Friday, January 11, 2013

January 11: Green

Maybe it's being surrounded all day long by the snow and bare branches, maybe I need more vegetables in my diet, but whatever the reason, I've been craving particular shades of green lately. Friends in Georgia reported seeing a female Painted Bunting, which, unlike the gaudy male, sports a range of plumage tending to lime green. I felt such envy and longing upon hearing about it.

Female Painted Bunting.
Photo by Dan Pancamo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Thinking about female Painted Buntings reminded me of how much I like Chestnut-sided Warblers in fall plumage. Normally very bright birds, with a chestnut streak on the flank, a black-and-white facial pattern, and a gold crown, in fall they're a much more subtle but very distinctive shade of green:
Chestnut-sided Warbler by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
From bottom to top: fall adult; first year male; spring male.

Then this afternoon a friend birding in Mexico shared a photograph of a Slaty Vireo, a bird I now would love to see in real life. This painting doesn't do justice to the beautiful contrast of the green and gray plumage:
Slaty Vireo, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

My eyes must crave citrus and lime. Alas, there are no budding spring leaves unfurling anywhere nearby, no female buntings kicking around. So, short of wearing my favorite green sweater, I think the best I can do to satisfy this need is to either make myself a cocktail with a lime garnish or start planning our trip to Florida in March. Or both.

Only January
and already my eyes seek
the greens of spring.

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