Tag Archives: yellow

Yellow Bird: NPM #11

Today I decided to use Georgia Heard’s 6-room poetry strategy as preparation for writing my poem. This is something I have used with great success with students in the past, but hadn’t thought about it in a while. I happened upon this beautiful yellow bird (apparently some kind of an oriole) who posed for me while I was exploring along La Jolla Cove this morning, and knew I wanted to try to capture something of that experience for today’s poem.

Here’s my poetic effort for today:

Yellow Bird

Waves crash, swoosh, hush in the distance

background music

ambiance, Sunday’s soundtrack

A flash of yellow



Tuscan sun

in the local brush

wild mustard waving

nasturtiums covering

and you

regal in your bright brilliance

trimmed with black epaulettes

Waves crash, swoosh, hush

steel gray skies and seas

a monochromatic backdrop

for your golden brightness

my eyes drink in your honeyed sweetness

sunshine on a cloudy day

Is that tiny hummingbird on a nearby branch your friend?

Do you make your home nearby

or are you stopping by on your migratory path?

Waves crash, swoosh, hush

and I wonder


Yellow: 10 ways NPM #4

Yellow: 10 Ways

  1. Faraway star

fingers of light

reaching across galaxies

to warm and bronze

shoulders and noses

  1.  Sharp, astringent, fragrant

 squeezed, zested, sliced

 juice used a million ways

  1. Tall, white-feathered low-tide visitors

stomping and stirring

salty pools

with canary-yellow feet

  1. Spread on morning toast

sunshine on bread

melty, salty

tastes like a hug

  1. Warning: slow down

middle light

triangular sign

pay attention: time for caution!

  1. Dip-dyed for Easter, ready for the bunny


out pops a downy feathered


  1. Springtime harbingers

blossoming, towering

sprinkling the yellow-magic

of hope

over the world

  1. Pop, pop, pop

kernels burst

flavoring the air

with scents

of summer

  1. Pollinators flit from flower to flower

dressed in yellow and black

inviting new blossoms 

to dance

in the silky springtime breezes

  1. I scritch and scratch words across

the blank page with

Traditional #2

searching and seeking

until I uncover

the secret of where 

all the yellow poems hide


Question Poems: NPM20 Day 20

Have you written a question poem?  What questions do you have about them?  Can you compose a poem made entirely of questions?

I figured my students, who tend to have a million questions every day–both in person and virtually–would be experts at this poetry form.  To inspire and mentor them, I offered them Yellow Weed by Lilian Moore along with a guiding sheet (in lieu of face-to-face instruction) encouraging them to brainstorm possible questions, to include sensory details and imagery, and to thoughtfully arrange the questions they came up with.

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 6.02.04 PM

And their early drafts show promise.  I’m still wishing for more detail, more elaboration, more figurative language, but these 8 and 9 year olds poets are becoming more and more confident writers.

And then I ended up writing my own question poem about a yellow weed–one that I like to describe as a wildflower.  Wild mustard is not native to these parts, but it grows as if it is.  Wild mustard in the spring–with a little water and sunshine–grows lush and tall and is a riot of yellow!

Here’s my question poem–and I might have cheated since I ended with a sentence rather than a question.



Who plants you by the side of the road?

Is it the wind as it picks up your wispy seeds and slings them wide?

How do you grow tall, so far over my head?

Do rain and sun grab hands and circle you with hope?

Where do you go when the sun is too hot, the ground too dry?

Can you melt back into the soil like an abandoned ice cream cone?

What keeps you coming back?

Do bees and butterflies remember your generosity and return to visit?

Why do I love you?

Tall yellow blossoms wave and sway

reminding me that after the dark and gray of winter, light and warmth will come.




What question poem will you write?



Feasting on Yellow: NPM 2019 Day 24

Still leaning on paint chips, I realized I had left mine in the classroom.  After my walk, with yellow on my mind, I stopped by the home improvement store nearby and picked up a few paint chips.

Our local beaches are not known for their floral beauty, but I was struck by the abundance of native flowers at a beach a bit north of where I usually walk.


Feasting on Yellow

I feast my eyes on

lemon meringue

garbanzo paste

English custard

plantain chips

sprinkled with turmeric

So many yellows

shards of sunshine

sprinkled across fields

taking root

dancing on my taste buds

I sip on spring’s energy

fragrant blossoms

bubbling, fizzing


in my belly

I leave craving summer



Between practicing for our state tests, our minimum day, and too many other demands, we didn’t have time for any sustained poetry writing in class today.  Here’s a couple of student poems from earlier in the week.

Rose Colored Glasses

I have my rose colored glasses on,

the grass is always greener.

I am going to the foggy harbor,

it’s a long drive so I need to take a taxi.

I still have my rose colored glasses on,

I will never take them off.

–Leah F.


Word Rocket

Poetry is like a rocket

blasting you off to a new world

of poems

and new vocabulary

plus new techniques

The fun thing is

your rocket never runs out of fuel

just keep exploring

in the galaxy of words



Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow

In lots of ways it’s been a colorless week as I struggle to recover from a nasty cold that found me somewhere between the east coast and home, find myself pushing against the impending report card deadline, and anticipating the demands of next week’s parent conferences.  Luckily, opportunities to get outside always brighten my attitude…and that makes everything better!  And better yet, my week went from colorless to vibrant as yellow began to pop up everywhere!

As I left the doctor’s office earlier this week, the wildflowers growing along the side of the road called my name.  I had to pull my car over and pull out my camera.  The vibrant yellow of this sunflower-like variety screams sunshine.  I’m not sure what this little beetle like insect is (I don’t think it’s a ladybug) that has latched itself firmly to the bloom.


