The Formation and Function of Color

by Dave Hanks

The many colors in nature make for glorious views, but color is utilitarian as well as aesthetic. Animals that can see color can utilize color in different ways: territorial defense, mate attraction, camouflage, and signaling. These are all practical color functions. Color blind beasts, such as most ungulates, also rely on color. The white and dark colors are utilized in various patterns to serve their needs.

Feather colors are arrived at in two ways – PIGMENTATION and STRUCTURE. The most common pigmentations are the MELANINS, which produce the blacks, browns, yellowish-browns, and reddish-browns. CAROTENOIDS are pigments that are synthesized in the body, but are obtained from one’s diet. These types are responsible for the reds, oranges, and many of the yellow colors. Diet then plays an important role in the maintenance of these colors.

Structure is responsible for whites, blues, and iridescent effects. When light bounces off from these structures the color is manifested. White appears when all color waves are being reflected. A blue bird appears black in dim light. It must have the blue waves reflecting off their feathers to appear blue.

The white and dark bands on Lemur tails signal to other members of the troupe, when the tails are held high. The large white tails on White-Tailed Deer are flags to send signals to others. No ungulate has a more distinctive used of white on tan color patterns that the Pronghorn of America’s open country. A big white rump and white sides are very noticeable from a distance.

Color combinations are the eventual result of a species adapting those characteristics that are most favorable for its survival. The more successful individuals are more apt to live to reproduce and engrain those combinations within its species.

A Pronghorn shows off the use of white

A Pronghorn shows off the use of white

THIS EARTH: Some Thoughts

Van Gogh stated that the creation was a study – a roughed-in sketch. Perhaps that is one reason that his art looks roughed-in. But his view doesn’t seem to be true! The earth is supremely & meticulously put-together; abundantly, extravagantly, and in fine.

While observing the intricacy of form, nothing seems to be ridiculous. The variety of form itself and the multiplicity of forms is mind “boggling”! It seems that anything goes. Form follows function, and function is nature’s only aesthetic consideration. Freedom is the earth’s water and weather, the world’s nourishment freely given, its soil and sap. It definitely has pizzazz!

But only ten percent of the earth’s life forms are still here. Were some forms made with extinction in mind? Created as test models so to speak, to be refined as the adaptation process progresses?

Also, the globe (viewed from afar) may appear smooth but it is anything but smooth. It is jagged and rough. Anything less would be frightfully dull and also very non-utilitarian. Texture is extremely important – both for beauty and for function. The looping, rough inside, nature of intestines is not only necessary for nutrient absorption, but creates more area in a limited space to facilitate the process. Good fishing streams operate on this same principle; and we all would die of thirst if watersheds were smooth and even. In fact there would be no watersheds. .

The tremendous diversity in the earth, points out how important variety is. Why would anyone want to minimize it?

Form and function are important for our physical well-being.

Beauty is important for our mental and emotional well-being.

(Dave Hanks)

The beauty and diversity of REVELSTOKE Park, B.C

The beauty and diversity of REVELSTOKE Park, B.C

THIS EARTH: Some Thoughts

Van Gogh stated that the creation was a study – a roughed-in sketch. Perhaps that is one reason that his art looks roughed-in. But his view doesn’t seem to be true! The earth is supremely & meticulously put-together; abundantly, extravagantly, and in fine.

While observing the intricacy of form, nothing seems to be ridiculous. The variety of form itself and the multiplicity of forms is mind “boggling”! It seems that anything goes. Form follows function, and function is nature’s only aesthetic consideration. Freedom is the earth’s water and weather, the world’s nourishment freely given, its soil and sap. It definitely has pizzazz!

But only ten percent of the earth’s life forms are still here. Were some forms made with extinction in mind? Created as test models so to speak, to be refined as the adaptation process progresses?

Also, the globe (viewed from afar) may appear smooth but it is anything but smooth. It is jagged and rough. Anything less would be frightfully dull and also very non-utilitarian. Texture is extremely important – both for beauty and for function. The looping, rough inside, nature of intestines is not only necessary for nutrient absorption, but creates more area in a limited space to facilitate the process. Good fishing streams operate on this same principle; and we all would die of thirst if watersheds were smooth and even. In fact there would be no watersheds. .

The tremendous diversity in the earth, points out how important variety is. Why would anyone want to minimize it?

Form and function are important for our physical well-being.

Beauty is important for our mental and emotional well-being.

(The beauty and diversity of REVELSTOKE Park, B.C.)