Hunting yellow

By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  June 20, 2013
feat_yellow_backcoveflora_2  BACK COVE FLORA

I would populate this entire list with flora if it didn't make the paper look like a real-estate catalog, but this one's fairly significant. Yellow #1 isn't technically at the first few steps of Back Cove Trail's 3.5-mile stretch, but it's situated right about where it no longer makes sense to turn around or stretch your calves any more. Begin at the starting mile marker near the parking lot and run counter-clockwise (it's better for the heart) past the water fountain, the soccer field, the rope wall, and the dude who's always practicing t'ai chi near the bench. Right before the bend, you'll discover this comely little patch of yellow flowers. They aren't gaudy or extravagant, but they're noticeable, and apart from some little patches of creeping charlie along the wall later on, they're the last splash of yellow you'll see the entire loop. Are they wishing you a good run? Reminding you to wear sunscreen? Warning against aggravating that irksome case of plantar fasciitis? No. They're merely flowers. But you might imagine them as cheery little gatekeepers to one of the better summer trails in the city. | LOCATION a quarter-mile into the Back Cove Trail, Portland 

feat_yellow_kiddieswings_2_  REICHE KIDDIE SWINGS

Brackett Street passersby might not realize it, but the swingset at the Reiche playground offers a Myers-Briggs-caliber personality test to West End youth free of charge. It is not entirely clear why two of the kiddie swings at the Reiche school playground are colored jet-black and two are buttery yellow, but I'm into it. All four appear to seat the same sized kid-butts, so whoever designed this is merely presenting Portland's citizens of tomorrow with a very simple choice: do you swing yourself on a wrinkled old tire, or do you strap yourself in to a portal to the sun? If you think about it, it's a question adults ask themselves every single day. I'd hesitate to call this a pagan yellow, but any apparatus a kid can use to propel itself higher than the heads of adults is pretty magical indeed. | LOCATION Reiche School playground, Brackett and Spring streets, Portland 

feat_yellow_pillars_main  PILLARS OF COMMUNITY

The color combo of black, white, and yellow symbolizes the flags of Baltimore, Prussia, and, apparently, the islands of Casco Bay. Islands, as everyone knows, are immune to the pious laws that dominate the mainland, and so are naturally hotbeds of naturalism and pagan ritual. Witness Sacred and Profane, the Chebeague Chebang, and the Dionysian playground known as the Peaks VFW. This is a subtle yellow, maybe a saffron or a jonquil, but its presence is significant. Casco Bay Lines may front as a reputable, law-abiding service for island residents and the Maine tourist industry, but they're basically Charons to a netherworld we only wish we could handle year round. | LOCATION Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal, 56 Commercial St, Portland 

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