The Color of Water

Many years ago, I read the remarkable book, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride.   I’ll leave it to you to check it out and see what “color of water” refers to in that unforgettable story.  But the phrase has always stuck with me and it came to mind last week when I was in the Adirondacks enjoying a warm-ish spring day, photographing details and patterns as the forest comes out of it’s deep freeze.

Water, in all it’s forms, was everywhere.  

Thick, dense, white fog floated above the streams early in the day.   Where snow had melted from the forest floor, there was still a coating of whitish ice but the colors of pine needles and twigs beneath showed through. The lakes were half water, half ice.  Expanses of water  reflecting the blue sky were interspersed with expanses of grayish ice in varying stages of melting.  Two feet of white snow covered one trail but was so close to melting that we just kept sinking into it.  Water was flowing and dripping everywhere.

The phrase, “the color of water” came to mind as I observed all these different forms of water and the variety of colors being presented.

Here are just a few of the water forms and patterns that I witnessed that day along with some mandalas that deepen the experience of the colors.  Perhaps you will be able to tell which images provided the source for each mandala?

Color of Water 1 ©GSHaile The snow is gone from the forest floor but a thin coat of ice remains giving a hazy, unfocused look to the pine needles underfoot.

Color of Water 1 ©GSHaile
In some spots, the snow is gone from the forest floor but a thin coat of ice remains giving a hazy, unfocused look to the pine needles underfoot.

Color of Water 2 ©GSHaile A patch of ice on the parking lot asphalt takes on a bluish cast from the sky reflecting in the highlights.

Color of Water 2 ©GSHaile
A patch of ice on the parking lot asphalt takes on a bluish cast from the sky reflecting in the highlights.

Color of Water 3 ©GSHaile Water streaming down to the lake from the snow melt creates interesting patterns in the sand.

Color of Water 3 ©GSHaile
Water streaming down to the lake from the snow melt creates interesting patterns in the sand.

Color of Water 4 ©GSHaile Reflection of the sky and trees in a patch of melting ice on top of Fourth Lake.

Color of Water 4 ©GSHaile
Reflection of the sky and trees in a patch of melting ice on top of Fourth Lake.

Color of Water Mandala 1 ©GSHaile

Color of Water Mandala 1 ©GSHaile

Color of Water Mandala 2 ©GSHaile

Color of Water Mandala 2 ©GSHaile

Color of Water Mandala 3 ©GSHaile

Color of Water Mandala 3 ©GSHaile

Color of Water Mandala 4 ©GSHaile

Color of Water Mandala 4 ©GSHaile