Monday, July 31, 2023

That River in Africa

7/29/23 Maple Leaf neighborhood

In late July and early August, I often see previously bright green foliage turning a yellowish-orange, as if they are already beginning to turn. I know that trees begin to turn in response to the shortening hours of daylight as well as the temperature, neither of which should be indicating “autumn” yet, but seeing these colors always prompts a bit of a panic in me. It doesn’t help to see “back to school” promotions.

Is summer already waning? It can’t be! It’s just the beginning of the season named after that river in Africa.

Color note: This was an odd primary triad that I don’t usually use. Instead of lemon yellow, I used heavy-equipment yellow, also known as Gold Cadmium Yellow, which is close to yellow-orange. At first I didn’t like it, but looking at it again, it evokes a heaviness or dryness that trees probably do feel by late July. It’s the opposite of May green, which reflects the fresh luminosity of spring.



  1. I hate when the summer color starts to fade...and the back to school ads are everywhere. I never handled summer ending very well as a kid or as an adult.

    1. I hated summer break coming to an end when I was a kid, but I don't think I cared about it as an adult before I became an urban sketcher!


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