182 – Natural

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

As I walk, I look up and down the beach seeing a lot of sand. All that sand – those abrasive grains of silicon dioxide from many years of erosion.

In general, the beach is relatively limited in terms of color, but I know the color of beaches around the world varies. Not only from white to grays to browns, but also reds, blacks, greens, pinks, and oranges. These are the sands that refresh the feet of the world.

Some describe the sand here as white. Compared to many other beaches, I agree – but to me, it has a hint of light beige – but from the balcony, it’s an off-white color. No matter the beach, bits of shells, corals, and different rocks meld with the sand to form the beach’s color palette.

Most seashells are neutral earth tones – shades of beige, tan, white, and light gray. Although some shells offer touches of orange, specks of red, and even black – blues and greens seem absent.

I use this long introduction for today’s theme. Natural – the natural colors of nature. Colors not made by humans as the colors of painted buildings and rooms. Not the colors of our clothing. Natural is how it is supposed to be – natural foods, natural silk, natural ingredients, and more.

I think about natural colors and what they do. Natural colors attract attention or blend in. Natural colors are based on how their intent sees them (which may not be us). Colors for displaying male dominance – colors for attracting a mate so the species can continue. Colors displaying age and maturity. Colors for protecting their territory from the competition.

In a search for a more solid walking path of sand, I wander away from the waterline. I pass a crab standing guard by its hole away from the shoreline. I think it’s a sand crab – not a nocturnal ghost crab. I’m amazed at how well it blends in with the color of the sand. No luck finding solid footing with this sand, so I go back toward the water.

The flounders in the sea protect themselves by changing color to blend with their environment. I remember seeing deer in California that looked different than the deer I see at home in Ohio. Not the browns and tans of home, but blackish to blend with the soil in the almond groves.

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Not many land animals change like the flounder, but some do it seasonally to blend in with rocks, vegetation, or the colors of the season – even the white of snow. Goldfinch males at home in winter are much drabber than in the summer. I think about the animals of the snow to avoid being eaten – or to be the hidden predator.

I think about how many natural colors are earth tones – but not all. The bright colors of macaws in the rainforest protect them from the way predators see them, but the bright colors of some rainforest frogs say, “Don’t mess with me because I’m poisonous.”

Summer provides many shades of green – each specialized to grab a specific wavelength of light. I’ve stated this before, I would enjoy seeing a color continuum of natural shades of green found in nature.

I think about how colors depend on light’s angle. The brilliance of the male peacock’s display to attract a female – the eyes, the patterns, the bowl shape for reflecting colors to the female – yet done so at the expense of inefficient flight.

I think about the bright colors of the fish in the sea. However, light is different there because less light penetrates the depths. What do the eyes of their predators see? They may not see the brightness we see.

I think about why zebras have the most contrasting colors. Does it get more contrasting than black and white? Does passing each other confuse a predator? Is it because of what their predators can and cannot see? To blend in with an environment? To confuse an insect? For distraction?

I think about colors in nature being obvious to us, but maybe not as obvious to other animals that see them. The color receptors in the eyes differ from animal to animal, therefore not all eyes are created equal.

I think about the colors that we can’t see, such as ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light is an invisible world displaying color we cannot see because it is not meant for us. Yet, some in the natural world use UV light for protection, capturing food, and finding a mate – all aspects of their survival and continuation of the species. Could you see a tiger approaching if you couldn’t see orange?

The colors found in nature are worth pondering. From the bright to the dull, there is a reason they occur that may not be obvious to us. I wonder, has Earth always been this colorful? I doubt it.

It’s been good pondering natural colors today. On second thought, the sand now looks a bit gray, not beige. Oops – I’m wearing sunglasses. It’s time to return inside – but I will return because I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about Natural

Next Post: Deep – Saturday 1st April @ 1 AM (Eastern US


73 thoughts on “182 – Natural”

  1. What would our world be without colour? It’s certainly interesting pondering all the colours of nature, our association with colours that often dictate our moods. And how each species has evolved. A though provoking post Frank. And lovely images. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Miram,
      We definitely live in a colorful world. Although it may not be obvious, my underlying theme was that the colors that we see may not be the colors that other living things see, therefore the reasons for the colors may not be obvious to us. Then again, we can enjoy and marvel the colors that we see. Glad you enjoyed this walk and thanks for walking along.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning, Frank!
    Now you have me pondering on how colors on Earth have changed. I imagine it was not as colorful during ice ages, but colorful during other periods. Even some dinosaurs may have had bright, colored feathers like birds.
    I think it’s interesting how sometimes I have not noticed an animal’s camouflage colors until I see it move into bushes or patches of trees–deer, rabbits, etc.

    I sometimes have to raise my sunglasses to confirm the colors I’m seeing when I walk.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Merril,
      There is so much to think about the natural world – it’s actually overwhelming. We picture dinosaurs in an environment as ours, but that doesn’t seem to be. – therefore difficult to for most of us to imagine. Meanwhile, you made me laugh because I often catch myself checking color without sunglasses. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Since I love everything about nature – I definitely love the colors of nature. I think back to the days of black and white photos and am so glad to be in the digital age of photography. No one can paint a picture like God can. Very interesting post Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is an amazing video Frank. I love nature’s variety of colors. The way animals can camouflage themselves never ceases to amaze me. Man has certainly created some fabulous colors, but nothing will ever out do nature. Nature is its own rainbow of colors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ginger,
      Thank for watching the video because I enjoy getting feedback. I love how timelapse photography shows us so much more. Plus this video uses very aspects of nature. Nature offers so much for those taking the time to look and think about it!


