Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014 - Colorful Mallards

Did you ever wonder what it must have been like to live a few hundred years ago?  I always wonder.  One of the things I think about a lot is how different colors would have looked back then.  These days our eyes are bombarded with brilliant and fluorescent colors that practically scream at us.  There are colors with hues so vivid, it almost hurts the eye to look at them, and we get so used to seeing brilliant color everywhere we look:  magazines, television, computer, etc.  But what if your eyes had never beheld these modern colors?  What if the only colors your eyes had ever seen were the natural colors of the world around you?  How might this change what you see and the way in which you appreciate it?

Consider this humble mallard.  The brilliant and iridescent green on his neck is the natural color for this drake during breeding season.  It gleams and shines in the sunlight and is offset and made even more brilliant by the white stripe beneath it.  And what about the iridescent purple/blue speculum feathers, which appear even more brilliant in flight?  You can see just a bit of this color along his side as he floats on the pond.  Imagine laying your eyes upon these colors and wanting to surround yourself with them in beautiful clothing.  There would be no stores where you could get them, no latest trends, no market research on the hottest colors of the season.  There would be just the mallard and the different plants and insects in nature from which you would attempt to duplicate the color in a dye . . . in a dye you put into a handmade cloth.  Oh, how the world has changed, and perhaps not for the better.

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