In Search Of Yellows: A Walking Story

I’m nothing but amazed that I’ve sat myself down at a keyboard to begin the composition of this essay. It’s 11:31 AM on a weekday morn, a mere 27 minutes after I completed the walk around my neighborhood that I shortly will comment upon. I mean, I usually take forever to get enough thoughts together to write a story. What’s more, I usually take forever to come up with story ideas in the first place. So, I better keep pecking away before constipation sets in.

What, another walking story?” I hear a few of you crying in dismay. “Spare us, Neil! You’ve done dozens of them already. Can’t you think of anything else to write about?”

Believe me, I feel your pain, but what can I do? As I just indicated, I don’t exactly generate story ideas like Donald Trump generates lies. Anyway, I like to walk. Always have, because walking is the best way to see what’s going on around us. And the hodgepodge of ruminations and observations that I come up with after wandering around one locale or another is among this publication’s primary fuels.

But I can’t say that I especially love to walk in my suburban Philadelphia neighborhood. My neighborhood is none too fascinating, as is true for suburbs in general. Although I regularly pound its pavements, I do so mostly for health reasons, exercise presumably being beneficial to one’s bodily systems. Once in a while, however, I have an additional motive, and today I put such into play. “Yellows, Neil, yellows,” I said to myself at the start of the walk. “You’ve had it in the back of your mind to look for shades of yellow during a neighborhood walk, probably because yellow was your favorite color when you were a kid, and to turn the experience into an article. Today you shall do so!”

Yes, sir!” I responded silently. “I hear you loud and clear. Yellows it will be!”

To begin, I want to tell you that there ain’t a lot of yellows in my neighborhood. In fact, there’s a paucity of many colors. The greens of nature are what rule here, as they do in much of the world, at least when trees are in leaf. But your faithful and determined correspondent wasn’t deterred. My eyes in constant motion, I spotted enough examples of yellows to illustrate this piece decently. And I did so in a mere 34 minutes. I could have extended the walk beyond that time, but was pretty sure that I’d exhausted the yellow possibilities. And it’s a good thing that I came home when I did. You see, as I entered my house after completing my rounds I thought that the blazing Sun and moist air hadn’t gotten to me very much. Wrong! My sweat glands, in a delayed reaction, suddenly erupted, causing my tee shirt, mostly dry only seconds before, to cling to me amorously. Man, I was shvitzing like a frigging pig! I’m happy to report that the A/C system, and the cool water that I washed off with, quickly set me right.

Okay, it’s time to mention the highlights of today’s trek. The first involves sunflowers. A year ago, on a neighborhood walk, I was delighted to find that a family two blocks away from my residence was a lover of sunflowers. They’d planted a load of the gangly, happy plants on a long narrow strip of their property. And a week or two ago I  noticed that sunflowers were strutting their stuff anew there. Needless to say, I strode down that block this morning to snap the yellow beings’ portraits. Of the various yellow objects in my neighborhood, they are my favorites by far. Indeed, I am a total sucker for sunflowers, thanks to Vincent van Gogh, their greatest immortalizer.

As for the second highlight: On various walks over the last couple of months I’d seen a yellow truck shining proudly and vividly. It always was in the same spot, five blocks from my house. It was there again today. This truck adds needed pizazz to a sleepy block, and makes me wonder why more people don’t buy vehicles of eye-popping color. Like I’m one to talk, though. My wife and I own two cars that are conservative as shit, one of them dark grey and the other dark blue. Next time we’ll go for cars aflame in . . . what? Neon yellow, that’s what!

Well, the blogosphere’s overseers are whispering to me that this article has gone as far in a yellow direction as it needs to go. And I know better than to cross them. But, as usual, I’ll let the piece marinate for a few days, and do plenty of tweaking, before depressing the Publish button. Take care, everybody. And please don’t be shy about adding your comments!

128 thoughts on “In Search Of Yellows: A Walking Story

  1. SandyL August 17, 2020 / 12:11 am

    In a few weeks there’ll be more yellows and oranges to find. My friend up north of here says the leaves are already turning color. Good grief.