  5. Wearing sunglasses! 😎😆
    I’m drawn to colour, Frank, natural or artificial… although natural colours, even the more gaudy ones, definitely have the better look to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Color is such an important influence on human perception and behavior! I remember a study where unnatural food colorings were added to foods. People found blue mashed potatoes unappetizing. I love the colors of nature, and I enjoyed this post, Frank! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheryl,
      Good point – The effect of color on human behaviors is fascinating in itself. I recall hearing a person say that we wouldn’t ever drink anything blue. Even something as basic as food coloring can play with our minds. Meanwhile, nature is full of color for many reasons – so cheers to cherishing them!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Natural colors are divine and I think that’s why paint companies refer to their shades of paints with the names they do. We have Macadamia walls and Fleur de Sel walls and Panda White walls. Very natural

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      Humans have a way of making the beach colorful – and in a good way! Meanwhile, I watched the video about an hour ago. The lady could sing! I remember watching the show, and I thought Arethra’s performance was one of the best Kennedy Center Honor moments … and Carole King’s creation was priceless.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved this musing on natural colors – but it is really about perception based on specie specific evolutionary developments… I think of many predators that are color blind (canids especially) who perceive using scent and motion over color. This post did make me ponder…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene,
      Oh my … thank for the chuckle about the black sand beaches. I definitely laughed! Meanwhile, I doubt if many of us can imagine environments that are so different from what we have today. For instance, most people picture dinosaurs in the current environment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Frank, your remark about the dark glasses made me laugh as I’ve thought that colors were a certain way, only to take my glasses off and realize they’re rather different. I’m glad you pointed out than “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean the same as “neutral.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oooh, the beautiful colors of nature…from the sky overhead to the smallest insect on a branch. When you log as many foot miles as I do in a week, you begin to focus on the cacophony of sights in nature. And they all register as beautiful. Life is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nature’s palette tells you all you need to know about mystical design. It ranges from the most spectacular colors known to humankind and then you have nature in camouflage, and so many questions come to mind on both ends of that spectrum.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m a big fan of natural colors Frank – I tend toward beige, ivory, brown cream etc. Of course, as you’ve noted some of the brightest colors are also seen in nature – especially among flowers. An interesting topic for sure this week. it made me think of OUR beach here on Kiawah, which is less white and more beige, while our waters are less blue, more green. All colors I’m happy to wear!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a wonderful topic to occupy your walk. I agree. I love the natural colours and I do lean towards the Browns. But I am also catapulted into the idea of how we love the idea of natural and then, as a species, we pervert and manipulate it to fit our concept of natural. Instead of accepting that which is right in front of us, we live in poor copies of it. And it’s right outside our door…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Your comment has numerous kernels to chew on. I think you are the only person to mention browns. I want you know I have a Brown essay in the draft pool … it may be well down the line, but it’s there! The colors in nature are so broad … and I like to notice the subtle differences between similar colors. It’s all there for anyone who takes the time to look.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I think about this topic from time to time. As I’ve been responding to drought conditions and planting more natives in my garden the color scheme is much more muted than the beautiful spring colors I see at the garden centers. I have learned to really appreciate that subtle soft greens and browns and occasional pops of other colors, and I’m keenly aware that these are natural colors that fit my geography, but for some people, it’s too bland. I think as the colors appear in nature, we are treated to a feast for our eyes and we should truly be appreciative. Nicely presented, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      The story of changing your home’s landscape is interesting … especially because I know how much pride you take in your landscape (both the before and the after). Muted tones with subtle variations is a great descriptor that wonderfully fits with this essay. Cheers to you for finding the beauty in bland. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.


  15. Hi Frank, a lovely post. I adore shells and have quite a large collection. I have three jars of greens ones. I can’t remember what they are called now, I will have to ask my mom. They are very pretty and delicate. WRT zebras: “Thermoregulation has long been suggested by scientists as the function of zebra stripes. The basic idea is that black stripes would absorb heat in the morning and warm up zebras, whereas white stripes reflect light more and could thus help cool zebras as they graze for hours in the blazing sun. Interesting information.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robbie,
      Glad you enjoyed this stroll. When I write about shells, it’s always based on what I see – but I’ve wondered about the other colors of shells throughout the world. Thanks for the zebra information. That is definitely one thought about them – but there are others because the answer doesn’t seem to be definitive. Just another example of there is always more to learn. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love seeing all the hes and tints that the natural world provides for our pleasure, as well as for the functionality of those selfsame colors.
    I am always fascinated by the widely varying shades of gemstones! And other rocks and minerals…I guess I have that from my Dad, a jeweler/gemologist by trade…(as well as Watchmaker Clockmaker).
    Our sandy soils around here are often an orange red color, due to high iron content…and boy we need filters to keep all the rust out, or our clothes and everything in contact with water, become orange, too..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid,
      I appreciate your examples about your father’s profession in applicable essays. The same gem having slight differences in shades makes a lot of sense to me – but it is also one that I don’t think I’ve pondered. Thanks for sharing. Meanwhile, whether rocks or soil, iron has a way of adding color!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.