Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer's color ride

There's a famous expression about hurried group travel through Europe..."If it's Tuesday, this must be Paris." We get so busy in our lives we lose track of where we are. As summer 2008 flies by, I am surprised and grounded not by my itinerary but by the colors of summer. In a very rough version of botany, North Shore wildflower colors have their own itinerary, from the whites of the earliest spring ephemerals to the yellows of goldenrods in August.

So if it's the white and yellow of daisies, this must be somewhere just past mid-summer. These daisies are right on the shore of Grand Portage Bay. And if we really are rolling past mid-summer now, I get a little blue. Or a little blue-grey like the hazy fog of Grand Portage Bay. The weeks are going way too fast, the colors of summer are a blur.

What colors do I have to look forward to yet this summer? These Hat Point thimbleberries will turn from green to a delicious red within weeks. Fireweed is blooming hard in the ditches, the one great run of purple. There's that one last camping/hiking trip coming up, amidst the blue asters. There will be that delicious week at the cabin, with the rich yellow of goldenrod again ruling the meadows. Then of course there will be the color landmarks of fall in the North Shore woods.

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