Red Orange Yellow Day

It’s the last day of January. The dead of winter.

Long ago, I had a terrific boss who insisted that every year the staff celebrate Red Orange Yellow Day. I’m not sure if he made it up, or if there really is such a thing. The celebration was always held in January, a month famous for gray skies, dirt-speckled snow, and cold toes. I guess the idea was to brighten everyone up through the mid-winter blues, and it certainly brightened the office, as every on the staff wore the requisite colors and shared a pot-luck lunch of salsa, ziti, orange juice, rainbow sherbet, lemon meringue pie and what-have-you. Every year one renegade brought guacamole or something. Didn’t matter, just so it was bright.

Anyway, I think there’s really something to it. There’s really some psychological research out there that points to bright colors being effective in elevating mood and battling depression.

So here, in the cold middle of winter, is a botanical rainbow to brighten your day.

Red. frankknightbuds

(Thanks to Frank Knight for this picture of poison ivy leaflets gleaming red in spring.) Red in nature is often a warning–don’t eat me! Don’t touch me!

Orange. Staghorn sumac, a rainbow in itself.sumac 036

path 007Yellow. Witch hazel blooming on a crisp November day.

Green. You can always count on moss.beech 006

Blue. Thanks again to Frank Knight for this photo that captures the hot blue of a cold winter sky.

















And, of course, purple/indigo/violet is the hardest of all to find in nature. The last photo is pokeweed by a Massachusetts roadside, in all its summer glory.9-22-12 056

About unmowed

I'm a writer and a botanist who loves the weirdly weedy places of the world.
This entry was posted in environment, holiday, photos, Uncategorized, winter and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Red Orange Yellow Day

  1. Sally Reckner says:

    was just talking with a customer this morning about being tired of winter’s grayness..

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