    Liked by 4 people

      • SandyL August 17, 2020 / 3:33 pm

        Even for her, it’s unusually early. Maybe it’s just that we’ve had weird swings in weather recently. Seems like summer’s been a lot milder this year – not that I’m complaining.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. eden baylee August 17, 2020 / 12:12 am

    Neil, do you still have yellow/amber traffic lights? That would’ve been the obvious yellow item for me, but maybe those are no longer used in Philly?

    Have a great week,
    eden

    Liked by 4 people

    • talebender August 17, 2020 / 2:23 pm

      Must admit yellow is far from my favourite colour, but I enjoyed your palette.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 2:39 pm

        I still like yellow quite a lot, but not as much as I did when I was a child. Somewhere in my adulthood, blue became my fave color.

        Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 2:38 pm

      Yup, traffic lights here have yellow. There are plenty of traffic lights in my town, but none on the residential streets I walked on for this story. Thanks for stopping by, Eden. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dancing With Shadows August 17, 2020 / 12:20 am

    Very nice images in yellow. I, too, love the colour yellow but somehow, my images of yellow always look washed out and do not correctly reflect the beauty of the subject in question.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 2:42 pm

      Hi there. Thanks for visiting. Yeah, photography can be hit or miss. I really like digital photography. It’s so much easier than using film.

      Like

  4. sniderjerry August 17, 2020 / 2:16 am

    Fashion writer Joy Sewing said, “In the world of safe hues, like black, red and white, yellow shouts: look at me. I’m happy.” Have a great day. Jerry

    Liked by 4 people

  5. andrewcferguson August 17, 2020 / 2:31 am

    What a cracking idea for a post. I’m always interested too by what grows in your part of the world, because it’s not a million miles from what grows with us – sunflowers just about make it in southern Scotland, as do the rudbeckia in your last photo. Good work sir!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 2:47 pm

      You know, I’m pretty weak at knowing the names of flowers. Never heard of rudbeckia before, so I just took a look at google. Rudbeckia, it seems, is another name for black eyed susan, which is the term I’m familiar with.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. thewonderer86 August 17, 2020 / 4:23 am

    I love the pops of yellow in your neighbourhood! It’s amazing what we see when we look.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 2:50 pm

      I wish there was more yellow than there is around here. Ditto for other bright colors. I had to look pretty hard to find the yellows that I did.

      Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 2:53 pm

      Thanks, Basia. There will be more walking stories, of that I have no doubt. When I can’t think of anything else to write about, there’s always a walking story to do!

      Like

  7. joylennick August 17, 2020 / 4:42 am

    Spot on, Neil. Loved it. Was about to wage war on my book….(the writing of…) as it’ll probably be my last attempt at fame and fortune (or a weekend in Benidorm…) The last part a joke! Anyway, back to your interesting walk. At Yoga class, many moons ago, our teacher urged the wearing of yellow as an antidote to depression, and even on a less dramatic level, said it immediately “lifted the spirit and cheered one up. ” I’ll go with that. On a grey, rainy day, the sighting of a yellow ‘whatever’ invites a smile..And anything that invites a smile, I’m up for. So, thank you! xx

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 2:55 pm

      Thanks. You’re absolutely right that yellows can brighten our moods. And now it’s time for you to get back to working on your book!

      Like

  8. Joyce Hamilton August 17, 2020 / 7:53 am

    I always love your photos…fun!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. joebrunostl August 17, 2020 / 8:50 am

    I like walking walking stories. Heck, I named my blog after my morning walk. I enjoyed the yellow. You are right though, it is mostly green in my neighborhood, and not that amazing spring green, just that tired hot summer green. Still it is better than the gray of winter. We get less snow now, so white is not the winter color anymore, it is that gray with no life in it.

    But keep writing walking stories.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 2:59 pm

      Hey there, Joe. Don’t mention winter! It’ll be here soon enough. You know, the greens in my area are very bright and healthy. I guess it’s because we’ve had lots of rain this summer.

      Like

  10. Laurie Graves August 17, 2020 / 9:30 am

    A jaunty color that always makes me smile. Even when it’s warning me to watch out for scampering children.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Robert Parker August 17, 2020 / 9:37 am

    I like these little quests you concoct, pretty good shootin’, you bagged plenty of yellows in just 1/2 hour. School buses will be in season pretty soon.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 3:02 pm

      Will students attend schools where you live? I’m not sure if they will in my township. I’m going to check on that.

