Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Kenora May Palette Erupts into Green Tones, but also into Unexpected Hues

29 May 2008

The muted greys and off-whites of the early spring Kenora palette have exploded into a range of diverse green and other less predictable accents.

The following photos were taken during late May walks around our home.

It is intriguing to see how rapidly the landscape is altered by the explosion of green, which occurs in the space of only a few days.

Note here how the spruce cones are now joined on the forest floor by the earliest sprigs of new, green growth.

Winter greens remain in evidence against the bark of this long-dead birch (we live on the margins of the birch range, and the mature birches rarely survive for long in our climate).

The first green buds assert themselves here, already accompanied by the spider's web.

A wildflower seizes the opportunity to express itself against the austere backdrop of granitic bedrock.

Blades of grass do the same.

Here I have presented the lake itself as a palette. Note that every colour of the surrounding environment can be found in the rippling surface of the lake water. (Our homemade dock awaits in the background.)

New growth accompanies the decay of former life.

The northern sky seems thin and ethereal to me, and to some extent, this is literally true. The sun's angled rays have little to impede their journey to the earth's northern surface.

The diverse hues of lichen on granite are understatedly rich.

Susan created this sculpture while clearing the earth to the northeast of our house.

The contrasts of light yellow-green, dark sombre green, off-white and empty blue are to be found everywhere.

No hint of spring here.

But new growth will not be deterred.

Granite at times takes on biological form....

While the forest floor explodes with new life.

Organic eruptions in red and umber tones challenge the cliché of green....

While birch does not shy away from shades of mauve and pink.

Unexpected grey-white, yellow-white and red-orange aspects of the Kenora May palette approach the indescribable.

Present manifestations of granite recall its prior liquefied state.

Human intervention creates an orderly contrast to natural patterns....

But the timeless forms from past geological ages inevitably prevail.

The birch trees stay fresh by unwrapping themselves.

Only a week later, far richer greens are to be seen.

The richness of the subsequent week seems unending.

Finally, by May 28, our dock is in the water.

I very much regard the dock as a work of art...

Even the rope strewn at dockside.

The austere geometrical forms of the dock and rope call to mind the works of Mondrian.

A shorter journey than a trip to New York's MOMA (Museum of Modern Art).

Art is everywhere, and without artifice....

Let's now bid adieu to the waterside, the palette of the lake, and the wispy balsam branches, which seem to have been sketched in by Tom Thompson.

In fact, simple, beautiful forms are to be found everywhere.

So, let's close with the unassuming herb garden, situated literally in a rock pile near our northeast drain spout.

Hopefully you have found joy and delight in the modest but surprising forms and shadings of Kenora's late May palette.

The Kenora palette series:

The Kenora March Palette: 2009

The Kenora Palette: After the June Rain

The Kenora May Palette Erupts into Green Tones, but also into Unexpected Hues

The Kenora Palette in May

The Kenora March Palette


  1. Wow, Laurence, I had no idea you were so descriptive, poetic even. Great pictures from a keen, appreciative eye. That was beautiful.

  2. Thanks Laura,

    Always interested in what you have to say about where you live also......