In the UK Shrove Tuesday — the day before Lent commences — is celebrated with pancakes. In Portugal, it is the last day of Carnival or Festival.  In other countries, the period is celebrated as Mardi Gras.

In Portugal, the time is marked by parades which include all the populace from the local nursery group to the pensioners who have their own specially adapted float. It is also celebrated with flowers:

We had to go out — we had a property to inspect and I could not help but notice that yellow is the colour of the moment both in human and nature’s celebration.

It is reasonably dry here at the moment in Portugal, and things are a tad dusty, and this hibiscus would definitely benefit from some rain:

Turning a few corners more, and we are greeted by Mimosa trees bursting into bloom:

We reach our destination — beautiful views across a valley — shame about the house. We decide to try and go back by a different route and pass by a field of yellow lupins which are an in between crop to improve the soil and feed cattle:

Turning around you have a variety of bright yellow clover:

Returning home — once again we are greeted by more yellow — this time lemons; and a reminder we need to pick a couple to go with our pancakes!


  1. Such a lovely article, Nicola! There are two colors I generally dislike: Bright Orange and Yellow. I now have a whole new insight, and appreciation of, yellow in the context of nature. It is a bright and pleasing color.

    I also love the part about pancakes — now that’s totally fun!

    Excellent visual trip! Thanks for taking us along with you!

  2. When I was younger one of my favorite colors was yellow, and I still do like a splash of it here and there. This article is absolutely wonderful and reminds me of all the beauty the world has to offer, as long as we go out to see it that is.

    1. I am very blessed the Portugal has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty – it really was quite remarkable that every corner we turned there was yet more yellow. Today was similar too even though we went in a totally different direction.

  3. In my younger years yellow was never my colour , I discovered it in my 40s – it came with a love of sunflowers initially which bought my mother much pleasure in her later years – they were big enough for her to see with her failing eyesight. I love the fact that soon the fields and gardens will be filled with them here.

    I can do orange in some cases – just as well as it is one of Portugals favorite/staple colours along with neon yellow and lime green ………….. YUK . Luckily the orange is more muted and can be quite pleasing.

    Needless to say I am slowiy introducing purple everywhere !

    1. I want to know the differential between “yellow” and “gold” — I love a good golden color as a mixture of my two unlikes, yellow and orange — and I would call a sunflower golden, not yellow.

      Yellow is pale and comes off more as an aged white than as a color of its own.

      Perhaps I’m just recalling the youthful terror of reading “The Yellow Wallpaper” for the first time:

      Yay on the purple! I definitely look best in blues and bluish reds and all purples and pinks. Wearing yellow makes me feel like old wallpaper.

      1. I am with you on this one – there is a dreadful shade of paint called Magnolia which is yellowy white – old white – tired white – dirty white – it is used nearly everywhere in the UK as the standard paint in new houses and municipal buildings and hospitals.

        I have a dislike of pastels – my yellows have to be bold – they have to make a statement.

        The purists would say that orange and yellow are official colours on the spectrum and that gold is a metal ………………………….. is a link to the colour spectrum for yellow – some of them look golden – maybe some gold is yellow ? There is also some belief that people prefer to use the colour gold and call it gold as gold is the colour of winners and yellow is of course the colour of cowards !

  4. What a lovely set of images and words to go along with them. I think I must make pancakes for dinner tonight! 🙂

  5. If David permits I intend to introduce you all to Portugal . I have all my photographs documenting my time here and a scribbled dairy of notes and impressions.

    Your Ash Wednesday service sounds and feels like one I would appreciate if not fully understand. I used to sing in Latin as a child/teenager – Latin carols are still my favorites. I like your eternal reminder it is akin to my cycle of life. The English say home is where the heart is – I prefer your wording and will use it in future.

  6. Yellow is not a color that looks good on me, but it sure looks good on Portugal! Thank you for all these wonderful pictures. I feel like I’m standing right next to you.

    1. Thank you Janna – as I said to David it has to be bold for it to work on me to – none of this iced lemon – or baby yellow for me !

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