Wearing vermilion

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All day I’ve noticed
folk wearing vermilion,
but still, since summer,
most of us have been wearing
this year’s fashion colour – black.

(Friday 13 March 2015)

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NOTES:

“Vermilion is a brilliant red or scarlet pigment originally made from the powdered mineral cinnabar, and is also the name of the resulting color. It was widely used in the art and decoration of Ancient Rome, in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, in the paintings of the Renaissance, and in the art and lacquerware of China, where it is often called ‘Chinese Red’.” (Wikipedia)

See also: Pigments through the Ages

Harbinger

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Dawn. A south wind. Leaves
tap the glass. The rain drops in
monosyllables.

(15 February 2015)

 


Two mornings in a row, the leaves of the Cordyline banksii outside my window have awakened me early. Wellington’s summer has been fine and warm, so these few cool days, with their southerly air flow, seem like a harbinger of autumn.

Life has a plan

[untitled (Paekakariki Beach)] 11 January 2009)

[untitled (Paekakariki Beach)] 11 January 2009)

I’ve realized something today.
No matter how hard you try to plan your life,
life has a plan for you all on its own.

(Nikhil Saluja)

__________

So far I have no clear idea of the identity of  the author quoted above … but a significant collection of pithy quotations is available here.

Little herald of summer

rose with cicada #1 (16 Nov 2012)

rose with cicada #1 (16 Nov 2012)

The fine sprinkling of water-drops on the white roses in my little courtyard was reason enough to get out my camera. The little herald of summer (an early cicada) was a bonus.

I hadn’t heard it singing in the rain – they usually wait for the heat of January and February.

“New Zealand has 42 unique species and subspecies of cicada. The biggest is the chorus cicada, with a wingspan as wide as your palm. In summer, the males sing in chorus for a mate.” (Te Ara : The Encyclopedia of New Zealand)

The name comes from the Latin cicada, meaning ‘tree cricket’. Wikipedia also points out that “There is no word of proper English, or indeed Germanic, etymology for the insect. In classical Greek, it was called a tettix, and in modern Greek tzitzikas – both names being onomatopoeic.”

rose with cicada #2 (16 Nov 2012)

rose with cicada #2 (16 Nov 2012)

Often colloquially called locusts, cicadas are not related to true locusts, which are in fact grasshoppers. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.