In Vermont’s parade of seasons, spring gets a little lost. Winter offers bracing air, a landscape robed in white, and dark, cozy nights. Summer urges us outdoors for meandering hikes, picnics by the lake, and long, languid evenings. Autumn is a blaze of fiery color with warm days, cool nights, and clear blue skies.
But spring? Spring is Vermont’s awkward season. It rains a lot, for one thing, and our dirt roads can become muddy, lumpy bogs. It’s impossible to keep a car clean. Rivers churn with melted snow. And if it’s not raining, we’re looking out for snow—it’s not uncommon for us to be digging out from a winter storm while cherry blossoms cover Washington D.C. and roses bloom on Cape Cod.
There is one thing that makes spring worth waiting for: the color green. Vermont is famous for being green—it’s even in the name—but in spring the countryside pops with every shade of green. The new buds on the apple trees are bright, exuberant chartreuse while the willow buds are paler yellow-green edged in hot pink.
In the fields, early crops are coming up: deep blue-green spinach, celery-green lettuce, and spring onions with dark green leaves and pale green-white bulbs. Even the fallow fields wear a coat of shamrock-green alfalfa.
The woods are a riot of green. The ferns are opening, and they range in color from pickle green to a sort of a pear color. And the mosses! They come in a dozen greens, from dull toad-green
to bright parakeet-green. Look closer and you’ll see that those greens are stippled with other colors: copper, orange, bright yellow, deep blue, chocolate. All these forest greens are set off by the evergreens, which wear their silvery sage color all year.
For generations, painters and poets have struggled to capture the thousands of shades of green found in Vermont. We certainly appreciate their efforts and have seen many paintings and
read many poems that do justice to Vermont’s coat of many greens! And just like these artists, we celebrate the abundance of green and are inspired to slow down and appreciate the new life it represents.