Weekly Photo Challenge: It’s All About Orange

 Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.–John Candy

In this week’s photo challenge, Michelle invites us to share our definition of orange, a unique English word, which is both an adjective (describing a color) and a noun (describing the fruit).  As an adjective, it is a visually surprising pop of color, that’s joyful and pleasing.  As a noun, it’s a taste of a fruit that’s tart and sweet at the same time.

In some parts of the world, the word orange defies translation, so the English word  (or its transliteration) is incorporated into another language.  For example, the Japanese word for orange is orenji.

Tangerines, Eataly, Chicago.  Shot with a Canon 40D, 17-to 70mm lens

Tangerines, Eataly, Chicago. Shot with a Canon 40D, 17-to 70mm lens

Gray goes with gold. Gray goes with all colors. I’ve done gray-and-red paintings, and gray and orange go so well together. It takes a long time to make gray because gray has a little bit of color in it.–Ellsworth Kelly

Although this color is found naturally in sunsets, sunrises, and kumquats, it also can be created artificially.  Think of the bright, neon color of Cheetos and Orange Whip.  (Sorry, John Candy.)

Here’s a little factoid about the word orange–Did you know that there is no true rhyme for this wordHalf rhymes don’t count–like hinge, lozenge, syringe, flange.   (Another factoid: Wikipedia tells us that in one study of 5,411 one-syllable English words, only 80 words had no rhymes[9) )

And now for your viewing pleasure, here’s my orange collection:

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In closing, I’ll leave you with this wonderful description of sweet little tangerines by one of my favorite writers–M.F.K. Fisher.  You’ll swear that you can taste the oranges as you read it:

“In the morning, in the soft sultry chamber, sit in the window peeling tangerines, three or four. Peel them gently; do not bruise them…separate each plump little pregnant crescent…Take yesterday’s paper (when we were in Strasbourg L’Ami du Peuple was the best, because when it got hot the ink stayed on it) and spread it on the radiator…After you have put the pieces of tangerine on the paper on the hot radiator, it is best to forget about them…On the radiator the sections of tangerines have grown even plumper, hot and full. You carry them to the window, pull it open, and leave them for a few minutes on the packed snow on the sill. They are ready…I cannot tell you why they are so magical. Perhaps it is that little shell, thin as one layer of enamel on a Chinese bowl, that crackles so tinily, so ultimately under your teeth. Or the rush of cold pulp just after it. Or the perfume. I cannot tell.”

I love Fisher’s description and her love of words and food.  Pieces of tangerine are “plump crescents.”  What a perfect description.

I hope your week is full of cheer and splashes of orange.  I’d love to hear what orange means to you.

15 replies »

  1. I’m a fan of MFK Fisher also! She was able to describe food in such a unique way, but it wasn’t just about the food. I think it was about the emotions that connect us to the food that made her writing so memorable.


    • Absolutely, Jackie. It’s the emotional quality that I love as well as her beautiful descriptions. I’m going to check out what other books you recommend on your site since our tastes are similar!


  2. Hi Patti, beautiful slide show and selection. I truly enjoyed the narrative as well. You’re so right that we taste the tangerines when reading Fisher’s description.
    I especially liked the stormy sunset. Thanks.


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