Pink Trees and Buzzing Bees

You know how we tend to think of trees as being green? There is a tree near me that every spring is very definitely not green. Without one leaf unfurled, the entire thing is covered in the prettiest pale pink flowers winter weary eyes ever did see.

So, point number one, trees can be pink! And shrubs can be yellow (forsythia) and other trees can be white (pear, apple) other-worldly carmine (certain dogwoods), etc. You get the idea. Pop art depictions of wildly colored natural scenes may not be so fanciful, eh?

Here’s another thing: pink trees can be abuzz with lively beings enjoying their first fresh harvest of delectables in almost half a year. Bees have been sending sacrificial scouts out all winter to check on the progress of the season (often they fall to the ground doomed to die as their tiny bodies freeze solid too quickly for them to make it back to the hive). But nothing lasts forever, not even the worst winter and finally one day the scouts do return because it’s warmed up. It’s very easy for me to imagine the instant joy that flows through the swarm when they receive the news about spring from the location dance the scouts do to instruct everyone where to go collect this fabulous rejuvenating nourishment of the blooming pink tree.

Instead of blossoms or leaves the artist has depicted the movement throughout the tree made by happy bees feasting on the spring nectar

Point number two: feasting bees can redefine how we experience the shape of a tree with their activities. They can add a visible fourth dimension. The sketch depicts the branches of a tree and what might first appear to be blossoms is actually meant to be the delineated movements of the bees.’All too soon the blooms will fade and a wind will blow their petals away and this pink tree will become the more usual green. But we’re left with the knowledge that trees can be pink and can dance for days with the help of their partner bees.

Discussion

  • Driveways can be pink. How?
  • What color is grass?
  • Bonus – What shape is grass?
  • Orange, yellow and red trees? Really?
  • White fields?
  • What color is a body of water?
  • The sky?

Activity

Artists and photographers delight in depicting the less usual states of natural objects. Most of us also love these extremes in color too – ever notice ow many people are apt to comment when a sunset gets going? Spend some time today observing the natural world around you. Look for example of what might be atypical in form, color or texture. If you’re in an urban setting you might think this is a bit of a challenge until you remember the sky and bring into focus those small inevitable bits of the natural world that always seem to find a way to exude themselves in the most unlikeliest of places. Rock doves’ (pigeons) plumage, the intrepid plants that find minuscule bits of earth in between cracks, beside buildings, and so on.

Creative Consideration

Using a nice new box of crayons and colored paper draw the same scene several times on differently hued sheets selecting a variety of colors for the main features. Green one time….purple another. Be sure to include anything from the natural world you like the best and think about the different ways those things can look throughout the year. The goal isn’t necessarily to be realistic for every drawing though capturing some of the more unusual states of an item may well be illuminating!

Bonus

Roses are red,
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
and so are you…

Can become….

Bushes are mauve
Trees are quite yellow
I love a landscape
that’s colorfully mellow!

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