      Like

      • Robert Parker August 17, 2020 / 3:29 pm

        Some suburban schools will open but it doesn’t look like the city schools will open while it’s Phase 4 status

        Liked by 2 people

  12. cath August 17, 2020 / 10:12 am

    The sunflowers are nice, Neil, but they’re topped, in my opinion, by the flowers in the bottom picture. Rudbeckia?

    I associate yellow cars with a childish but common game in which the first person to spot one on the road is allowed to playfully thump their companions arm – so long as it’s accompanied by the phrase, ‘Yellow car, no return!’

    Love your neighbourhood walks. Long may they continue. I do enjoy your revelations.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 3:08 pm

      I think that Rudbeckia is correct, though I know them as black eyed Susan. That’s a good car game that you describe. Not sure if it’s played in the States.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Jacqui Murray August 17, 2020 / 10:20 am

    Despite your trepidations, this was a good article, Neil. We writers don’t always get to pick our topic, do we? Believe me, I wouldn’t have picked prehistoric man given a choice. Sigh.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Jacqui Murray August 18, 2020 / 10:54 am

        It started with a curiosity about why did we survive sabertooth tigers, dinofelis, and the rest. I think as I dug around, Lucy found me and then refused to let go. That was about 30 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. JT Twissel August 17, 2020 / 10:37 am

    In my yard I plant only yellow and white flowers but sun flowers never survive – the birds just love them! We are having severe lightning storms out here – scary to be outside !

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 3:11 pm

      I wish that there were more sunflowers around than there are. They are the coolest. Lightning storms are no joke. I hope they are over in your area by now.

      Like

  15. Annika Perry August 17, 2020 / 10:55 am

    With sunflowers and rudbeckia in your neighbourhood, you’re sorted! 😀 I always enjoy joining you (virtually!) on your walks, Neil … feel if I’m transported to the area I should soon find my way around! btw. smiling at how you sneaked in a mention of Trump!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Debra August 17, 2020 / 11:33 am

    They call you Mellow Yellow. Donovan and Neil…two great wordsmiths!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Brad Bravard at The Creative Life Adventure August 17, 2020 / 12:14 pm

    Walking is the best way to explore an area, so I enjoy the reports of your walking adventures. The color yellow always makes me think of Van Gogh and I appreciate that he got a mention here. Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 3:14 pm

      Thanks a lot, Brad. It would have been wrong of me not to mention Van Gogh, considering the work he did with sunflowers.

      Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 3:15 pm

      It’s really true that yellow is a happy color. There’s just something about it . . .

      Like

  18. Anonymous August 17, 2020 / 1:07 pm

    I love the sunflower Trend. It seems a happier flower is needed in times such as these and they are a resilient flower. I fully support you ensuring that your next car is not conservative as sh*t.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Becky Ross Michael August 17, 2020 / 1:31 pm

    Great job of finding all those bright yellows on your walk, Neil! I was saddened this past week to note on my own walks that two large fields of sunflowers had been mowed down for “progress” where the dirt is being dug up for even more buildings. Construction sure hasn’t slowed any in my area of north Texas. Course, the mayor of my town is a realtor, so you can well imagine his goals!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 3:19 pm

      Fields of sunflowers have been destroyed? That’s pretty tragic. But that’s what humans do: Build, build build!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky Ross Michael August 17, 2020 / 6:36 pm

        I know…I could have cried. I loved passing those each day. Now it’s just more dirt and machines.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 3:22 pm

      It’s very sharp. Whenever I’m on that block, which is always in daylight, it’s there. I wonder if it ever gets used. If it does, it must be at night,

      Like

  20. Rosaliene Bacchus August 17, 2020 / 2:50 pm

    Without a doubt, the color yellow catches our eyes. It says: Look at me! I make a dull day bright. I energize the inactive gray cells. I put the pop into what could’ve been another dull walk around your neighborhood 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 3:24 pm

      Hi, Rosaliene. Yellows have what it takes, that’s for certain. On most of my neighborhood walks, I listen to music, which distracts me from the sameness of the walks. Take care. Have an excellent week.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Paddy Tobin August 17, 2020 / 4:00 pm

    Walking with purpose! Mellow yellow!

