October is Orange and Blue — and Pumpkins!


            “There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.”

          —  Nathaniel Hawthorne

One of New England’s quintessential writers, native son, descendant of a “hanging judge” of Salem, Nathaniel Hawthorne knew his seasons, his landscapes, and his weather. So what if it poured buckets on our heads today driving from the Pioneer Valley to the Berkshires and back again ! In principle, Hawthorne’s quite right. Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere. When the sun shines, the ubiquitous orange globes glow like small suns all around us, and when the sky is blue, so that these two complements on the color wheel, blue and orange, are juxtaposed side by side, the effect (to me, at least) is something sublime.

I love the purity of the blue and orange of this shot, but I took a whole bunch of photos when I was admiring the pumpkins on the porch of the Williamsburg General Store, and there’s another one that I liked too much to leave out:

I don’t know why I like it so much, either. That happens sometimes with photos, something unexpected about one touches my heart for no good artistic reason. Has to be an emotional reason, I suppose. Here I think it’s the reflections in the corner –A powerful word for me, reflection(s).

Does either photo resonate for you? If so, I’d love to know which, and perhaps why —And if neither does, well, then, at least here’s your dose of orange sunshine for today!

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This entry was posted in Autumn, Color, Etcetera, Photography, Pioneer Valley, Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to October is Orange and Blue — and Pumpkins!

  1. tms says:

    They are both great, but I especially like the top picture – a feast for my eyes. I enjoy its clarity, both in colour and composition. It seems tidy, yet not overly tidy, thanks to the slightly irregular crates.

    They surely resonate although the association of fall and pumpkins seems somewhat foreign to me (It’s mainly wine / grapes and apples in our region) … Mulling over this last sentence, I slowly understand that your pictures seem to represent a significant aspect of what I love about Americans. I would be hard put to translate that into words though…

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      To me — to any Northeasterner here in the US— scarlet and gold leaves, orange of pumpkins, are “natural” signs of autumn. Inevitable.
      But reading your comment, suddenly I saw in my mind’s eye the hillsides terraced with grape vines and the apple orchards of Germany, and imagined glasses being poured in the vineyards after the harvest, which equally pictures autumn for you.
      One great bonus of travel is to see one’s own home more clearly, and borrowing someone else’s eyes does the same thing.
      Thank you, Tobias! As usual —

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  2. Stef says:

    Orange and blue are complimentary colors, you know. Perhaps that’s (in part) why you feel a compelling draw to the images you snapped? [More info here: http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-theory-intro.htm%5D

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  3. 2e0mca says:

    Very nice colours – Should make some nice Jack ‘o Lanterns 🙂 With Halloween approaching, I’ll have to dig out the film Sleepy Hollow again!

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  4. pauline says:

    I’m opting for the top photo precisely because of the reflective window in the second one – I like my pumpkins without distraction. I live so many stories at one time, I like to ponder in the singular mode 😉 Baby is sleeping as I type, after a morning of hugging and playing and just watching her change before my very eyes!

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  5. Smallpeace says:

    I agree with TMS, the top image is indeed “a feast for the eyes.” And the stronger composition, I feel. I know why you find the reflections in the corner emotionally appealing—I think that my post on Going with the Flow is where we first met, you and I—however, by virtue of the fact that those reflections draw one’s eye away from the simple, delicious juxtaposition of the orange, blue, and red, I think you weaken the viewers’ response to what you initially found so enticing.

    http://smallpeaceblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/going-with-the-flow/

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Right on target, Michele. It was a delight to see your river reflections again. I love reflections, they have an instant appeal for me. But so does color.
      As you and Tobias are so helpful about reminding me, keeping the focus strictly on the colors, their purity in the simpler composition, makes it stronger.
      Thank you very much.

