Friday, June 16, 2017

A #phenology of the color yellow

Have you seen a field of flowering rapeseed? From a distance, it looks as if every male goldfinch in North America has landed in one field. If, indeed, it were a field full of male goldfinches, the startle factor when they all explode into takeoff would be absolutely awesome. I noticed that as several handfuls of them exploded from roadside as the jeep passed by them this morning.

male goldfinches at feeder
male goldfinches at feeder
Photo by J. Harrington

I was driving through the Northeast part of the county, near Wild River State Park, as I went to pick up our CSA share. One field I passed on the way, that, as I recall, has been fallow for several years, looks like it's been planted in rapeseed this year. It's attention getting but not as startling as exploding goldfinches.

  a field of rapeseed?
a field of rapeseed?
Photo by J. Harrington

In our North Country, yellow becomes a significant contributor to Summer scenes: lots (272) of Minnesota's wildflowers are yellow, sunshine is yellow during those longer Summer days that aren't cloud-covered or stormy, plus, lots of Summer squashes are shades of yellow. I suppose I could claim my sunny disposition(?) becomes even more mellow in Summer, but not as much as Donovan's Mellow Yellow. What else? It depends on the season.

A lane of Yellow led the eye (1650)


Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886


A lane of Yellow led the eye
Unto a Purple Wood
Whose soft inhabitants to be
Surpasses solitude
If Bird the silence contradict
Or flower presume to show
In that low summer of the West
Impossible to know -


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