Brown, Green, Purple

This is a poignant season, the space between winter and spring, when the landscape appears dull but is not. Death is everywhere in the dry grays and browns of fallen leaves and bare branches, some broken from winter storms, and strawlike remnants of last season’s stems. But so is life, asserting itself with piercing intensity. Without any help from me, fierce little crocus plants push straight up through the leaves, tearing openings, and all at once their pale purple heads have arrived. This is when the gardener is a mere bystander—and happily so. Here are some of my sightings as I stood by.

Bare branches of the community garden’s apple tree


Snowdrop in Jane’s garden.

Turkey tail mushrooms (I think)

Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) mushrooms.



Crocuses emerging

Crocuses emerging, piercing dry leaves.


Witch hazel among skyscrapers.


Blooming on schedule on the playground.

Crocus blooms

Crocus blooms amid the grays and browns of last year’s leaves.




2 thoughts on “Brown, Green, Purple

  1. Jjane

    Caring for our gardens with alertness to the rhythms of the season and paying careful attention – as Anne demonstrates here — to what’s coming into bloom with each new day — rewards us with such pleasure, if we can take time to notice. Not only the wondrous early signs of life’s return in early. spring, but also a deeper understanding of the alternation of life and death that can enrich our lives and can open doors to deeper mysteries if we are open to exploring. Thanks for this beautiful piece, Anne!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. annesInk Post author

      Thank you so much, Jane! I was actually thinking of some of our conversations as I wrote this—particularly our mutual admiration for the subtle earth colors, the browns and grays, that are also part of the beauty of the spring world.



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