People write poetry about winter, but not this kind of winter.

Lowland East Tennessee winter. Brown and sometimes gray trees showing off their bark. Wonderful evergreens if you’re in a place for cedars or hemlocks, but in plenty of places, especially the city limits of Oak Ridge, as on the Cedar Hill Greenway it’s just the weedbush green of autumn olive or the explosive all covering dark green of English Ivy near houses.

And yet as spring rolls in, which its started doing, I’ll miss it. I’ll miss the views through trees of hills with surrounding bare trees while climbing up, like I did this weekend, on the Bird Mountain Trail at Frozen Head, or indeed on just about any trail in the mountains. Come summer the forest will be a blur of green. The different bark textures of the present, bare of leaves will get overshadowed by that shade, the color of feeding, of energy grabbing.

The gray and brown bark, especially against the mist though, with the bright green of the occasional mosses and in higher elevations mountain laurels. The leafless trees are bare, resting, but not simple. Below the standard cover of leaves everything seems even more complicated for being uncovered. It’s like seeing inside the mind.


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