The first notes of spring. 9″ x 12″. Acrylic on canvas. 2021.

The first “notes” of spring really are the trill of a Red-winged Black Bird, but before they arrive from their long migration, the first hints of spring are plants. Specifically those that are green almost immediately when the snow melts, those little splashes of green against the dull brown of the post-snow landscape are a sign of warmer weather to come. One plant that I have seen quite a bit early on this spring is the Common Mullein. It is a non-native plant introduced from Europe, but the song thick velvety looking leaves are so pleasing to the eye. This one, and many others I had found that day were green already despite the cold weather and growing out of the vertical cliff side surrounding the Rouge River.