Let There Be Colors!

As some readers of this publication know, I am a big fan of colors, both the natural and man-made varieties. Obviously, there’s nothing even remotely unique about me that way. But somehow I wasn’t particularly conscious of this leaning till it became a subject that I felt drawn to write about pretty soon after I gave birth to Yeah, Another Blogger in 2015.

For instance, I’ve written about excellent sunsets any number of times, especially sunsets that my wife Sandy and I have inhaled on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, one of our favorite locales. And pieces about illuminated residential Christmas decorations have graced these pages, maybe not all that gracefully, at least thrice that I can recall.

But have I ever placed the colors of a sunset and those of Christmas displays into the same story? Uh-uh. Not until now, that is. And I had such a nice time doing the legwork for this narrative, I just might make the theme a tradition.

There I was, then, on the 13th of December, standing on my house’s deck and admiring the oranges and yellows and pinks that filled the western sky. It was 4:21 PM, fourteen minutes before the Sun would disappear below the horizon. I’d watched sunsets from my house, which occupies space in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, loads of times before. But as far as I can recall, I’d never left my abode to admire a sunset from elsewhere in the neighborhood. Why? Because I’m a dumb shit. For, as I discovered moments later, the views from other spots on the surrounding blocks were terrific, far better than from my deck, where trees get in the way of the festivities a whole lot.

The view 200 feet from my house

Following an impulse to do some exploring, I made my way from the deck to the house’s front door, exited, walked down my front path and made a left onto the sidewalk. At the first intersection I came to, a mere 200 feet from my house, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a pretty open view of the sunset at that corner, about as open as you’d hope to find in houses-and-trees-heavy suburbia. Very unexpectedly to me, someone else was gazing at the sunset too. “I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one here,” that someone, a lady in my advanced age range, said to me. “This is the best place in the neighborhood to watch a winter sunset from.”

She was correct, as far as looking in a westerly direction goes. But, as sunset aficionados know, colors float enticingly almost everywhere in the sky when the conditions are right. And that’s precisely what colors were doing that late afternoon. As I walked along many blocks in my neighborhood, I made frequent stops to admire the displays taking place in all directions above me. About 20 minutes into the walk, a guy pushing a baby carriage along a sidewalk succinctly summed things up when  he saw me snapping a sunset photo.  “There’s a lot of color in the sky tonight,” he said to me. “The sky’s beautiful,” I answered. It was.

A few minutes after my brief conversation with the carriage-pusher, as dusk entered its final stage, I started examining front lawn Christmas displays, of which there were many. They varied in composition, ranging from the tastefully traditional to the merrily over-the-top. Strings and clusters of blue, red, white and green lights, and of other colors, abounded. Inflatable Santas, snowmen and additional creatures were coming out of the neighborhood’s proverbial ass. Man, individually and collectively the displays wowed me. They created a giddy, phantasmagorical aura that I wouldn’t mind being around throughout much of the year. I took in the sights for a nice long while and then headed back home under a seriously dark sky.

The recap of my colorful adventure now is nearing its conclusion. Christmas-display-wise, I was glad to have learned that my neighbors’ talents had not waned even slightly in 2020. I’ve greedily enjoyed their splendid decorating efforts during each of the 16 Christmas seasons that I’ve spent in this neighborhood. As for the sunset, it showed me that I need to get out of my house more than I do, for, just outside my doorstep, there might be sweet experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t know were awaiting.

And, speaking of a sweet experience, and of a colorful display to boot, there’s one that I will be missing on New Year’s Eve. For years, Sandy and I have taken in NYE fireworks in Philadelphia’s historic section, near the Delaware River. But, due to the good ol’ pandemic, the fireworks have been nixed this year. Shit! Those displays always are great, and are an invigorating way to usher in a fresh set of days. I suppose that Sandy and I will spend the eve at home instead.

Still, there is this: Vaccines have arrived and Trump has been voted out of office. Therefore, there is every reason to think that 2021 will be far better than 2020, a f*cking shit show, has been.

Happy New Year one and all!

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments. Mucho gracias.)

130 thoughts on “Let There Be Colors!

  1. eden baylee December 28, 2020 / 12:08 am

    Wishing you the very best to close out 2020 and nothing but GOOD things for 2021, Neil.

