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Ellie's Color Vision

How vivid the natural world was to Ellie! We spent a lot of our quality time together on the back porch, like a tree house in the woods. She'd always comment on the colors of the season-- the yellow green buds on the Poplars and Maples in spring, the dense green of May, the dusty brown of August-- every season, not just the autumn color riot.

But it was her child-like enthusiasm for the Cardinal coming to our deck feeders that leaves the lasting imprint on me. I've never seen an adult marvel so, and at such length, over seeing a common Cardinal-- and not just once: She'd bubble over the same way every time. When I came in late in the day, she couldn't wait to tell me about the birds at the window feeders.. "Big birds!," she'd say, holding her hands about a foot apart. Mind you, these feeders won't hold anything bigger than a Titmouse or a Nuthatch. During the winter-spring hummingbird season, we had great fun spotting them whizzing, and then hovering, shiny green, at the nectar feeder. "Tiny, tiny!" she'd say, with a look of incredulous delight.

So, among the things I learned from our relationship in the brief time I knew her, I see the world more in Tech na Color and not just Shades of Gray and Brown. Both her vision and her hearing were a lot better than she let on, and she died with perfect teeth and no diseases. Pretty good death, I'd say.

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