As I started to feel better and with most of the report cards done, I set off midweek for a beach walk.  The #litterati in me couldn’t help picking up these abandoned minion sunglasses…after I took a shot or two of these yellow frames laying on the beach.


And as I looked up at the cliffs as I walked I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant green growth along with the patches of yellow flowers.  This is such a difference from our usual drought year hillsides.


For a change of pace, I headed to the lagoon the other day.  The sky had turned overcast, but that didn’t take away from the beauty of the scene all dressed up in yellow blossoms.


I tried to capture the density and pervasiveness of these blooms…they are literally covering huge swaths of ground in their sunny yellow.


I always admire the tenacity of natives that seem to grown in unexpected places.  I found these blossoms creeping up the fence line as I watched children play on recess duty.  I love the juxtaposition of the rusty chain link fence and the pretty yellow wildflowers.


And just to shake up the prompt a bit, I found myself mesmerized by the yellow bees doing what bees do best…pollinating!  I stopped and watched and waited, trying to capture this guy in action.  My patience paid off!


So what yellow are you seeing this week?  Don’t feel confined by the idea of flowers or blossoms…you might notice that banana shifting from yellow to brown as it sits on your counter or maybe it’s that scarf you notice your friend wearing.  Be bold!  Capture yellow!

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #yellow for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Be on the lookout for yellow!

Unexpected Yellow

After a warm summer that lasted almost all the way to the solstice, temperatures have cooled, we’ve had several rainy days in the last couple of weeks, and the sun is having a hard time making its way through the thick clouds along the coast.  So while yellow is expected at the beach in the summertime, it is much harder to find on a gray, almost winter day.

With a nice low tide this afternoon, we couldn’t wait to get to the beach to explore and walk. Since we were north of our usual beach running some holiday errands, we decided to walk at a beach different from our usual place.  Near a jetty, this beach is rockier than the one where we usually walk.  So we practiced our usual beachwalk pasttimes–taking photos, picking up trash, and searching for sea glass…and what a bonanza we found!

Sadly, there was abundant trash on the beach, especially small pieces of plastic.  And there was a bit of yellow…this packet of mustard tucked in the rocks.  And as good Litterati, we took the photo, picked up the trash, and disposed of it properly.

yellow-litterati mustard

With my eyes tuned for yellow, I started to notice yellow all around me.  Not bright, summer sunshine yellow, but earthy sandstone yellow.  (And if you look closely, you can catch a glimpse of the piece of green sea glass that I picked up too!)

yellow reef

Looking into the distance, you can see the ripply texture of the low-tide reef and its yellow hue.

yellow low tide

As I watched the seabirds and listened to the music of the waves crash along the shore, I could feel the stresses of the weeks leading up to my winter break wash away and the muscles in my back and shoulders begin to unknot.

yellow-ocean music

The rhythms of the rocks rolling with the tide added a spring to my step and energized me. I began to notice the colors of the rocks, the browns and greens and yellows…

yellow rubble

And as we left, heading off for a few more of those holiday errands, a strip of yellow opened on the horizon just beyond the empty lifeguard tower.

Yellow sky behind tower

Unexpected and welcome yellow at the beach.

Yellow, then and now

If you asked me what my favorite color was when I was a kid, I would never answer with one color…my favorite color was orange, yellow, and green: the brilliant nearly neon tones of the 70’s.  My bedroom sported lime green walls and the most amazing orange, yellow, and green polka-dotted vinyl wallpaper.  My bedspread and curtains continued the theme with orange, yellow, and green stripes.  And the final highlight were the nearly glow-in-the-dark posters that every adolescent of the time dreamed of.

But somewhere along the line I decided that orange and yellow were colors that didn’t suit me.  I veered far from them when choosing clothes and wouldn’t consider them as decorating accents as an adult.

But when I saw that the Word a Week Photography Challenge was yellow this week, I realized that yellow (and orange) have reappeared in my life in new and different ways.

I’m particularly fond of this shot of the lagoon that features the yellow salty susan looking out to sea from the mouth of lagoon.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I enjoyed the reminiscing that this prompt allowed this week…and I wish I could put my hands on a photo that features that orange, yellow, and green polka-dot vinyl wallpaper of my 70’s childhood bedroom.  And I’m enjoying my new relationship with yellow…a color that brightens the day and focuses energy.

What is your relationship with yellow?  Do you have a color relationship that has changed over time?

Reflections on Yellow

I love focusing on a single theme all week long with my photography.  Instead of feeling limited, I find myself not only looking for ways to capture my “word,” I also find myself searching for new ways to frame my shots to create interesting and different photos.

One of my favorites this week is this picture of the variegated hibiscus (orange with yellow at the center) with the flamingos slightly out of focus in the background.  I was intentional at including the flamingos and was working for a crisp focus on the flower.  I’m pretty happy about the result.

hibiscus with flamingos

I worked hard to avoid yellow as road signs and street markings (once I got past the fire hydrant) this week.  Yellow was more challenging as a photographic topic than red.  Here’s a snippet of the entire week:

yellow collage

It is so much fun to see what other people participating in this photo-a-day challenge come up with!  There are some gorgeous yellow pictures out there this week.  I love that Janis’s (@janisselbyjones) yellow “abandoned bucket” was featured on the Litterati Facebook page this week!

Looking forward to orange!  We’d love you to join us, check out the challenge here.