    Liked by 3 people

      • Paddy Tobin August 17, 2020 / 6:14 pm

        Yes, Regularly a competition plant for children – who can grow the tallest sunflower – but also in gardens and there is a good range available from seed, various sizes and colours. I have never grown one!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Crystal Byers August 17, 2020 / 6:02 pm

    My favorite part of this is that you set out to seek and you found. That sounds like a whole other blog post.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. annieasksyou August 17, 2020 / 9:00 pm

    Ah, sunflowers! Years ago, we took an overnight train from Prague to Slovakia. When we opened our eyes at daybreak and looked out the window, sunflowers—hundreds and hundreds of sunflowers—were stretching upward in full bloom. It was all we could see.

    I hadn’t thought about that magical image for a while, but you, my friend, wandering around suburban Philly, brought it soaring back. So you can add that to the pleasures created by your jaunt. Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 10:13 pm

      Hi, and thanks. Speaking of sunflowers: The Philadelphia Museum Of Art owns one of Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings. It likely is the most popular piece of art there. It’s a beauty.

      Like

  24. Helen Devries August 17, 2020 / 9:10 pm

    We were surrounded by fields of sunflowers when in France…so I suppose we became blase, but here we have so many soft yellow flowered plants in the garden and they really lift the spirit
    I do admire your enterprise…you go out in search and come back with the goods.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 17, 2020 / 10:18 pm

      I would love to see fields of sunflowers. I will put that on my list of things to try and see. The Northern Lights are on that list too.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. K E Garland August 17, 2020 / 9:33 pm

    To be fair, no one can do anything as fast/often/quick as DT lies. That’s a nice photo of those sunflowers.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. tanjabrittonwriter August 17, 2020 / 11:16 pm

    I share your love for sunflowers, Neil. Their smiling faces spread boundless cheer. Happy sunflower season to you. 🌻🌻🌻

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 18, 2020 / 7:11 am

      On my walks around my neighborhood since writing this story, I’ve been making it a point to look at those sunflowers.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. sheetalbravon August 18, 2020 / 1:41 am

    Loved the pop of cheer in your photos. It’s all grey in my part of the world these days. Monsoon season in India, water everywhere.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Alyson August 18, 2020 / 3:56 am

    You’ve given me an idea to pep up walks round my local neighbourhood. Picking a colour to home in on will give me a challenge. Like the sunflowers – Our across-the-road-neighbours have a row of them and the local children call it the house with the giant dandelions! (You get dandelions where you are don’t you?)

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 18, 2020 / 7:18 am

      Dandelions are common in my region, and maybe in most of the States. I think that some people use them in soups and salads. They’re probably good that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Pazlo August 18, 2020 / 11:52 am

    Yellow is a very popular color in nature. Extraordinarily, we find but two or three hues of yellow used throughout the wild kingdom in flowers, birds, bugs, and rainbows!

    Paz

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 18, 2020 / 1:33 pm

      Not sure if I’m recalling this correctly: Did you have a photo of a rainbow in one of your stories this year or last year?

      Like

  30. lookingforthehigherself August 18, 2020 / 6:07 pm

    Its lovely how sunflowers just bloom randomly in your neighbourhood. I’d be photographing that alot too if it grew in mine. I love these walking posts- walking is also my reflection time so I get you! Keep walking Neil ☺️☺️☺️

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 18, 2020 / 7:37 pm

      Thanks for the visit. You know, I wouldn’t complain if the world contained 100 times as many sunflowers as it does.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. courseofmirrors August 19, 2020 / 2:10 pm

    Your yellow rhapsody reminds me that yellow has all but disappeared from my garden. A neighbour replaced a boundary hedge of glorious Forsythia with laurel. OK, it was on his patch, but he didn’t even warn me. I miss the bright yellow in early spring. One redeeming quality of the laurel is that it sparkles in the sun after dew or rain. ☼

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Chandra Lynn August 19, 2020 / 7:59 pm

    I saw your comment on another blogger’s blog, and something told me to check you out. I’m glad I did. I love all the yellow (especially the sunflowers) and your writing [style]–captivating and fun. Thanks for adding a bit of brightness and joy to my day!

