild hyacinth and lupine
Sprinkled like holiday confetti,
the hills are scattered
with golden poppies.
But all this was preparing the canvas
for Degas, summoned
from his celestial studio.
Only that great artist
has pallet for the spring greens.
This is a banner green year
with gold medals
awarded for the exhibit.
How can you count the shades of green?
They go from chartreuse to olive.
Vivid bookends capable of accommodating
an infinite set of greens.
The shrubs are sprouting new leaves
of vaseline-glass green
bordered with healthy red rust.
The grass has the green of Ireland
mixed with the shadow of winter's burnish.
The oaks polish their new leaves
like carefully-waxed Italian tile.
A stand of trees on meadow's edge
gives voice to a contrastive medley of greens.
And sunshine on and sunshine through
makes every green a double treat.
As I drive along spellbound by beauty,
I just hope no one
asks me if the hills are green.
If asked, I will suggest
a color spectrometer,
as there are many more
greens than are names for them.