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In Praise of Orange

Years ago, on a leadership trust retreat when I was serving as a dean, the group had to play some silly trust games and then be told what our leadership colors were.  I don’t remember mine—green or blue, I think.  What I do remember is that a vice president in the group from a different college (thank goodness) was a real jerk—competitive, self-serving, little evident respect for his team.  From my view, he was loud and obnoxious as well.

His color was identified as orange.  You know, like fluorescent orange traffic cones.  He was pegged as loud, aggressive, and demanding.  That assessment was probably true about him—he seemed like a real jerk to me.  But it was so demeaning to the color orange.

napping catrobinAlthough orange is often noticed in the natural world—from my view—it is assertive not aggressive.  It is very natural, heartwarming, energetic, even strong and forceful.  The psychological associations with orange include strength, resilience, optimism and spontaneity. Those qualities make sense regarding the color orange, since orange is the color of southwest vistas, spring flowers, fall leaves and gorgeous sunsets.  Here are a few photos to prove my point about how special orange is!

Saugaro NP Rincon & West 325

I’ve shared my views on the color orange before.  This post is my response to the Daily Challenge: Orange—click here to see the other responses to this challenge.

butterfly in orange flower

in a vase

poppiespoppies golden valley

rose and bud



Saugaro NP Rincon & West 066

striped flowers

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Oregon Sunset

Oregon Sunset


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


“’I feel a little dizzy,’ said Orion. ‘But also wonderfully elated.  I feel that I am on the verge of finding a rhyme for the word orange.’” Eoin Colfer

“I can throw an orange like a baseball, but I can’t eat a baseball like an orange.  Let that be a life lesson for you.”  Jarod Kintz

“If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable—each segment distinct.”  Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Comments on: "In Praise of Orange" (9)

  1. You know, I don’t think I ever gave the color orange the place that it deserves — yes, “assertive”, and too bad associated with that person at your retreat. I’m paying more attention to orange now. Your collection of oranges are wonderful, beautiful images!

    • Thanks for stopping by. Nice to hear you are looking at orange a bit more lately. Anytime we stop and notice and appreciate any aspect of the nature around us, we are better off. For me anyway, nature is always a great stress buster!

  2. Orange in nature is quite striking … especially when paired with blues. Meanwhile, I recall a True Colors personality profile. Fascinating … Green for me, but the other 3 colors are balanced. https://truecolorsintl.com/

    • Thanks, Frank. This true colors link is interesting. I do not think it was the color scheme used on me years ago–memory says there were more than four color options. But I like this true colors version–and I seem to be a combination of green and blue. As usual, it is the balance of the information rather than the extremes that makes things make sense.

      • I recall one session when the facilitator had people work on their weakest color … and it was actually funny – but it proved the point.

  3. Love the two meanings of orange. I never really thought of orange in a negative light, but it makes sense. Great photos too, and the last quote on orange and family. The quote is so true – no matter where an orange rolls on the floor, the skin will always holds it together 😀

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