Sierra Foothill Green


 Sierra Foothill Green


The Sierra foothills celebrated

         the rains.

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

         highlight slopes.

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.


Doug Minnis

April 27,2010





I love the winter,spring green in the foothills