Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Palettes

Southern winters have a softness I find appealing. Dove gray and rusty brown make up the biggest part of the color palette. Leaves gather where they fell, in drifts of warm brown. Tree bark and limbs remain supple and small twigs make a full silhouette against mother of pearl skies. Punctuations of green are dark, thick, and pungent - pines appear as if placed there just yesterday to fill an empty spot. Magnolias tower in emerald and bronze - leaves speaking of their superiority to that creamy, but showy, flower which lacks staying power. Like women of old money, a few Bradford pear trees wear modest adornments of ruby or gold. While male cardinals dash around like Rhett Butler, astonishing in their good looks - and completely aware of it.
Soft, gray, brown, and green wreathed in the scent of wood smoke. Like an afternoon nap in front of a football game.
How different a Northern winter palette. Colors never bleeding on to one another or fading into softness. White, snow white, binds all elements of the landscape and brown hides for lack of ability to compete. White in the sky, the sun focuses on getting through, but the brilliant blue air holds any warmth captive. Twigs did not make it through winter's arrival. Sturdy, strong black limbs are hardened and ready. And then sunset. As the stunning blue is pushed off stage, the sun steals the show. Magenta, orange, and red floods the sky and covers the white ground. Intense light fills the colors and even the black bark glows as if on fire. On the verge of waking everything up - the sun slips behind the dark hill and color is asleep - again.
Ebony and crystals with a curtain call of astonishing. Like a night on the town with a dangerous, but beautiful, man.
Whatever your winter day looks like - enjoy it and see it.

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