Yellow Crayon Lights Sonoran Desert Spring

April 28th, 2017 · No Comments

Yellow by Jane St. Clair

In the spring of the year the Sonoran Desert goes from light green to yellow.

Everywhere you look you see yellow.

April picks up her color crayons and throws them all away except for one, and then she colors it all yellow.

Palo verde trees hang heavy with yellow, yellow falls all over their feet, yellow creates a carpet beneath them, as if it had snowed yellow snow. The yellow of the palo verdes against the bright blue Arizona sky is electric … so electric that you feel as if yellow fire alarms are going off in your head.

In the spring of year in the Sonoran Desert if you walk in the mountains, if you walk in the gray and black shadow mountains, suddenly you’ll see fields of wildflowers, and pop! They are all yellow.

All day long everywhere you look, yellow … the yellow sun lights up yellow wildflowers and gentle yellow wax flowers on the saguaros smiling and welcoming golden bumblebees …

No one can explain yellow to someone who cannot see it. The dictionary says yellow is the color of ripe lemons, but what does that mean? Is the color of your ripe lemons the same color as mine? Just thinking about yellow, that is.

Mark Rothko, the American artist, made gigantic paintings of yellow. Once he painted a huge picture of a yellow square on top of an orange square… so everyone could see the difference between the color yellow and the color orange. Rothko’s idea is simple but yet it is profound in its own way.

In the Sonoran Desert the sky paints its own Rothko painting … the sky makes its own comparison of orange and red and yellow…

Then at night a yellow moon comes out in yellow clouds ..

Coldplay knew these things when they sang … “Look at the stars… Look how they shine for you and everything you do ..Yeah, they are all yellow ..”


…Spring 2017 was a fantastic year for wildflowers in the west, and the BBC posted a picture of all that yellow from 65 miles up in space! Go here

Tags: Arizona · Jane St. Clair · nature essay