Go Green!

This is not a “Going Green” campaign to convince you to embrace a sustainable lifestyle and live in harmony with the planet. Although, that doesn’t sound so bad. This is about being excited that the color green has returned to the Midwest after a seemingly endless and monochromatic winter. Yes, for the remainder of the text you will be reading about green, the color, but I promise there are fun facts to keep things lively.

The human eye can see more shades of the color green than any other color. I have to fess up that I learned this while watching an episode of Fargo on FX, but it is actually true. What it means in science language is that humans are capable of differentiating between the subtle changes of green more so than other colors. It is an ability to distinguish different wavelengths that makes it seem that there are more shades of green than shades of red or blue. So… why?  Why are people able to tell the difference between fern green and forest green? Celadon and jade? According to Billy Bob Thornton’s ominous character on the show, the answer is predators. Predatory fern and forest creatures crouching in the greenery wait to dig their claws and fangs into our delicate flesh, but not if we see them first. What this means for us now is that we can enjoy the many shades of green the plant world has to offer. Our eyes have the ability to appreciate a broad range of greens currently present among the sprouts, buds, and new growth of the season.

It’s not easy being green. It’s a lot of work for a plant to produce the chlorophyll that keeps it alive and vibrant. Essential to trapping light energy, this photoreceptor molecule makes photosynthesis possible. While accomplishing this rather extraordinary task of creating usable energy from the sun’s rays, it absorbs blue and red wavelengths, reflecting green light. You can thank chlorophyll for bright grass, lush landscapes, and thick treetop foliage.

Now to break from the biology lesson. . .

In 2013, the green skittle went through a significant transformation, but not in color. Its flavor was changed from lime to green apple, to the distaste of many loyal Skittles consumers. 

Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa not only wears an enigmatic smile. She is painted in a dark green dress, a color quite fashionable in her time.

Magic Mint is one of Crayola’s thirteen retired crayon colors. Not to worry, the standard pack contains 17 greens to make up for it including Asparagus, Inchworm, and Mountain Meadow.

I am cheering for green as it rejoins nature’s color palette. A challenging hike or leisurely stroll will be lovely as the Plantae kingdom returns to life. Green scenery is known to create a tranquil state of mind, but don’t become too relaxed – there might be predators lurking!




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