It would be impossible to choose a favorite shade of green during this time of year. It would almost be like asking a fish to take a step back and examine the water it was swimming in. There is no escape from this color in the valley.
At sunrise I see magnified green through dewdrops on grass blades, mist-kissed green highlighting hemlock boughs, cold river green along the South Toe before the sunlight warms it.
By noon the meadows are bright green with a tease of yellow here and there, sometimes a white flower puff blowing in the breeze. The foothills can look almost smooth and solid green in this noon light, the façade of a two-tone world – the green against a blue, blue sky.
The afternoon is unquestionably the hottest part of the day and here the green swells and pales. Fields drip hot, dry green like crispy grass blades shifting dully against one another, barely reflecting any glimmers of sunlight. The river looks a deep cherry green, smooth and running, warm and waiting. The foothills look blanketed, shadows of the opposite hills darkening the Black Mountains from the bottom up as if to tuck the tips of the mountains into bed.
At dusk the green glows again, like a candle’s last flicker before being blown out. It is brilliant at sunset, though at this hour the green of the landscape cannot out-dazzle the sky. By nightfall the green is iridescent, appearing unpredictably on the bulbous butts of fireflies and in the oblong bodies of cicadas under the trance of my porch light. When I close my eyes it is as if the green bugs of the night dance across my lids, tickling my dreams awake, singing a sweet cicada symphony of sleep into my mind.