(Birds at the Cleveland Zoo. Photo by Robin. 2007)
Being an American, I’m going to use the spelling I grew up with: Gray. It’s the American English variant of grey and one that I’m used to. I find it interesting that the spellchecker keeps underlining grey as if it’s spelled wrong. You can tell an American programmed it.
Gray has been described as an elegant neutral color. It’s conservative, cool, and is sometimes seen as cloudy or gloomy. In my description of The Blues I wrote that I thought the blues should be called the grays because that’s how depression feels to me: Gray.
(Storm clouds, getting ready to weep. Photo by Robin. 2007)
Gray, like black, is often used as a color of mourning. It reminds me of the mourning dove, who happens to be a gray bird, and its plaintive song.
Gray is the color of sorrow.
(Gray day in the Bogs. Photo by Robin. 2006)
In the corporate world, gray suits are almost standard issue uniforms. Dark or charcoal gray is considered sophisticated and mysterious, whereas lighter grays are somewhat similar to white. Gray is conservative and old-school.
(Note about format: I know my posts, especially the color series, are heavy on photos and that makes for slow going when it comes to loading if you don’t have a speedy internet connection. I’ve decided to try using the “more” feature. So, you know, click on that blue stuff down there that says “Continue reading A touch of gray/grey” to continue reading this post. Some of my readers are savvy enough to know that, but I know of one or two who might need a little help, being fairly new to the internet, blogging and all that jazz. And for those who care, I added links to the color series on the sidebar.)
One description I read of gray referred to it as a color lacking in warmth or emotion, a color that imparts a void or emptiness, isolation. People who prefer gray are seen as lone wolf types or narrow-minded.
(Fog and clouds in Yosemite. Photo by Robin. 2006)
Our brains, or intellect, are sometimes referred to as gray matter. And for those of us getting up there in age, there are a variety of shades of gray hairs to contend with.
(Gray bearded Mummers. Photo by Robin. 2007)
Depressed by gray yet?
Don’t be. Gray isn’t all bad. I like gray because it does a fine job of showing off other colors. Some of my most colorful and interesting photos were taken on gray days.
(Storm moving into the Bogs. Photo by Robin. 2006)
Gray will often take on the shades of the colors surrounding it (such as my oldest son’s gray eyes and the way they can appear blue or green if he’s wearing blue or green).
Gray with a touch of silver is more active than the other shades of gray. It can also be quite pretty. Perhaps that’s where the saying about clouds and silver linings comes from.
(Clouds over the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Robin. 2006)
(Clouds over the Bogs. Photo by Robin. 2007)
(Clouds over West Chester. Photo by Robin. 2007)
Gray isn’t all about clouds and cloudiness. Some Native American tribes associate gray with friendship. It has also been seen as a symbol for maturity (old & gray), dependability, and responsibleness.
Mother Nature uses gray in a variety of ways:
(Gray squirrel. Photo by Robin. 2007)
(Warthog. Photo by Robin. 2007)
(The grays of weathered wood. Photo by Robin. 2007)
(Tree and vines. Photo by Robin. 2006)
In Feng-shui, gray belongs to the element of Metal.
(The bridge to PA. Photo by Robin. 2007)
(Helicopter Museum. Photo by M. 2007)
Gray is the color of smoke.
(Fire in the Bogs. Photo by Robin. 2006)
(Foggy moon-set in the Bogs. Photo by Robin. 2006)
(Fog over the pond. Photo by Robin. 2006)
In magick, gray is used for vision quests, veiling, and neutrality.
(Yosemite. Photo by Robin. 2006)
Like the browns, gray shows off a lot during the winter months.
(Frosty grays on a winter morning. Photo by Robin. 2007)
I have so many interesting and/or beautiful photos of gray, that it’s hard to pick just a few. Having already gone overboard, it can’t hurt to share some more.
(Gray day in Marin county. Photo by Robin. 2006)
(The grays of granite in the rain. Photo by Robin. 2006)
(Grays in the lower side of West Chester. Photo by Robin. 2007)
(Grays in the sand at the beach. Photo by Robin. 2007)
(Our gray barn on a gray wintery day. Photo by Robin. 2006)
Oh well a touch of grey, kinda suits you anyway,
Thats all I had to say, but its all right
I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.
~ Grateful Dead, Touch of Grey
This post on gray is dedicated to CJ the Wonder Cat, World’s Greatest Gray Huntress. (1996-2004) My little gray huntress became the prey and was taken by a red-tailed hawk just a few days before my birthday in 2004. I still miss her greatly.
I’ll revist the color series again next week. One per week is about all I can handle. 🙂 Since I’m more or less tossing a coin when it comes to picking a color, if there’s a color you’d like to see, let me know. I’ll be more than happy to take requests.