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  6. Great pictures! I like both shots but, the second picture seems more immediate. I think it’s because I think it is the view I would have if I were standing in that place. The first picture is visually tactile; the smooth clapboards, the wrinkly pumpkin skins, and the rough edges of the wood crates say “touch me”. Also, the color combination of blue and orange resonates for me as the school colors of my high school – go Bayside! Go Commodores! Finally, blue and orange (and white) are the colors of the New York City (formerly New Amsterdam) and Albany flags reflecting our connection to the Dutch settlers.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      It definitely is the view you’d have.
      The first photo is strictly cropped for a more austere and concentrated view. Second includes the human element, namely us, standing looking at the reflections as well as the pumpkins. I never thought about the New York connection, William of Orange and all that — thank you for an enriching reminder!
      (We lived in Nassau ((Dutch name)) County and I always liked the county flag, more blue and orange exerting its appeal. Go Bayside! Go Nassau!)

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  7. blue and orange – great tones together. makes me want to paint a room in shades of your top picture. hmmmmm

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  8. thirdhandart says:

    I’m always wavering on my choices, but I’m going to buck up and state an opinion. The bottom photo is a very good photo, and I really like the reflection of the sky in the window (good catch)! But, after reading the whole post and looking at each photo many times, I’m drawn more to the top photo. I think it’s because the top photo fits perfectly with your words, “…the purity of the blue and orange of this shot…”.
    In other words, I agree with TMS and Smallpeace.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      It’s so great to have all your eyes to borrow, to look freshly at the photos.
      After this additional looking, and reflecting on it (!) — I’m going along with Tobias and Michele and you, Theresa. The power in this case is with the purity and the simplicity. Less isn’t necessarily more; but in this case less is definition enough, it’s “just right.”

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  9. Rebekah says:

    I like pumpkins [now], and for some reason, especially on a dark and dreary day. A cute pumpkin arrangement can certainly light up a rainy October-day! The top photo spoke the most to me right away, mainly because of the irregular sizes of the crates. Then I read the comments now.

    In my country, a number of years ago, all of a sudden, huge piles of pumpkins started to appear in the grocery stores … out of the blue. We had never had Hallowe’en there before, but now we do. To Swedish kids, say age around ten, it’s all part and parcel now of November — it’s there to stay… However, when it happened, I, at least, felt like it was being forced upon us…

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      They are immensely cheerful, pumpkins.
      Although I prefer them straight, and not carved up into jack o’ lanterns —
      Funny about Halloween, we celebrated it when I was a kid, it was a one-day (night) event and lots of fun, but that’s it —
      Within the past 20 years, I’d say, it’s morphed first into a national holiday, and by now into an international holiday. And I felt like you, it was somehow forced — commercialized in a curious way. But boy, it’s certainly struck a nerve!
      (Glad to have you back, Rebekah, with or without Halloween costume 😉

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  10. I love the top picture best for its simplicity – a fabulous image. I experienced the fall colours in your part of the world years ago when I spent six months in Boston, and have never forgotten the beauty of the New England countryside at this time of year.
    Thank you so much for your kind comments on my blog, because that has led me to visit here, where I’ve just spent a happy time discovering yours! So delighted to find you, and I will be a regular from now on 🙂

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      I am delighted you’ve come to visit and look around, Karen.
      I’ve already enjoyed many of your wonderful posts, and look forward to more. (Even though the marvelous sights of Provence turned me green with envy, I’m still happy to have had the opportunity to revel in them.) Welcome!

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  11. Pumpkins pumpkins . They are much more a part of our culture than one would think. Nice to meet a fellow Hawthorne fan. I also lived in the Pioneer Valley for a time and autumn there made it a wonderful place to be. Bottom photo for me…reflections I supose.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Thanks very much for your visit, and your comment.
      I have a sneaking fondness for the bottom one also — reflections, yes! — but more people preferred the bold in-your-face photo.

      Like

  12. Ooooo! That blue with that orange? I’m stealing that color combination for some project somewhere! Nice!

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