My morning walk around the pond "kills me with delight," as Mary Oliver so beautifully expressed in her poem "Mindful". Right now this whole patch of wild is yellowing up, and I find myself mentally digging through my paint box for the pigments to match what I'm seeing: the cad yellow medium of Bird's Foot Trefoil and Goldenrod in its prime; cad yellow light for Butter and Eggs; ochre for decaying Goldenrod and Milkweed, the latter having given up the chlorophyll work of summer and finally let the yellows out to play. Shooting up through all of this are purple asters, in living colour harmony. Nature knows complementarity.
The grasses are lightening up, too, waving around in a tint of burnt sienna and titanium white, and as I think about all this, I'm reminded of the book, I Send You This Cadmium Red, by artists John Berger and John Christie. "What could our next project be?" asked Christie of Berger. "Just send a colour," was the reply, and a square of cad red crossed the English Channel from London to France, the beginning of a rich correspondence about colour that eventually became a book.
With that in mind, I send you these yellows – the lemon, cadmium, Naples and ochre of my field – and invite you to savour this palette before it changes to white, Payne's Grey and Prussian blue, in all their tints and tones of winter.