    Liked by 3 people

  33. johnlmalone August 20, 2020 / 7:39 am

    what a great idea: basing a post around a colour, and see how many times you can spot it during a neighborhood walk ; love those sunflowers

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 20, 2020 / 9:12 am

      I rarely spot sunflowers anywhere in my general region. I once read about a field of sunflowers that’s maybe 25 miles from where I live. I might research that and go to see them (if they are still there).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 20, 2020 / 4:14 pm

      Today my wife and I walked around a nice village a few miles from our town. One house there had a patch of beautiful sunflowers. 👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead August 20, 2020 / 4:19 pm

        I still remember eating the seeds raw as a kid, thinking they would be like the Beech Nut packed ones. Good stuff. Thanks for the memories Bob.

        Liked by 2 people

  34. cigarman501 August 21, 2020 / 6:27 am

    I love Sunflowers and this is the time of year in the foothills of the Blue Ridge when yellow seems to be the prominent bloom color. Yellow finches on sunflowers. Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  35. alhenry August 21, 2020 / 10:54 pm

    I applaud your dedication to brilliant color, Neil. Yellow is GOOD. Van Gogh is GREAT. I especially love that brilliant splash of yellow light in his “Cafe at Night.” It just draws your eye, makes you want to stop in to this snug place and its bright splash in the starry dark. As for the power of walking and its gift of stirring the mind, well that’s been one of the saving joys for me in this pandemic. Walk on, my friend, and glory in the vivid.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 22, 2020 / 7:43 am

      Hi. Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists too. In January, Sandy and I were in the Met museum in Manhattan for the first time in years. They have eight or so Van Gogh oils on display there. It was great seeing that many at one time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • alhenry August 23, 2020 / 11:35 am

        Still have to put something here to be able to “like”…sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger August 23, 2020 / 12:14 pm

          You know, I think that WordPress sometimes acts and responds differently depending on which web browser you use (Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc.)

          Like

  36. tylerus August 23, 2020 / 6:18 am

    A wonderful post. I take daily walks through midtown. Far from exciting or interesting . . . unless you look at it from a fresh perspective like yours. Colors! Love it. Love the sunflowers, too. Not a fan of yellow myself, except for butter yellow and French’s mustard yellow. Hmmm….what color shall I focus on today when I stroll through the neighborhood?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 23, 2020 / 10:07 am

      Hi there. It’s funny that you should bring up French’s mustard. Recently I’ve been eating more of it than I have in years. I put it on pieces of cheddar cheese, which I then eat with Triscuits.

      Like

  37. arielaonthego August 23, 2020 / 6:23 pm

    Great post, it gives me ideas!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 23, 2020 / 10:36 pm

      Hello there, Ariela. I’m not going to bet my life on it, but I think that you are the youngest reader that my website ever has had. Thanks for looking at some of my pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. betunada August 23, 2020 / 6:38 pm

    color? heh! as you recently read, around here it’s all mostly gray ! (but good 4 U, tho’ !)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 23, 2020 / 10:32 pm

      I didn’t even know about the Colorado fires till I read your piece. I knew only about the California fires. Horrible situations.

      Like

      • betunada August 25, 2020 / 3:03 pm

        callyfornya always gets top billing! (ba-a-ad joke, of sortz)

        Liked by 1 person

  39. Jeff the Chef August 24, 2020 / 9:58 am

    Well, I don’t know if you wear headphones on your walks, but if you do, I hope you listened to Coldplay’s “Yellow.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 24, 2020 / 10:48 am

      Howdy, Jeff. That’s a good song. I often listen to a radio show called Downtown Soulville while walking. It’s available as a podcast. If you like soul and R&B, you’d like this show. See ya.

      Like

  40. Silver Screenings August 29, 2020 / 5:22 pm

    I love your walking stories, and I really like your focus on the colour yellow.

    Also: That is one fabulous truck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 29, 2020 / 7:58 pm

      Strange about that truck. I was walking today and saw the truck in exactly the same place where I’ve always seen it. It almost seems as though the truck is never driven.

      Liked by 1 person

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