Sunday, March 25, 2012

Curdled Sky over Cherry Blossoms

Saturday afternoon (March 24, 2012) I drove home from my writing group (from Scranton to Nanticoke) hoping I could get home before the curdled-sky clouds dissipated. I made it.

I zoomed in on the part of the sky seen in the middle right section of the first photo.
I've observed curdled skies before. Even photographed them. But for some reason, in this post from nearly seven years ago, I mentioned one but didn't show it. I guess this was from those prehistoric days when I had to take a whole roll of pictures first, and then take them to someplace to get developed.  Way back then, the turnaround time from taking a picture and seeing the picture could be weeks, or even longer. So strange...

I realized that the low-light conditions resulting from the cloud cover were ideal for close-up shots of blossoms. (Bright sunlight tends to cause the blossoms to glow so brightly that they become overexposed.) A lot of things have been blooming lately, most of them very early. Daffodils were in bloom about a week ago, before St. Patrick's Day. Forsythia were fully opened by Wednesday or Thursday, March 21 or 22.  Cherries, Bradford Pears ("Dead Fish Trees"), and Magnolias opened up yesterday (March 23) or earlier, and are in full bloom now. (Seven years ago, I noted that cherry trees were in full bloom on April 20, 2005.) Take a look.

Cherry with Forsythia in background

The Year Without a Winter felt like the Year Without a Spring for much of the last week, with temperatures in the 70's even before the Spring Equinox. Temperatures today crashed into more seasonable territory. But everyone wonders what things will be like in the coming months. Has this weather just been a series of anomalies? Or is this the new normal?

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