Monday, January 02, 2012

Unusual winter blooms

click photo to enlarge
The flowers in today's photograph are both common and unusual. How so? Well, they are Peruvian Lilies (Alstromeria) that are often found blooming in English gardens between June and November. When the firsts frosts arrive they usually fall over along with many other summer and autumn blooming plants that develop from rhizomes. However, these flowers were picked in mid-December, such has been the winter in my part of eastern England. What early frosts we have had have not been very hard, and consequently it is unusual to have these flowers from the garden on display in the house in early January.

We noticed another odd occurrence yesterday. Some of the white flowers known as spring snowflakes (Leucojum vernum) are coming into flower before our snowdrops (Galanthus); usually it happens the other way round. I'm told by the Meteorological Office that the weather so far this winter is "normal" and anyone thinking it is particularly mild has had their perceptions warped by the last two winters that were much colder than usual. Maybe, but that doesn't account for phenomena such as these that haven't, to my knowledge, happened in other "normal" winters.

I thought I'd record these late bloomers with the camera, and so I placed them in some filtered sunlight that was coming through a window and put a sheet of black vinyl behind them. The macro lens did the rest.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm macro
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 100 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: Off