Conservation // 2 min Read

Why So Blue?

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Aug 10, 2020

Calm, graceful, reliable, wise, inspiring. While all of these words can be associated with someone in every person’s life, they are also associated with the color blue.

The 2020 Pantone color of the year, classic blue is a calming, familiar hue that instills comfort, confidence, and connection. And while it’s widely used in interior decorating – painting interior spaces blue is believed to stimulate the mind and increase productivity – this vibrant color isn’t as common in the natural world as you might think.

Sure, shades of blue can be found in a variety of natural features: the ocean, sky, gemstones, plants, and even a few animals. However, the majority of animals and plants that appear blue don’t actually contain the color. These organisms have developed some unique features that use the physics of light to create this beautiful color.

Today we’re focusing on birds that are adorned with blue and how their feathers are the reason for this almost optical illusion.

There are a variety of our feathered friends that have blue patterning. At Palmetto Bluff we see it in bluebirds, blue jays, buntings, swallows, and blue grosbeaks. Let us start with blue jays. When light hits their body, the structure of the feathers allows all color wavelengths to be absorbed except for blue, which is reflected back and gives them their blue appearance. However, if you were to hold a blue feather between you and a light source, the light transmits through the plume, and because it is not reflecting back to your eyes, it will look gray or brown.

Structural plumage is truly fascinating, but not every bird relies on it for flashy displays. The vibrant red of cardinals is based solely on pigment, whereas female painted buntings use a combination of blue feather structure and yellow pigment to create their lovely green coloration. Birds are one of the most vibrant groups of animals thanks to these two realms of color, and I encourage you to spend more time watching birds and consider what is influencing their vibrant plumage.

Culture / Day Trips from Palmetto Bluff

Story by Barry Kaufman and Photographs by Lizzy Rollins Just beyond the gates of Palmetto Bluff, at the end of that quiet stretch of trees and sunlight, a solitary strip of pavement beckons. This connective tissue, a tributary, leads off across the great Amer...

Feb 2024
palmetto bluff

Real Estate / Behind the Bluff with Broker-in-Charge W. Bryan Byrne

Bryan’s Journey to Palmetto Bluff Real Estate In this edition of Behind the Bluff, W. Bryan Byrne, the Broker-in-Charge at Palmetto Bluff Real Estate Company, discusses his two-decade journey in the community. His experience has intricately molded the authent...

Jan 2024
real estate in bluffton sc

Real Estate / Lowcountry Housing Trends & Market Updates

Real Estate in Bluffton, SC: Trends, Updates, and Insights Bluffton, South Carolina, nestled within the scenic Lowcountry, is not just a picturesque haven but also a thriving real estate market. As the demand for homes in this charming town continues to grow,...

Jan 2024

Food & Wine / Mocktails from the Palmetto Bluff Club

Rosemary Spice Mocktail Recipe Introducing Buffalos' exquisite Rosemary Spice Mocktail—a meticulously crafted blend that awakens the taste buds with a perfect harmony of bold flavors. Fresh jalapenos are muddled for a subtle spicy kick, while luscious cra...

Jan 2024

Artist in Residence / Painting Wild

Story by Sandy Lang and Photographs by Lawson Builder In early May, The Arts Initiative hosted renowned Lowcountry painter West Fraser as our esteemed Artist In Residence. Throughout his stay, residents were treated to an array of events, including a painting...

Jan 2024
palmetto buff golf course

Sporting Life / Behind the Bluff with the Palmetto Bluff 9-Hole Golf Course Team

All About the New Palmetto Bluff Golf Course Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Palmetto Bluff, a new golfing adventure is taking shape—the Crossroads 9-Hole Golf Course. To delve into the intricacies of this project, we had the opportunity to sit down w...

Dec 2023

Conservation / Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run 2023: A Celebration of Endurance, Nature, and Community

A Recap of the 2034 Buffalo Run The Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, December 11, 2023, drawing in a record-breaking crowd of over 500 runners. The event, nestled in the heart of Palmetto Bluff's 20,000 acres of natural sp...

Dec 2023
places to eat near hilton head

Food & Wine / Ask the Locals: Our Favorite Restaurants Near Hilton Head

The 10 Best Places to Eat Near Hilton Head Island Nestled on the southernmost tip of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island beckons not only with its pristine beaches but also with a culinary scene that rivals its natural beauty. The Lowcountry, known for breatht...

Dec 2023

Artist in Residence / Journey through Creativity: Palmetto Bluff's 2023 Artist in Residence Highlights

As the sun sets over the picturesque landscape of Palmetto Bluff, we are grateful for the creativity that took center stage throughout the year. The 2023 Artist in Residence program has ended, leaving behind a trail of artistic marvels and inspiring stories. F...

Dec 2023

Real Estate / The Builders Behind the Bluff

Meet the Palmetto Bluff Builders Team A home is more than just bricks and mortar; it's where cherished memories are made, and dreams come to life. At Palmetto Bluff, the Palmetto Bluff Builders team designs homes based on your vision.  Allow us to introduc...

Dec 2023
LIVE
Community Villages
Experience
Palmetto Bluff Club
On The Water
The Arts Initiative
Events
Conserve
About Us