First Green


Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.


Descending rapidly from the sublime to the mundane, this particular gold did not stay, mostly because I ripped its little roots right out, as it was grass invading my flower bed. But let us pass on, shall we?

Here’s a more poetic illustration for the Frost poem, actually, the tulip bulbs starting to come up, which you saw last week:



A week from today; in fact, in one week and one hour (if the train is not excessively late), I will be boarding the Amtrak Empire Builder en route to Seattle and thence to Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Camp.

Tina Newton, the dyer-founder of Blue Moon, is teaching a dyeing class this year at Sock Camp.  We don’t really know what exactly is going to happen, other than our ‘homework’ is partly to notice colors around us in nature.  We also are to bring examples of our favorite colors and colors that are not, shall we say, in our comfort zone.

So, Carrie at Irishgirlieknits had the idea of using our blogs as a color notebook.  Expect to see some meanderings in photo and words all week.

Colors in nature are somewhat constrained here right now.  But there are a few early greens in my yard today, the first FULL day of spring!  And it amazes me how different they are when you really look at them.


Like the daffodils with a sidecar weed: the daff leaves and their bloom looking almost bluish-green, but yellow-green at their tips still, and the weed a warm mossy green, though with a slight sheen.


Or the dormant lavender just waking up, a pale purplish-grayish-green.

But when in the sun, the light catches the silver and hides the green.



The palest fuzzy green of the mullein.  (Don’t you want to pet it?  It’s as soft and fuzzy as it looks!)


Green toned down with dark red veins — penstemon.

And lastly, what I think of as a classic ‘spring green’ — rhododendron.


Mmmm spring!  At last!

Tomorrow:  Saturday Skies with more colors, and Knitting News.

6 responses to “First Green

  1. That “weedy thing” looks familiar, so I grabbed Don who is a way better botanist, and he says his best guess is Leonurus cardiaca, aka motherwort, a medicinal herb. As somebody who spent a lot of time looking at mosses (and still do a little), I am amused when somebody calls something “moss” green (I do this too though). … Because there are so many shades of green in the different mosses (never mind counting liverworts, which, at least for the leafy ones, many people consider mosses). Wisconsin probably has around 400-600 species of mosses (I’m winging that guess!), and WI DNR has a list of rare mosses and liverworts! (these are known as a group as bryophytes)

    I saw some hosta starting to poke out of the frozen ground in our back yard this morning.

  2. I love your spring colors (especially the mullein). This should be a fun week of reading your blog. 😀 I think taking the Empire Builder out to Sock Camp is so very cool…both in mode of travel and your destination.

  3. Baby mullein are so soft and fuzzy. I covet your lavender — are you zone 5, or do you just have a microclimate somewhere in your yard where it will survive?

  4. Hey! Just checking in, since it has been so long since we have knit. You need to add a link to “2008 finished projects”, by the way :). Love the gauntlets!

  5. Oh, your green bits look lovely. We’re a little jealous in the dirty, squooshy land just North of you.

    So, I saw your work in the most recent Twisted newsletter, and it put a big smile on my face. Go Cathy!

  6. It was almost 18 years ago that we rode The Empire Builder — Maddy was just a babe and we were right behind the observation car (perfect for a 2- & 4-yo). I can still hear the conductor’s voice and his very distinctive way of saying “The Empire Builder.” Makes me smile even now. I believe it was 104F when we stopped in Minot that day… I hope your stop on the way to camp is more, um, temperate.

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