What Colour Is Winter?

Winter Hues
by Douglas Florian

Winter has to pick and choose.
The clothes she wears
Are few in hues:
A raw sienna,
A dark burnt umber,
Some yellow ochres
Scant in number,
Steel gray day,
Navy night,
And winter white
And winter white.

This lovely little verse reflects the way most of us probably view winter — neutral tones, from browns to greys to whites.  And while that’s certainly apt, if you look around, you might be surprised at the colour surrounding you this time of year.  I believe some other Blotanists have done posts on winter colour, but in the absence of plants in the garden, I thought I would also go hunting for some winter hues, and I started with the most unlikely colour:   GREEN.

Inside, a new crop of cat grass (below) provides a spiky bit of green; a hyacinth bulb, long past blooming, also maintains a striking green color.



Out on the lawn, a rhododendron with leaves curled against the cold, always displays a shiny winter green.  A pine bough snatched from a large tree in a recent wind fans out its green needles.



The Euonymus below provides a wonderful touch of  green at the edge of a walkway.


A short drive provides Nature’s offering of winter green:  lichen clings to a dead tree limb; a pine tree displays a yellowish green under little snow caps; and finally, a patch of interesting moss reveals a host of colours, including green, on the forest floor.




Even though GREEN is a colour most often associated with Spring and rebirth, there is still plenty to be found — if we only look — in winter.

Tomorrow’s colour:  RED…


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

13 thoughts on “What Colour Is Winter?”

  1. Nancy, There is always more color to winter then I think there is…sometimes I have to get past my whining about cold and look for it! Love your photos and the very fine poem~~gail

  2. Isn’t cat grass the best? I love its wrapped spikes as it emerges! Only problem is, by late winter, my cats lay on it, instead of nobbling it. Photographic proof is here.

  3. I think I need to look around more Nancy. I never noticed all the “winter green.” Can’t wait to see what you find red in winter. Does your cat just love the cat grass?? Mine is addicted to his.

  4. Lovely, Nancy! I like this poem–so true about winter. All I can see is white and gray right now–thanks for the reminder that there is some green around us if we only take the time to look.

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