Naturally blue – the perfect backdrop

Beautiful, but small blue flowers (Table Mountain, NP)

Beautiful, but small blue flowers (Table Mountain, NP)

Nature likes to paint some landscapes with a big wide brush – (seemingly) carelessly using lots of the same colour, tints and hues. Deserts sport glaring white dunes, or harsh red sands – stretching from immediately underfoot to the far distant mirage shimmering on the horizon.

Greens are also very popular. Forests have intense and deep shades, while fresh grasslands and meadows may have sparser and less intense colouring.

A deep blue miniature Agapanthus (Kirstenbosch  Botanic Gardens, Cape Town)

A deep blue miniature Agapanthus (Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens, Cape Town)

But I believe that the colour that is appears the most widely in nature is blue. The earth is wrapped in a layer of ‘sky’ which varies in shades from almost white, through to the deepest of deep blues – sometimes in the same sky at the same time!

The sky is so deeply blue some days that the colour seems to just go on and on and have no end. This wonderful earth-wrapper has magnified grandeur, because it is also reflected wherever there is water. So the sea (which appears blue), is actually just reflecting the sky. When the sky is grey, the sea is also grey!

The sea is not really blue, it reflects the blue from the sky (Knysna Heads).

The sea is not really blue, it reflects the blue from the sky (Knysna Heads).

The sky is also the universal backdrop! Everything looks fantastic when seen against a blue sky! Trees, animals, plants, people, buildings, you name it – they all show their best features with that lovely soft gentle blue colour in the background.

A Hornbill, beatifully captured against an intense blue sky (Kruger NP, South Africa)

A Hornbill, beautifully captured against an intense blue sky (Kruger NP)

Almost as if to make up for this ‘overuse’ of this colour, there are not many other things elsewhere in nature that are coloured blue.

Some birds have blue feathers (and looking at other entries in this challenge I am sure that some of these (eg kingfishers, peacocks) will feature), reptiles can be attired in vivid blue, and many flowers do come in blue too. But when compared to the numbers of these same things that have non-blue colours, blue is a relatively rare colour in natural systems (except for the sky)!

I think this is a species of chameleon. A rare, bright blue coloured reptile (Kruger NP)

A Tree Agama. Rarely does one see a bright blue coloured reptile! (Kruger NP)

Beautiful rugged mountains near Ceres - the sky makes them all the more awesome.

Beautiful rugged mountains near Ceres – the sky makes them all the more awesome.

Cape SugarBird, tail fluttering in the breeze  (Table Mountain NP)

Cape SugarBird, tail fluttering in the breeze (Table Mountain NP)

Vultures waiting for the dinner gong! The blue dusk sky shows them off perfectly (Kruger NP)

Vultures waiting for the dinner gong! The dusky blue sky shows them off perfectly (Kruger NP)

Interestingly, when the sky is blue, it generally means a sunny day. Sunny days are associated with happiness and good times. But there is also a common saying that when someone is down, they are ‘feeling blue’. So it is a colour with mixed meanings and symbolism.

It is my favourite colour – that deep intense sky blue 🙂

All the photos on this post are from South Africa. (NP is National Park).

This article was posted in reply to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

 

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This entry was posted in Africa, Kruger National Park, Odds & ends, South Africa, Weekly challenges and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Naturally blue – the perfect backdrop

  1. Beautiful “Blue” captured

    Like

  2. mudlips says:

    Like many millions of others, my favorite color is blue. So, how could I not like this post! And I think you might enjoy this article http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/science/with-new-findings-scientists-are-captivated-by-the-color-blue.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Like

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