One day the song Mellow Yellow just jumped into my brain. It is one of those songs that once you’ve heard it several times, you can play it in your head. The trouble is it just keeps playing. Nice song but it can also get a little annoying and be hard to get rid of. This is probably why it was such a success, way back when. It was written and sung by a fellow named Donavan in 1967. So, it is an oldie.
The song probably came back to me because as I was out walking on or close to the Frame Lake Trail, I kept coming across things which were distinctly yellow and that’s not a colour you see much of in early spring, until the dandelions bloom.
To start with I found a bright yellow golf ball. Then a couple days later, at an entirely different area, I find another. The second one was stamped “Property of YK Golf Club.” Apparently, they want people to know which balls are theirs.
Golf balls just mysteriously show up in and around Yellowknife. The ravens and possibly some other birds, pick them up primarily from the golf course and then leave them wherever they please. One could say the raven stole it and I am now in possession of stolen goods. There is a story that the ravens mistake them for eggs and since they like eggs they pick them up. Then they drop them on something hard to break them. Of course, they don’t break but they do bounce and roll a lot.
This could certainly be true in some cases but ravens are pretty smart birds. They would quickly learn golf balls aren’t eggs and ravens have been stealing golf balls since golf was invented hundreds of years ago in the 15th century. I think they know full well that they can play with them and drop them on hard surfaces to watch them roll and bounce. Also just like some humans they like to collect odd, pretty and unusual things.
I tried to find out how many golf balls are made in a year. While doing that I stumbled on a story where they estimated 300 million golf balls get retired, discarded or lost each year in the USA. Three Hundred Million golf balls. That is truly staggering. I have no idea how many get lost in Canada, but I just found two more.
Then I found a very yellow happy little plastic figurine. It was Sponge Bob Square Pants, jauntily trying to catch some insects or maybe butterflies in a wee little net. Sponge Bob was all yellow but to be honest, to me he looks more like a block of cheese. It also reminds me of the fans of the Green Bay Packers football team who call themselves Cheese Heads and wear hats which look like blocks of cheese.
The figurine said on its base that it was made for McDonald’s. It probably came as part of a happy meal. Over the years I have found a lot of figurines and it is amazing how far and wide they travel.
Then I found a yellow rubber duckie sitting on the bottom of Frame Lake. He or she, certainly looked well worn and rather forlorn. Its beak was missing and had a hole in its head.
But it was still yellow even if a little soiled and faded in places.
It looked like those rubber ducks that get raced periodically in Yellowknife. How it got from racing glory to abandoned in Frame Lake is a mystery. On its bottom were stamped the words Made in China.
Yellow golf balls, plastic figurines, and retired racing rubber ducks. Makes for kind of a mellow yellow day. In geology, each rock has a story to tell, just like each piece of litter and those pieces of litter, unless picked up, eventually become part of the geological record.