Sea of Green
We are now past the Summer Solstice which means summer is in full swing! Looking around me as I drive to my hiking destination, I see a sea of green. It is such a glorious color and it comes in a vast variety of shades.
At a glance, the forest appears to be one swathe of green. Upon closer inspection, you can begin to discern individual trees due to their hue and texture. Trees like red maples, have a lighter underside that flash silver with the gentlest of breeze. The various oak species in our region have a dark green leaf with a waxy cuticle that gives a little sheen when the light hits it just right. Dogwoods maintain their spring-green teardrop-shaped foliage well into the summer, changing only for autumn. Tulip trees tower above their neighbors with their large, broad leaves waving to those below. Texture is what makes the white pine stand out, its bundle of five long and flexible needles gives the appearance of a fluffy outline.
Beyond our forested landscapes, subtle rainbows appear in meadows and within our neighborhoods. Dusty blue chicory blooms along roadways and in highway medians. Daylilies growing near houses and roadways alike, reach towards the sun even if only for a day. Mullein’s yellow spires tower over its fuzzy leaves, standing like sentinels along roads. Daisy fleabane’s flowers dot meadows with its delicate white and yellow flowers. Pink common milkweed blossoms are nearing the end of their bloom time, taking with them my favorite smelling wildflower.
Beauty is all around us, everywhere we look. The Hudson River Valley region is lush and diverse. Take the time to look at the big picture, then narrow the focus – you won’t be disappointed!
About the Author
Senior Environmental Educator
Maggie is a graduate of SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and has been teaching environmental education for 20 years. Although she loves all aspects of nature, her personal passions are birds and native wildflowers. Participating in trail marathons allows her lots of time on trails to train and look for these gems!