Posts Tagged With: color

Color My World

I bring my binoculars out walking lately hoping for some fun sightings. I saw a coyote frolicking in one of the ponds last week, but that was twelve feet away. And I’ve heard there’s a bobcat in the area. That’d be fun to see from a distance. And you never know when some odd or unfamiliar bird will be flitting about.

All of today’s delights were up close and colorful. That’s surprising because the high temperatures have crossed the century mark. I think of summer here in the desert as drab black and white and gray. Even the color of sand seems to bleach out in the heat after a month or two. This morning’s walk through the local riparian preserve proved me wrong.

When I saw these tiny bursts of yellow with their brown buttons looking perky and bright I caught myself smiling.

photo 2-2 copy 9These fuchsia blooms won’t last much more than another day in such heat.

photo 4-4 copyLike pearls on a vine, these puff-balls diffuse the sunlight and capture the eye with a humorous elegance.

photo 1-5 copy 3A smallish black bird with christmas red markings under its wings showed up along the trail, but flew off before I could get my camera focused.

Red Penstemon tempt the hummingbirds and brighten the landscape.

photo-24 copy 2This gray rabbit dug a trench in the gravel and cradled himself in its coolness. His coloring and the rock colors match almost perfectly. If not for his face twitching and his dark distinctive ears I’d have missed him lying there. For all the hundreds of bunnies I see every time I walk here, I’ve never seen this behavior before. Reminded me of how a dog will splay out flat on tile to chill its body down on a warm day.

photo 4-3 copy 3Orange makes it mark among pale greenery, showing off in a concentrated saturation of color.

photo 2-3 copy 3The Saguaro are blooming with bright white flowers, still open even in the bright light of day.

photo 3-4 copy 4And here a tree sports yellow puff-balls, like dollops of paint splattered about by a rambunctious child.

photo 5 copy 2I nearly stumbled into a white Egret looking every bit as angry at being spotted as I delighted in sighting him. He stayed put for my photo, so I figure he must have had his eye on a juicy fish or he’d have flown off the minute I walked along.

photo 3-5 copy 2These brown cattails seem so foreign in a desert environment. But then, I have to remember I’m walking in a riparian area, with an abundant and consistent water supply. What a brilliant and delightful way to reclaim water and refill an aquifer.

photo-23 copy 3Green, of course, plays a dominate role along my entire route. Thank goodness for that. I’m not sure what I’d do without green growing things in my world.

photo 1-4 copy 6I didn’t expect to see blue, except for the sky, while on my walk. Blue flowers just don’t occur very often. But then, wandering down to the water’s edge, two fluorescent blue dragonflies chased each other across the water’s surface. Not much bigger than an inch in length, a photo of them wasn’t a realistic possibility. But, I did capture the scene where they played among the reeds and rocks and water.

Every color I could hope for showed up today as I walked. I’d call that a promising start to my day, wouldn’t you?


“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” ~ e.e. cummings

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Categories: Nature, Outdoors, phoenix | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Poetry of Gray Infused

photo 2-2 copy 2Some days lean toward solitude and slowness. Quiet settles in like dust in every crack and crevice.

photo 4 copy 4Color appears as the exception, with gray predominating. Even the green leaves shows variations of gray.

photo 2-1 copy 8Gray in all its hues and tones permeates the sky, the mood, my heart. Even the hopeful nest of a bird feels emptied out and uninviting.

And yet.

photo 3-2 copy 2Color insinuates itself into a scene, here and there. Flamboyant, amid the pale winter green of leaf and stem.

photo 1-1 copy 2Out of sleeping branches,  unexpected bursts of life demand notice and appreciation.

photo 1 copy 8Against my need to wallow, the gray begins to dissipate around each slow corner I turn.

photo-20 copy 18And at its close, the day again asserts its hold on me with waves of color singing me to sleep.

Categories: Nature, Outdoors, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Thousand Different Colors in One

Baja California Desert in the Cataviña region,...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once in a while the incessant heat of the desert southwest surprises me. Those incredible dust storms that approach like something out of an apocalyptic movie! Skies that sometimes open up as if Niagara Falls has been rerouted directly overhead! Lightening that flashes then becomes the sound of the earth cracking open and rolling in an ominous wave of booming vibrations.

And there’s sometimes a rare day of soft misty rain that lightens the air and sets the scent of creosote wafting about. Not at all desert-like in its gentleness.

You see, the desert seems made of extremes. Incredibly hot in the daytime, even in the winter, and chill you to the bone coldness at night. Then Summer sends its death rays beating down, threatening any and all. Even summer nights press in and slow bake a person to a parched muddled mess.

20130731-154317.jpg

Desert Sage blooming like gang-busters.

Just lately, in the past day or two, and for a week or more, the desert sends surprise gifts to those who are paying attention. Venturing down almost any road you’ll see bursts of lavender and purple, nearly iridescent and glowing with saturated color. Desert Sage has popped and fills a bush to overflowing masses of tiny buds, almost completely obscuring the green bush it grows from.

Other flowers are blooming, just not in the shouting, hog the limelight way that the sage is doing. The purples act like highlighter on a page, pointing out the good stuff, the memorable, the positive.

Every plant sighs out a breath of beauty, a whisper of hope, a mantra for life.

Seeing such abundance amidst the oppressive center of summer provides an emotional cooling. Amazing what a bit of color can do for the soul.

What colors light up your day? Do you even pay attention to the colors around you? Or is your life all black and white and gray? The unique narrator in Markus Zusak’s YA novel The Book Thief sees life in colors beyond imagining. (Read it and thank me later!)

“People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it’s quite clear

that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment.

A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues.

Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.”— Markus Zusak

Desert Sage Bloom

Desert Sage Bloom (Photo credit: lowjumpingfrog)

I think I need to open my eyes more often to the color and variety of everything around me. It’s easy not to notice. It takes some conscious thought to pay attention and see the extraordinary in the everydayness around us.

“Every hour can consist of a thousand different colors” he says. I’m not sure I could count that many in one hour. Perhaps I, too, need to make it a point to notice them.

The purple will serve as my reminder this week, to open my eyes and really see.

Categories: Nature, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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