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Green is my favorite least favorite...

Green is my favorite least favorite color

By: Ben Smith - March 14, 2024

  • Outdoor columnist Ben Smith says this time of year is his favorite because of new life – rebirth.

The next few weeks are my favorite time of the year. Sure, turkey season will be here this Friday, and that’s exciting, but given my career record against the most beloved bird in Mississippi that’s not what has me all giddy this time of the year. College baseball season is in full swing, but that’s not what stokes my fire, either. Could it be my recent birthday? Not even close. This time of the year is my favorite because of new life. Rebirth. 

Green has never been my favorite color. The Rolling Stones once wrote, “I see a red door and I want to paint it black.” That’s pretty much how I’ve always felt about green, except I wanted to paint it Cardinal or Red. Growing up as a Laurel Tornado, green was the color of our biggest rival. I don’t say the name of the school but refer to it as that school out in the pasture that always smelled like chicken poop. Playing ball in college, green was also the color of one of our biggest rivals at the time, Belhaven College. So yeah, my disdain for almost anything green has been constant throughout my life. However, there is one green that I love more than any other color. 

Each morning, I wake up and go straight outside to see what popped up overnight. It’s an excitement much like our kids on Christmas morning running to the living room to see what Santa brought them. Except this gift keeps on giving for a few weeks. During this time of the year our world comes back to life. Every day there is a new tree with leaves budding. There is a new bush starting to bloom. Virgin green leaves begin to fill the empty spaces of a canopy robbed by the winter frost. New grass leaves sprout from the ground choking out the remaining brown lawn. Wildflowers of every color dot the roadsides. Spring is finally here.

For as much as I’ve disliked green in my life, I make an exception for these few weeks only. It’s so exciting to see the outdoors wake up to life! The only negative that I can think of has to do with another color. Yellow. Just like those two schools I mentioned a moment ago had yellow (they can say gold, but it was yellow) as their secondary color, our new green world has its own yellow. There’s no sense in washing your truck for a few weeks. Pollen is all over everything. And if you’re like me, your eyeballs feel like they are about to pop out of your head. Come to think of it, yellow might be my most disliked color after all. 

The good news is in a couple of weeks we will be finished with the yellow and will only have the beautiful new green to look at. But the new green grass and new green leaves aren’t the only things coming back to life this time of the year. This is a magical, and also creepy, time to be in the outdoors. On the one hand you can listen to gobblers blast away on the limb before flying down for the day. On the other hand, you can step on a copperhead walking toward that gobbler. Yup, it’s snake season.

Just the other day I was perusing outdoor videos on various social media pages as I often do, and I came across one that sent chills down my spine. Some unfortunate fella decided he was going to sit down next to an old stump and start calling for a lonely gobbler. He hadn’t been sitting there longer than a minute when a copperhead slithered across his leg. I have no idea how this guy kept his composure during that moment. Somehow he stayed still long enough for the snake to stop on his leg, have a staring contest, then slither away. 

I’m not necessarily afraid of snakes, but I’ve never had one try to get into my lap either. My resting pulse rate is usually in the neighborhood of 58-65 beats per minute, but I can imagine it would soar well into the 100’s in a moment like that. Not to mention I’d probably have to throw away everything I was wearing from the waist down as well as burn the entire forest down. The closest encounter that I’ve ever had like that was once stepping on a cottonmouth in the woods. Fortunately, I stepped right on top of his head rendering him unable to bite me before leaping so high that I might have set an NFL Combine record for vertical jump. Since that day I’ve grown extra cautious of where I put my boot whenever there’s not ice on the ground.

I hate to even mention something as nasty as snakes during such a beautiful time of the year, but that video served as a pretty good reminder to be careful when going into the outdoors during this period. I like to think that I’m pretty mindful about looking around a tree before I sit down next to it, but I’ll look two or three times now. I can’t afford to get bitten, or to have to buy new pants. And as always, be mindful of your target before pulling the trigger so we can all keep coming back!

About the Author(s)
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Ben Smith

A native of Laurel, Mississippi, Ben played baseball at William Carey University before joining the coaching staff at WCU, where he’s spent the last 16 years. He also serves as a History Instructor in the WCU School of Arts and Letters. During the Covid shutdown in 2020, he began the outdoor blog “Pinstripes to Camo”. The blog quickly grew into a weekly column and was awarded as the #1 Sports Column in the state by the Mississippi Press Association. During that time, “Pinstripes to Camo” also became a weekly podcast, featuring various outdoor guests from around the country, and has grown into one of the top outdoor podcasts in the Southeast.