    Fingers crossed the world doesn’t get zapped by aliens or something even more bizarre!

    eden

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Suzanne December 28, 2020 / 12:12 am

    You misspelt colour 😉 The world could do with more colour and a very cheerful post. All the best for 2021.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 12:48 pm

      Hi Suzanne. Yeah, it’s funny how English-speaking countries spell certain words differently. Kind of charming, actually.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Suzanne December 28, 2020 / 3:11 pm

        Hi Neil, never could quite understand the logic, one day I might research the reason why there’s a missing letter in certain words.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Joan Blumberg December 28, 2020 / 12:29 am

    Really enjoyed this, beautiful pictures too/

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Audrey Driscoll December 28, 2020 / 12:32 am

    Great idea to view the sunset from different angles. When I notice that popsicle pink colour I run out to the sidewalk to get the full view. Like yours, my neighbourhood has a lot of trees so the best view is from the street.
    And yes, the colour spreads all around; it’s an effect called the Belt of Venus. There’s a scientific explanation in Wikipedia.
    Wishing you a happy new year, Neil. Let’s hope 2021 is better than 2020, although as you say, there are a couple of improvements already.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Audrey Driscoll December 28, 2020 / 10:44 pm

        I quite agree; can’t see how anyone with half a brain could think otherwise. Let’s hope Biden and his team are up for the task ahead of them. I guess a lot depends on what happens in Georgia.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. SandyL December 28, 2020 / 1:06 am

    Wonderful to find that sunset surprise just around the corner! Where I live in the city I hardly ever see a colorful sunset. On the rare occasion that I do, I’ll call out to my hubby to drop everything and run outside since it’ll last for 100 seconds tops! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Right, in big cities it can be really hard to get a good view of a sunset. Or of a sunrise, for that matter. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ellie894 December 28, 2020 / 1:21 am

    A beautiful sunset is so worth a few extra steps. And this one is all that and more! Happy New Year’s Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lynette d'Arty-Cross December 28, 2020 / 1:34 am

    That’s such a beautiful sunset. I love them and have taken many photos of them.

    Happy New Year to you – I couldn’t agree more. 2020 was a shitshow. Here’s to a smooth and efficient vaccine distribution, a good 2021 and little to no lower back pain. 🍷

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paddy Tobin December 28, 2020 / 4:52 am

    It’s good to get out these days. That bit of fresh air and simply being outdoors is so worthwhile. Jeepers, I feel myself slipping into pseudo-psychiatrist mode here, offering free advice on mental health etc. I have been very irritated by a contribution along those lines in recent days – someone giving a long list of reasons gardening is good for those who suffer from depression etc – and if ever I felt like wrapping my fingers around somebody’s throat and ending my misery, it was then. Within gardening circles it has become almost the fashion thing to have some sort of mental health issues or, on the other hand, to constantly promote the benefits of gardening for those with mental health issues. It has always struck me that the people who really and truly have difficulties with their mental health are the ones who shut the f..k up, as you would say, which leads me to believe those who pontificate on the subject have little or no actual experience, if truth be told. Now, I’m bona fide mentally unhealthy – certified, treated, supervised etc etc and managing very well, thank you – and am fed up to my back teeth of being told what to do by do-gooders who haven’t a clue what they are talking about. However, I highly recommend walking outdoor and enjoying the sunset – and taking lots and lots of photographs for their perusal later will have you appreciate all the more what beauty there is for our enjoyment and just how quickly and dramatically the sky changes at that time of the evening so that there is not just one display of beauty but one which changes constantly, moment by moment. My apologies for placing my rant in your reply tray but it would be wasted on the insincere b…..d who wrote the item which annoyed me. And, of course, there is also the consideration that you are of that honest disposition to press the delete button on it should you wish to be rid of it. Happy New Year to you and yours and we can certainly hope that 2021 will be a better year – things generally improve when you scrape the bottom of the barrel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 1:04 pm

      Hey, I’m not going to press the delete button. You always have worthy things to say, and this is no less true today. As for sunsets, like I mentioned to another person who added some comments, in a few hours I’m going to go to the corner I wrote about and watch the sunset from there. I’m hoping it will be a knockout.

