Besides the bad puns, Orange is the one color that says Fall more than any other. Autumn brings the changing of the leaves as they carpet front yards with a confetti of Brown, Gold and Orange. Pumpkins suddenly become everyone’s favorite gourd—pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin latte, pumpkin wine…pumpkin this and pumpkin that. And the official colors of Halloween? Orange and Black.
Orange is a happy color, according to color psychologists; radiating warmth and happiness—which comes between the stimulating energy of Red and the cheerfulness of Yellow. Sounds like a great color to love! Orange supposedly relates to our “gut” feelings, whereas Red is more physical and Yellow is more mental. It’s an optimistic color which uplifts our feelings, able to give us emotional strength during difficult times and helps us bounce back from disappointment. Seems like we could all use a little bit of Orange in our lives, yah? What’s your favorite color?
Being a writer, I’m glad I don’t do poetry, because there are no words that rhyme with orange. In fact, in the entire 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, the only perfect rhyming word is sporange—a scientific term for a sac where spores are made. Are we writing a poem or a technical journal here? Then again you can always write romantically about Blorenge, a mountain in Wales, which might be compelling if you live there.
Other things Orange: being a Californian (I qualify now because I’ve lived here for over 30 years), I know there are a couple of Orange state symbols. Our official state salt water fish is the Garibaldi, a brilliantly orange sub-tropical fish that scuba divers often see off of our coast. These guys are so cute and colorful, you wouldn’t think they could harm you, but divers have been known to get bitten if you get too close to their nesting grounds. They were named as our state marine fish as recently as 1995; the state freshwater fish has been the Golden Trout since 1947. (I’m a big fan of tropical fish since I used to keep an aquarium for many years)
The California state flower is the California Poppy, a beautiful orange blossom that grows wild all over the state. Native Americans in California valued the poppy as a food source way back then, and they were also used for the oil extracted from the plant. Here in SoCal, the best place to see them in the wild is the Antelope Valley, a protected area in northern Los Angeles County. If you ever have the chance, get out there to see them—it’s pretty spectacular. And the psychologists are right. The sight of so many orange poppies really does make you feel happy!
And now in no particular order, more things that are Orange to celebrate our favorite October color.
Happy Orange October!
photo credits: Orange tabby by Dan Zen Fall forest by Anton Vakulenko Garibaldi by mark6mauno Poppy field by Juuyoh Tanaka Poppy valley by Gregory Smith Cheetos by Mike Mozart Ikura by City Foodsters Bird of Paradise by Jeff Kramer Papaya by Jar
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