What is my hue?

blogIMG_1915Color me…

I suppose nearly everyone can name a favorite color.  It’s usually the color we’re drawn to the most – the one that delights us or perhaps even defines us as a person. 

If red or dark purple fascinate you, you might be bold or aggressive.  If you fancy blues and greens, you like peaceful, calming effects.  I imagine someone who favors orange is outgoing and extroverted.  

If I have to choose a favorite color, yellow it is.  I’m drawn to it like a bee buzzing around a succulent flower.  Yellow just makes me jubilant all the way around.  I find it cheerful, sunny, and just happy.

Because I love yellow, you might be inclined to think spring or summer are my favorite seasons.  After all, those times of year are usually filled with abundant sunshine and brilliant yellow flowers breaking out in vibrant color.

But no, color me… autumn.  Color me a mixed palette of yellows, reds, oranges, golds, and even browns splashed amidst green here and there. Color me sunshine shimmering through the leaves of ever-changing trees creating a feast for my eyes.  Color me warm sunny days and cool frosty nights.    Color me acorns and crunchy leaves underfoot.  And color me blazing bonfires.

My favorite color – the hue of me – isn’t just one color at all.  My favorite color is autumn. That’s why this week’s photo challenge – the hue of you – was fairly simple for me to accomplish.  All I had to do was venture outside with my camera and allow my hue to encompass me.

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Eliot

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Color challenged

Color, color, I need color!!

The French impressionist artist Claude Monet once claimed, “Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”

I am certainly not an artist, but during this time of year I do profess an obsession for color.  And while it provides cheer and much joy for me, it sure doesn’t torment me like it did Monet; I’m simply satisfied to view it.

I’ve written often of my desire for color in my world. Especially after a long, bleak winter, I find myself yearning for spots of vibrancy before my eyes.  I often joke that I feel color-deficient during this time of dormancy.

So when color erupts in the view from my window, my heart sings.  And I may break out in a song or too out loud also! So this week’s Word Press Photo Challenge elated me – Color!

Color proves a tad slow in showing its glorious face outside, so I searched inside and outside my home to shoot these photos.  Each shot I chose to personify this challenge is meaningful to me as well. Hover over each picture to read the caption and you’ll learn why.

I also decided to shoot each color attributed to the rainbow.  So here’s my tribute to  ROYGBIV – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.  Let there be color….and let it be SOON!

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Foreshadows of spring

blogDSCN8713The title of yesterday’s post proved to be  a foreshadow of my thoughts today.

See around here, in my neck of the woods, seeing shadows is kind of a big deal.

Last week, the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, the so called prognosticator of all prognosticators, did not see his shadow. 

In groundhogese, that supposedly means spring is on its way.  If ol’ Phil’s shadow had shown up, we would be stuck in the throes of winter for  6 more weeks, supposedly.

If you’re not familiar with this age-old weather indicator, click here to read a post I wrote a couple of years ago about my home state’s famous rodent celebrity.

I didn’t stop to ask the big old granddaddy groundhog, who frequents our back yard and hides out inside our burn barrel, if he saw his shadow or not, so I’ll just have to take Phil’s word for it.

And this lover of snowy days and cold weather is ready to welcome spring!  In  December and January, I’m all over the winter season.   I love snowfall.   I think it’s beautiful and it makes my landscape appear magical when it’s all frosted over with a fluffy blanket of white.

I relish the frigid temperatures because for some reason, it just makes me feel more alive.  Stepping outside and breathing in that frosty, crisp air invigorates me.  I enjoy curling up on the couch under a fleecy blanket with a steaming cup of tea in my hands and watching the snowflakes twirl and dance outside my windows.

But something happens to me in February.   The magic is gone.  By this month, my eyes and brain scream for color in my world.  Gazing out at a landscape sporting white, shades of brown, black, and grey, so devoid of color, makes me yearn for a spot of yellow or pink or red or purple or anything!

Yes, I’ll admit it.  I become weary of the outside color deficient world.   One February a couple of years ago, the lack of color affected me so tremendously, my husband planned an afternoon escape from our snow globe to visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in our nearby city just to see a spot of color from the plants and flowers growing inside.

As soon as we left the barren, snow laden outdoors and stepped inside to a feast of various hues and shades of color galore for our eyes, my attitude changed.  I practically became giddy surrounded by the lush greenness of plants and the blooming vibrancy of all the flowers.

