They’re traditional in this space this time of year, representing the first day I’m at home and it’s not too cold and there’s some light. Nobody’s ever complained about me running more or less the same pictures early every late winter. As always, they’re lovely in purple and gold. This year they carry along stories about old books and global warming.

2015 Crocuses

We’ve had a couple of dim weeks; it’s not the lashings of rain that hurt, it’s the low grim grey ceiling and the photon shortage. But suddenly this weekend the air is mild, the car claiming 16°C outside. Casting my eyes back at previous years’ crocuses, I note the (kind of funny) 2011 piece is dated in early March not late January.

Anthropogenic statistics · I was walking home, remarked on the warmth to a neighbor and he said “Global warming!” I said, more or less, “Uh”, fighting an eruption of political pedantry, wanting to say: “Well yeah, probably, but it isn’t 48 hours in January that matters, it’s the inexorable accretion of statistical weight as the years roll by. It would be perfectly possible for us to have a record-cold February and that wouldn’t change a damn thing. And every time you link today’s weather to global warming, you’re giving the denialists an opening to scoff at us the next time there’s a cold day.”

2015 Crocuses

Byzantine colors · That color’s loveliness is extreme; there’s something about purple. In fact there’s a book about it: The Beauty of the Purple, published in 1925 by one William Stearns Davis. My Mom mentioned it to me at Christmas, saying how much she’d loved it as a girl, and how she occasionally looked for it in used-book stores. I looked in Project Gutenberg on impulse and ended up reading the whole thing in a Web browser, and then arranged to have a used copy shipped to her. It’s a silly, frothy, historical romance of the Byzantine Empire, specifically about Leo III the Isaurian; it manages to be flavorful even with the bloodshed soft-focused and the sex subtracted.

2015 Crocuses

For camera geeks: These are all the Fujifilm X-T1, using Pentax lenses. The first is the 50mm F1.4, and the last three the 100mm F2.8 Macro; not sure about the second.

2015 Crocuses
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2015 Crocuses

I found it pretty arduous getting the camera close enough, and now that I see them on-screen would like to go back and fight some more with the focus demons. But winter’s early dark has fallen and who knows if it’ll be sunny again tomorrow?

Also, the flowers are just as young every spring, but I’m not, so I’ll skip the hunching down on the wet moss till sometime in 2016. Let’s all be optimistic that the spring we’re seeing isn’t our last. And if it is, at least I got this year’s crocuses.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: John Cowan (Jan 25 2015, at 18:30)

Harry Turtledove has a story "Islands in the Sea" about how, a generation after Leo lost Constantinople, the khan of the Bulgars has a decision to make: Christianity or Islam?


From: Tom Magliery (Jan 25 2015, at 19:48)

Your EXIF data says Lens Model for 2nd photo is "50.0 mm". But then, all 5 of the images say that, so either you or a tool in your chain must have done something. But still, maybe the answer's in your originals.


From: Mike Loukides (Jan 26 2015, at 16:39)

Beautiful! Can't wait to take some pictures of our crocuses. Of course, New England won't be seeing crocuses for quite a while yet.


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