Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kentucky's True Colors

Is Kentucky truly blue or cardinally red? Neither, I say! No Kentucky's true colors, from east to west, north to south are warm cedar green and redbud violet. You can tell this is true if you travel the state, particularly at this time of year. The Eastern Red Cedar is greatly undervalued. It provides a handsome structure to the landscape, every bit as effective as those pointy Tuscan cedars. When they reach a certain age, the cedar trunk has a bleached look, a lovely foil to the deep foliage. In winter, icy blue berries (actually pine cones) grace the branches. This brings up the point that this variety of cedar is actually a juniper. But my favorite time of year for the cedar is in the spring when it is accented with the striking violet of the red bud blossoms which generously populate the Kentucky landscape. I love driving along the interstates and parkways of Kentucky in spring and viewing this most lovely of combos!

      Now, another question is which university is the true university of Kentucky. That is easy to answer as well. The University of Kentucky is the land-grant, flagstaff university of our state. In my opinion, the work of the University of Kentucky does more to make manifest the common wealth  of Kentucky than any other institution. There are extension agents working with citizens from Maysville to Mayfield and Paducah to Pikeville.  The Gluck Equine Research Center is a major support to Kentucky's signature industry. The A.B. Chandler Hospital is a life saver for folks with serious ailments. One has only to dip very slightly into the work of the UK Libraries to understand the dizzying number of ways in which the University affects the whole state and beyond. I haven't even mentioned the number one reason for UK's dominance in Kentucky--it makes higher education possible for more Kentuckians. No matter what happens on Saturday, March 31, 2012, this will still be true.

    (Still, I hope UK wins...!)

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