How Green is our valley

By Jane Greiner
Sun nature correspondent
A few weeks ago we lived in a world of muted color tones, the ground was brown and the trees were just starting to show pink and chartreuse buds. Everyone was busy searching for mushrooms, enjoying the Trillium, planting gardens, or waiting for bass season to open.
Now the green is on, full blast. Masses of green leaves towering above have filled in the trees. Down at ground level the grasses and ferns obscure the forest floor.
Spring is charging into summer as docks come out along the lake and more and more boats hit the water. Fishing has begun and sunny days bring hints of warm water swimming fun to come.

Birds have nested, and many babies have fledged. A young hairy woodpecker was following its mother around our yard today waiting for her to put food in its mouth.
People have taken out their mowers. Gardens are planted and beginning to grow. Flowers are everywhere. The lilacs are magnificent this year, and the iris farm along M-72 is coloring the landscape. People have begun talking about the need for rain.
Man-made changes are visible as well. One of the older cottages on Big Glen Lake was lifted up and trundled off over the Narrows Bridge. A new building is taking shape at Cherry Republic. Business is picking up in Glen Arbor, galleries have opened, banks and bookstores are switching over to their summer hours, the deck is often occupied at Boone Dock’s, schools are all out now and graduation parties are recent history. Meanwhile, dozens of sports cars glide through town in colorful packs, and work progresses on the new condominiums where Le Bear used to be.
As necessary and inevitable as change is, it is still a double-edged sword. The seasons move forward so relentlessly that sometimes I want to put on the brakes. I love welcoming each new period as it comes along, but I hate to lose the old. Part of me wants everything to stay the same. Why can’t the Trillium last all summer? I wasn’t finished hunting morels yet! And though I enjoy our lovely country roads without snow, I’m not quite ready to welcome the increase in traffic on them.
My heart harbors many contradictions: I revel in my electric garage door opener, and wish that cars had never been invented. Though I long for swimming in Lake Michigan, I dread the hot days of July and August. And while I enjoy the progression of the seasons and find reassurance in their reliable pace, I know that just as winter holds the promise of spring, so does summer hold the promise of fall. And winter will surely follow, just as it does every year, and it will last too long.
Albert Schweitzer said, “An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight … The truly wise person is colorblind.” I wish I could be colorblind and wise, but then I would miss the joy of color.
No, for me it makes sense to be grateful for the glorious green and enjoy it while it lasts, knowing full well that the ghost of winter hovers nearby. I will dwell on the beauty and the freshness and the predictability and nod at the ghost, acknowledging without inviting it in…just yet.