Enchanting.  That world of vivid color captivated and transported me to a happy place.  I photographed everything and came home with a plethora of pictures that I still enjoy viewing especially during the winter month of February.

So I am ready for spring.  Bring on the sunshine.  Bring on the budding trees.  Bring on the gradual greening of grass.  Bring on the tiny crocuses butting their heads through the dark ground.  Bring on the daffodils.  The tulips.  The hyacinths!

I’m ready to see dazzling colors.  I’m ready to smell luscious scents.  I’m ready for an overload of senses that spring promises.

And so is our cat.  She hates winter.  She will not step one pretty, little paw outside if there’s a hint of snow on the ground.  So by this time of year, she’s got cat cabin fever in the worst way.

She whines to go outside, but when we open the door and she gets a glimpse of the wintry expanse, she refuses to budge.  Then she whines to go to the garage.  Once there, she turns around and whines to come back inside the house.  Then she wanders around the house, whining.  Back to the garage.  In five minutes, she whines to be back inside.  It’s a lot of cat whining and she drives us crazy with cat cabin fever too.

So I’m really hoping ol’ Phil got his prediction correct this year and that spring is truly right around the corner. 

blogIMG_0288But just when I think I can’t take the plainness of my surroundings and the absolute lack of color that blankets our property any longer, I glance outside my kitchen window and God sends me a little reprieve from winter’s icy grip and colorless world.

A flurry of red here, a glimpse of blue there in the maple tree closest to our back yard deck. 

Birds at our bird feeder.  Some wear hues of brown,  but oh, those ones flaunting their vibrant coats catch my eye.

Their brilliant tint really stands out against white and black surroundings. Bright red cardinals and even some pesky blue jays visit every day giving me a little taste of color…a foreshadow of spring.

And I’m hungry for the hope of spring on this day.  That’s why I will write it on my heart that today, even though winter still surrounds me, is the best day of the year.

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Color my world (please)

blogDSCN0630I may be suffering from the middle of winter doldrums, which often occurs for me this time of year.

Even though I don’t mind winter and I actually do like the cold, come February I start to miss color in my life.

The panoramic prevalence of whiteness everywhere coupled with the bleakness of a hued world of greys and blacks makes me yearn for a rainbow of bright colors.   The lack of abundant sunshine doesn’t help much either.

Occasionally, I think I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (yep, SAD can make me sad) especially after we experience several bouts of gloomy snow-stormy weather sans the cheerful sun.   Winter scenery out here in the country, although it can be spectacularly beautiful, can also commence to look extremely stark and bleak.

blogDSCN0589Last year in February, my husband suggested a trip to the ‘islands’ to cure my ailment.  But since we lacked the funds for a real trip to some place tropical, he meant visiting the conservatory in our nearby city to check out an orchid show.

Interspersed amid room after room of abundant greenness were bursts of vivid color in conjunction with exhibits of amazing glass art by artist Dale Chihuly.  I compare that afternoon excursion to a re-awakening of our senses after a long winter’s nap.

The profusion of color that greeted our vision was exhilarating.   The fragrance of delicate flowers tickling our noses smelled exquisite.   Resonance from a steel drum symphony of Caribbean style music provided by a local musician reverberated in our ears.

Our tongues tasted the sweet tartness of tropical fruit grown on trees right there at the conservatory.  Our skin felt the heat and humidity necessary to keep some of the tropical plants happy.  Not a typical day in the wintry month of February!

blogDSCN0607By the time we returned home from our sensory overloaded excursion, I was almost giddy with elation.  What a morale booster our ‘trip to the islands’ proved to be!  Perceiving color, color, COLOR amidst the lush green foliage of all the plants and trees evoked such joy!

So I thought I’d share some of my photos taken that blustery, snowy day in February last year just in case you might be suffering from winter blues too.  It’s Page 11, Chapter Two in Opportunity and these pictures offer me a chance to color my world.

Here’s hoping they help you “think spring” too!  It only seems fitting to sing an ode to that season here, and Chicago’s song, “Color My World,” springs to my mind: (my thoughts in green italics parenthesis)

“As time goes on (and winter drags on)I realize

Just what you (Spring) mean to me.

And now, now that you’re near, (so says Punxsutawney Phil)

Promise your love (which you give us with color)

That I’ve waited to share, (all this winter season long)

And dreams of our moments together. (hopefully in sunshine)

Color my world with hope of loving you.  (Oh, Spring, my Spring, wherefore art thou?)


©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com