Sunday, April 16, 2017

R. I. P. Dandelion

I stumbled across Hallie Bateman's clever and sensitive eulogy to the Crayola (r) color "Dandelion." The illustrated eulogy appeared in the New York Times, but I found it while surfing through my subscription to Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter on April 14.  I haven't blogged as much as I'd like to in recent months, but the Dandelions are making their appearance in my yard (above and below) and Bateman's piece has fired me up again.
I read that this color will be replaced by a new hue in the Blue family, and maybe it will be formally announced before I finish with this post.  Besides arousing my protective spirit toward dandelions, this news launched some serious net surfing during which I found that Crayola currently produces 120 colors.  Their common box sizes contain 8, 16, 32, 48, 64, or 120 crayons.  I'm not sure why they didn't continue the geometric series they started by having a box of 128.  A box of 120 is cool, though, as 120 has many factors.  I was visualizing the possibilities for box shapes: 2 x 60, 3 x 40, 4 x 30, 5 x 24, 6 x 20, 8 x 15, and 10 x 12.  And that's only the rectangular boxes.  Imagine other possibilities such as triangular, parallelogram and hexagonal boxes!
My net search also included Prismacolor pencils.  I read some histories and found that Prismacolor is no longer made by Berol, and that they currently produce 150 colors.
Since I had my camera in hand to get some shots of my dandelions, I walked around the yard a bit to see what else was brewing.  One of our yellow tulips (above) is about to bloom. We've tried to eradicate the tulips several times in order to plant something different.  However, they keep coming back.  I admire that, so I think this time around we'll leave them alone.  We do have at least 6 varieties that display an amazing array of bright colors.  Maybe we'll see them in a couple of weeks. The forecast for the coming week is cool and rainy, so it'll be a while before the other colors are revealed.
Companions to our tulips are these Hyacinths.  This name applies to quite a variety of flowers, some that are not even in the same family as the ones above, Amaryllidaceae.  Lily relatives.
Last, I'm gathering notes for a possible book on my educational experiences.  One of my strongest memories from 1st grade is that my teacher posed the question: What comes after yellow?  Back then I said "that's a stupid question" or words to that effect.  If I were a first grader today, I might answer "a funeral."

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