That’s it. That’s the color of the forest canopy in winter.
I don’t want to use the word drab, but if it was the color of a Crayola crayon, it would go unused there in the back of the box, pristine and factory-fresh.
But wait a minute; do I see a color? Yes! There’s a hint creeping over some of the local trees. From a distance, it’s a pale wash of red, no more than a subtle blush. Yet, it’s there. I see it. Long before the leaves appear, red maples sneak into bloom. And sneak is a good word. The flowers are small, more like a red fringe borne in racemes. They're not bodacious like those flowering dogwoods that flaunt their alabaster petals like debutants at a summer cotillion. A red maple's flowers are understated, like you would expect from such a refined tree. Here in the valley, one day we have snow and the next voilà! A splash of spring. It must be March; true spring—glorious, luscious, voluptuous spring—is only three weeks away.