      Like

      • Paddy Tobin December 28, 2020 / 1:18 pm

        Take lots of photographs and enjoy it again after dark – I watched the sunset from my armchair today and thought of you!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. librepaley December 28, 2020 / 6:46 am

    Stunning images. I like the juxtaposition of images showing natural and manufactured light.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 1:06 pm

      Hi there. Twice last week my wife and I drove around different neighborhoods at night, looking at Christmas displays. We saw lots and lots of beautiful decorations.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. stargazer December 28, 2020 / 7:13 am

    I love colours as well, but I think I prefer the natural over the man-made. I definitely prefer sunsets to inflatable Santas. 😉 Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. vprofy December 28, 2020 / 7:28 am

    Neil. I was using the free WordPress, they now call it classic I think. They switched to Gutenberg. I’m having difficulty. If I try to backspace erase it just takes off erasing line after line. I have not been successful adding photos either. And I haven’t found a way to use Classic. Seems I must have a paying account to get Classic plug in. Is it time I subscribe? To what? Thanks. Vince Profy

    My email is vprofy@yahoo.com

    Liked by 1 person

  12. swabby429 December 28, 2020 / 7:58 am

    It’s amazing how the seasonal atmospheric changes, subtly affect dawn and dusk colors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 1:09 pm

      Hi Denise. Many thanks for adding your thoughts. A very happy new year to you and yours.

      Like

  13. Helen Devries December 28, 2020 / 8:50 am

    We have great views of the sunset from the balcony, so no need to shift, but you certainly got good value by leaving the house and exploring.
    Unfortunately there will be fireworks here on NYE, so, willing or not, we shall have to sit up to reassure the dogs who hate them…some of them get realy upset, others sleep through the lot…so after that experience of bringing in the New Year whatever 2021 brings will be viewed with sleepy distaste.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Paula B December 28, 2020 / 10:19 am

    Thank you for the reminders to find beauty all around us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 1:19 pm

      Hey Paula. Have you heard of a novel called Sourdough? I’m reading it right now. It’s whimsical, and kind of feel-good. Anyway, it’s set in San Fran and Alameda island. The author is Robin Sloan. Thanks for dropping by. Have a good week!

      Like

  15. Robert Parker December 28, 2020 / 10:49 am

    Neil, you’re a colorful guy, and I enjoyed all these great displays of color. Here’s another sunset-looking item – -a few year’s ago, we started making Fish House Punch for New Years. That’s a real oldtime, colonial Philly concoction, although the first time I tried it was at Williamsburg Va. The recipes are online – – if you’re like me, and want to start the year without a hangover and seeing red only, you just drop the liquor content, up the fruit juice, and cut it with more seltzer and a little bit of cold tea. And when it’s all mixed, put a few drops of maraschino cherry juice in it for a nice sunset effect. Happy New Year, man, glad you’re still blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 1:25 pm

      Hi. I never heard of Fish House Punch. To tell you the truth, the only alcohol I like is beer and wine. I never liked hard stuff too much, even when I was young. Have a very happy new year, and don’t get drunk!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Debra December 28, 2020 / 11:18 am

    I still get excited about beautiful sunsets too. Hope sunrise on Jan. 1 brings some well-needed changes to our lives. Jan 21 will be even better! Here’s to a New Year of Neil blogs!

    PS. Check out Miracle on South 13th Street, over-the-top decorations in South Philadelphia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 1:26 pm

      I’d like to see those 13th Street displays in person, but I’d never find a place to park my car!

      Like

  17. andrewcferguson December 28, 2020 / 12:16 pm

    Yep, the winter sunsets have been pretty amazing in the past couple of weeks. Winter sunrises too – although I was denied my chance to take a pic of Edinburgh’s skyline at sunrise by the extra restrictions. Keep those perambulations going!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Leah December 28, 2020 / 1:07 pm

    Beautiful tour of the colors, Neil, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 2:11 pm

      Hi, Leah. It was a good late afternoon and early evening to be outside in my area. No rain, not too cold, and beautiful colors galore.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Rosaliene Bacchus December 28, 2020 / 1:38 pm

    A Happy New Year to you, too, Neil! I’m also a big fan of colors and colored lights. I don’t drive and couldn’t get my sons to take me to see the decorations and lights in the high-end shopping area on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. What a pity they haven’t inherited my color gene 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter December 28, 2020 / 2:11 pm

    I love a good sunset! Christmas lights all year could become too much of a good thing, but they’re fun while they last. All the best for 2021. Can’t wait to see the back of Trump, hooray!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. northie December 28, 2020 / 3:08 pm

    Happy New Year, Neil. Will it be better than this one? It just has to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. JT Twissel December 28, 2020 / 5:59 pm

    Lovely sunsets! It’s a shame about the fireworks. This year we really need them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 7:51 pm

      2020 has been a crappo year. 2021 better be a substantial improvement. The vaccines need to work really well!

      Like

  23. rkrontheroad December 28, 2020 / 6:13 pm

    The deep colors of those sunsets are beautiful. Wishing you a new year of colors!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. sniderjerry December 28, 2020 / 7:33 pm

    Great pictures. All the best for a great new year. I’m looking forward to more of your fine essays.
    Your friend, Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Brockelman December 28, 2020 / 7:34 pm

    Let the chartreuses and the neon blues and the electric violets and the sunny yellows carry us through a better New Year. Your blog has helped me get through this year. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2020 / 8:03 pm

      Hi, and thanks. Biden will make things a lot better. As we know, Trump is the worst. What a frigging disgrace Trump is.

      Like

  26. Ann Coleman December 28, 2020 / 9:11 pm

    Great photos, Neil! I’m not sure if I liked the Christmas decorations or the sunsets better, but I can honestly say I love them all!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Fran Johns December 28, 2020 / 11:34 pm

    Lovely colorful post, lovely colors from humanoids as well as the universe. And yes, here’s to a wayyyyyy better New Year, beginning Jan 20. Health & happiness to you & yours from San Francisco!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2020 / 7:42 am

      Hi Fran. A very happy new year to you. By the way: I’m reading a novel set in San Fran. It’s called Sourdough, and it’s by Robin Sloan. It’s a quirky and enjoyable book. See ya!

      Like

  28. annieasksyou December 29, 2020 / 12:08 am

    Always enjoy traversing virtually with you, Neil. Yes, a change in perspective—even a slight one—is often an opening to a cornucopia of happy surprises. (!?).

    2021 promises to be light years ahead of what we’ve been going through. Here’s to Jan 20, when sanity returns!

    Cheers to you and Sandy,
    Annie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2020 / 7:44 am

      Morning, Annie. January 20 can’t arrive soon enough. By the way, I went out at 4:40 PM yesterday to catch the sunset. It was real nice, but not as good as the one I wrote about in this piece.

      Like

  29. Alyson December 29, 2020 / 10:05 am

    Nothing like catching a spectacular sunrise or sunset, but they are fleeting, and often by the time you’ve set up the shot the moment has passed. Phones with a great camera are quick to use though so nowadays it’s a lot easier to get that perfect shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2020 / 12:19 pm

      Hi. You’re right, and that’s one of the reasons why I love my smart phone. It’s one of my best friends!

      Like

  30. talebender December 29, 2020 / 10:13 am

    Loved the phrase, “…ranging from the tastefully traditional to the merrily over-the-top.”
    Christmas decorations are nice, to be sure, but the best thing about sunsets is that we have them all year long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2020 / 12:21 pm

      Hi. Thanks for adding your thoughts. Not only can sunsets be beautiful and inspiring, they are free of charge!

      Like

  31. cincinnatibabyhead December 29, 2020 / 1:24 pm

    Looking at things from another perspective, a wise thing Neil. I’ll be asking for your resignation from “The Dumb Shit Club” where I have been a lie long card carrying member

    Liked by 1 person

  32. snakesinthegrass2014 December 29, 2020 / 2:15 pm

    Ah, a beautiful new tradition is born. And I for one am taking note that you sacrificed at least the beginning of a happy hour to take your wander around the neighborhood, so thank you for that! Indeed, shit show aside, we have much to be grateful for as the calendar turns to 2021. Happy New Year! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 29, 2020 / 4:08 pm

      There’s a real good chance that 2021 will be far better than 2020. We’ll start to find out very soon. Hi, Marty. I appreciate your stopping by. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. workinacresnothours December 29, 2020 / 3:11 pm

    Phantasmagorically wonderful, Its funny isnt it the view from our own neighbourhood, we are surrounded by trees on our property which gives us little glimpses of the mountains in the distance, when we drive home from town & pull into our street the mountain view all but sings a welcome gloriously home. Christmas house deco are always glaringly fun. Happy New Year to & yours, I hope it is full of wonderful colour that brings great wealth in health & happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. JOYCE HAMILTON December 29, 2020 / 6:31 pm

    Loved all the fantastic photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. carolinehelbig December 29, 2020 / 11:28 pm

    Happy New Year to you and Sandy! There are indeed many sweet experiences just outside our doorsteps.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. jeanleesworld December 30, 2020 / 8:03 am

    Your sky captures are perfect, Neil! I don’t see as much color like that in Midwestern sunsets (not often, that is), but the sunrises are GORGEOUS in winter. I should try to capture another one sometime…
    The Christmas displays were a joy to explore, too. Bo proposed multiple trips around the county to see displays, and there were always some glorious displays to see. A beautifully lit Christmas, to be sure. A blessed New Year to you and yours! xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 30, 2020 / 9:40 am

      It’s fun driving around to look at Christmas displays. Sandy and I did that twice last week at night, and probably will check out more of them. Happy New Year, Jean!

      Liked by 1 person

  37. cigarman501 December 30, 2020 / 5:23 pm

    Great sunsets/sunrises. Great photos. A Happy and productive New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. viewfromoverthehill December 30, 2020 / 7:48 pm

    My timing in reading this post was perfect. Just came in dripping wet, had to change my shoes and socks and should have changed my jeans too. The lower of which is wet as well. Your sunsets are magical and, honest, made me feel better. Thanks. Happy happy…..

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Cindy December 30, 2020 / 10:35 pm

    We’ll really miss the New Year’s Eve fireworks, too. Seeing them had become a real nice tradition. I’m hoping they’ll be superspectacular next year! The last couple of days, Gene and I have walked over to the gazebo behind the Art Museum, overlooking the river, to watch the sunset. As if the brilliant colors weren’t enough to make the walk worthwhile, directly above the just-set sun shone Jupiter and Saturn, closer than they’ve been in millennia. The fireworks are twice a year, but our sky is there forever. In 2021 things will be looking up–and so will we!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 31, 2020 / 7:34 am

      Cindy, I’m looking forward to the time when the four of us can resume our various activities and explorations together. That will be pretty soon, I think.

      Like

  40. theburningheart December 31, 2020 / 10:39 am

    I grew up in a seaside port with the most beautiful tropical sunsets, you can imagine, where I live now, it’s hard to watch the sunsets, and unfortunately is at a time I like to be already at home, but I like to get up before sunrise and walk, its an excellent opportunity to see the sunrise, that can be gorgeous as well, of course depending on the condition of the weather.

    The Christmas decorations are always fun to watch.

    However Neil, noticed in the comments people avoid to mention the best observation of your post, I guess some may not agree, or they are afraid to lose some visitors to their blogs, and it was:

    “Still, there is this: Vaccines have arrived and Trump has been voted out of office. Therefore, there is every reason to think that 2021 will be far better than 2020, a f*cking shit show, has been.”

    Thank you for your principles, and honesty Neil, we appreciate that.

    Happy New Year to you, and your family! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 31, 2020 / 1:19 pm

      Good afternoon, and many thanks for your input. You know, I’ve gone outside only a few times in my life to watch sunrises. I should start doing it occasionally. Take care. Have fun welcoming in the new year.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Americaoncoffee December 31, 2020 / 12:09 pm

    Yes , we name the same seasons, and every year is different in the mastery of the spirit. Your annual captivations of colors, are heavenly! Happy Blessed, New year!🥂🔔🎼🎼🍂🔔

    Liked by 1 person

  42. alisendopf December 31, 2020 / 3:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing your love of colours. I love the fall and spring equinox because it’s the easiest time to see the amazing sun rises and sets where I am.
    I wish you a fantastic 2021 full of life and colour!

    Liked by 1 person

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