Trees are Green – and Brown?

My meaningful epiphany for the week is this:

Trees are not brown.

I do have a disclaimer and that is that SOME trees are brown.  Maybe in some areas of the world, even MOST of the trees are brown.  This is not, however, the case in any place I have ever lived.  Take a look around you today while you are outside, while you’re driving or whatever.  Trees are GREY. 

If I took a box of crayons outside with me and had to match which one was closest to the color of the tree trunk, it would be grey – hands down, at least 90% of the time in my neck of the woods.  Can anyone tell me where this very serious lie originated?  😉  And how we managed to brainwash everyone in America into drawing all of their trees with brown trunks? 

I am 30 years old, and just realized it wasn’t true.  I did a painting last week with a brown tree in it.  Aaargh.  My painting is a lie!

I did an experiment to see how far the brainwashing went.  I asked a guy I was working with what color trees were (while we were outside).  He looked at me kind of weird and said, “Green.”  I said, “And?”  He said, “Brown.”  (Remember we are outdoors where he has a forest right in front of him.)  I said, “OK.  Look at the trees.  What color are they?”  He looked straight at them and said, “Green and brown.”  I said, “Are you sure?”  He looked at them some more, hesitated and then said, “Well, I guess the trunks are really kind of grey-ish.” 

It took me asking him three times, and making him doubt his answer before he noted the truth. 

Point: Think for yourself.  Even things we believe to be obvious can be lies (or at least only partial truths).

I could expound, but you can see exactly where I would go with that.  Besides it’s 4:35 AM, and I’m not really certain I could do it justice.  Your homework is to consider the implications for yourself. 

P.S. I am officially an insomniac.  Well, officially may be a stretch.  Nobody gave me a certificate or anything.  I just figure if I’m up writing about what color trees are and eating eggs and drinking coffee at 4:30 in the morning because I can’t sleep, it’s a pretty good indicator.  So, if my concern about being lied to about the color of trees seems disproportionately dramatic, please attribute it to the fact that I went to bed at 10:30, woke up at 12:30, and have not gone back to sleep.  Yay!



  1. Kris said,

    November 28, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Not sleeping will definitely open new doors of thought.

    They aren’t always interesting or, well, SANE, but they’re new.

  2. jody said,

    November 29, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    you are hilarious! is the little cabin in the woods getting to you? 🙂

  3. zephaniah317 said,

    November 30, 2007 at 9:56 am

    You live in a cabin in the woods? What color are your walls? (hint: pre-fab log cabins, lincoln logs, etc. might be where the lie originated)

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