Eric Mayer

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The leaves came out this week. Last Friday there was nothing but a hint of incipient vegetation, a green haze of opening buds softening the stark limbs of the bare trees. Today we're surrounded by full foliage. Now looking through our windows we can see mostly green, the light is tinged with green, outside the air smells green, if that's possible.

And not just one sort of green. As Mary likes to point out the spring brings every shade of green, from light yellowish to brilliant emerald, to dark and dull, all contrasting, as different in their own ways as red is from blue.

I've always loved the color green as applied to the outdoors, but only there. I have no liking for green kitchen appliances, or living room walls, or clothing. A green shirt? No thanks. It is probably my least favorite color, maybe because I figure it belongs on vegetation.

Even in art work I dislike green but that might be due to my limited experience of watercolor. The typical greens that come out of tubes are acidic, harsh, dull, ugly to my eye. I guess it has to do with chemistry. Pigments are different than light. They don't mix like light either, as I used to discover when I'd try to mix up some variety of green on my palette. I'd always end up with something poisonous looking or like muddy swamp scum. My spring landscapes made me feel like taking some antacid.

Even so they weren't so revolting as my mom's one time only Saint Patrick's Day mashed potatoes, to which she added green food coloring.

I prefer to enjoy green where it belongs, in the wild.

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