Dyana Hesson -The Colors of White
A special collection of White Mountain wildflowers
While much of the Grand Canyon state is hot and void of botanical color in the summer, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in northeastern Arizona is alive with color. And I’m not talking about fall color. Amber and Crimson will have their day, and photographers will rush to those special places in Arizona to capture the autumnal light, soon enough, so just hang on. It’s still summer in the White Mountains and while White is a great description for this region in the winter, in August, this artist thinks Green would be more accurate. The warm greens of treeless, velvet valleys collide with the cool greens of thick pine-scented forests, from 3,500 to 11,500 in elevation. And, while Green is the main character dominating the horizon in the romance of the White Mountains, Blue cannot be ignored. It rushes downward to meet the land, in an ombre of ultra-marine to cerulean blue.
Truth be told, this region has been home to colorful landscapes and characters for years. Coronado came looking for gold, John Wayne came to ranch cattle, and author Zane Grey came to paint word pictures. His character, Milt Dale, knew this area well.
“Dale pursued a zigzag course over ridges to escape the hardest climbing, but the “senacas”—those parklike meadows so named by Mexican sheep-herders—were as round and level as if they had been made by man in beautiful contrast to the dark-green, rough, and rugged ridges.”
Is it any wonder why Grey loved Arizona’s wild places? But, back to color. Because in the White Mountains, an artist at heart can see more than White, Green, and Blue in the woods, senacas, and sky. There are other players like Pink, Yellow, Red, and Purple, and you can see them perform their parts too, if you know where to look.