If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know my stay-at-home travels sometimes consist of crazy little things. A thinly sliced kitchen sponge from England, a runcible spoon from Japan. Today, though, as we approach Thanksgiving, whose turkey-themed decorations, floral centerpieces, and greeting cards often feature what we think of as colors of autumn, I offer you something more intangible to ponder: a taste of fall in a photo.
A little over two weeks ago, my husband and I returned from an auto trip to the Pacific Northwest. One joy of that trip came from the fall foliage.
I’m born and raised in the Northeast (New Jersey, to be precise.) There, the autumn colors are spectacular. http://www.visitnj.org/fall-foliage The trees wear many shades of yellow and orange and red–and the autumn seems to come all at once. As I remember it, trees are brilliant for a week or so, and then–splat! It’s over. The paint has been spilled, the leaves are all gone and lying on the ground, and branches are chilly and bare.
Here on the West Coast, however, autumn is somewhat different. Yellow stands out as the preponderant color (though there are occasional big reds.) The colored leaves tend to stay on the trees longer. But what gives autumn here its main character is that we have many lush and tall evergreens.
Thus, here on the West Coast, we don’t get miles and miles and miles of brilliant reds and yellows and oranges; those colors tend to display in little splashes among fields of green. With all the evergreens, our hills look more like they’re covered with a big green blanket onto which Mother Nature sews occasional patches of brilliant color.
For this reason, the autumn foliage here is a different experience than in the Northeast. In the Northeast, the eye is drawn to grandiose sweeps of color; here, the eye (mine, at least) is drawn to the raiment of the single tree.
And so it was that in Ashland, Oregon, the first overnight stop of the trip, my eye was drawn to the beautiful pinkish orange tree. So I snapped a photo and posted it above.
After breakfast our first morning of the trip, as I gazed upon this magnificent tree, I pondered how to describe this gorgeous color. As a writer, I’m supposed never to be at a loss for words. Yet, all I could think of was pinkish orange.
In true stay-at-home traveler fashion, I can’t help but follow up, now that I’m back home. That beautiful tree leads me to recall lazy childhood weekends with my friends. Our coloring books were so often spread-eagled on our living room floor, our fingers furiously filling the pages with Crayola (and all in one direction, mind you) as we tried to stay within the lines.
The names of some colors were mysterious to us (e.g., what did “cerulean” mean in “Cerulean Blue,” and what was the difference between “Red Orange” and “Orange Red?”) Sometimes, we’d even rename a color so its name would be more to our liking (Raw Umber = Mud brown.)
Now, it seems to me that “Pinkish Orange” came up a number of times in conversation, but never did I ever see a Crayola crayon named that color. That has gotten me wondering: what would Crayola call the color of that Oregonian tree?
More fun, even, what name would you use to describe the color of that tree? Since I know colors can show up differently on different computer screens (or if a laptop screen is tilted at different angles) I’d love to know how you see this picture and how the color looks to you.
If you were a crayon company, what would you name this color? Type your thoughts in the comments, please.
And, by the way, to see a historical list of all the Crayola colors, click this link: