Out and About – Everything Is Coming Up Yellow – A Photo Essay

Out and About – Everything Is Coming Up Yellow – A Photo Essay

By Elizabeth Eby

Posted April 19, 2022

Everything is coming up yellow!  Daffodils, pansies, crocus, and forsythia are golden yellow.  They share common pollinators – insects with poor vision and are blind to colors other than yellow or white.  In addition to the golden color, daffodils have trumpets or rings of highly contrasting color around the stamen to direct the pollinator to the sweet spot.  

Some people love this shade of yellow but others call it harsh.  Some think daffodils glow in the dark and people speculated that they generated electricity or phosphorescence.  This went on until a 20th century German scientist explained that it is an optical illusion, the result of how our eyes perceive bright yellow in the twilight.  William Wordsworth’s famous daffodil poem was inspired by a walk through a huge field of wild daffodils one evening when he and his sister experienced this phenomenon.

Forsythia blossoms are among the very first signs of spring.  The buds form in fall and look like little nubs along the branch. They bloom before they form leaves.  Branches cut as soon as the buds are plump will blossom indoors and eventually root when placed in a vase of water.  I laughed out loud when I spotted this forsythia arch. I cannot decide what, if any, aesthetic effect it has on the electric meter in the center. But I love the gardener’s imagination and desire to make use of the every bit of garden space. Moreover, I have come to enjoy and respect topiary.  It requires skill, incremental steps, consistency and great patience.  Similar to addressing climate change.

Out and About is an occasional photo feature by artist, photographer, and Capitol Hill resident Elizabeth Eby.  She finds vignettes while out and about on Capitol Hill. 

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