Where’s the color?

For those who may be new to my blog – welcome! I began blogging in 2007, writing about ducks, chickens, favorite nature spots, wild things, and more.  That blog was discontinued compliments of Apple when they decided to no longer provide web service.

I have written of our gray/green northwest world in the past, but it is rare I would be having gray green thoughts in late July! But during this most unusual of years we are waking to more gray skies than blue, and here in the woods dark green foliage, the baby bright green new growth having hardened off, is dense and heavy with dew or rain, a world seemingly without the bright colors of summer.

Spring brings the first splashes of color to NW landscapes. A succession of flowers, from Crocuses, Daffodils, and Tulips, to Rhododendrons, flowering trees and a variety of wild flowers, provide vivid colors to pull us out of our winter doldrums. Summer doldrums? Hmmmmmm……….

The red poppies that re-seed in our garden, usually in bloom by 4th of July, are just setting buds, the big Chinese poppies came and went quickly, looking sad and limp in the rain a few weeks ago, a few brave Hydrangeas are starting to bloom, shyly opening whitish buds that turn pale sky blue, but there is no blue sky to encourage them!

I’m in awe of those hardy plants who have, in spite of the lack of sun, shown boldly their ‘true’ colors. The ‘true’ geranium, or cranesbill, by the meditation building, which each year provides a three foot patch of magenta, is undaunted by this cranky summer weather, each small flower showing it’s dark maroon face to the darken skies. Another cranesbill in the backyard, lighter pink blossoms with white specks, has been blooming steady for a month. The old, intensely scented red rose, each tiny blossom quickly succumbing to extremes of weather, rain or heat, en-mass provides a red accent to the green background. And my zonal geraniums, which sit dry and dusty in the dark back hall all winter, like neon lights, brighten the back porch with their salmon pink, hot pink and orange blooms, snubbing those who say they need lots of sun.

And there are the wild ones, fields of fox gloves, like colorful staffs, point daringly upward to the gray sky.  Hot pink sweet peas, and lavender-pink fire weed, brighten road sides. Though Salmonberries seem scarce this year, cherry red Elderberries stand tall and accent the green world, inviting birds to taste their bitter fruit.

In the absence of sun, on these sometimes gloomy summer days, I find these color spots the remedy to a new condition – MSD – missing summer disorder – unique to the northwest!

For more pictures of summer color splashes view Summer Flowers