Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A good year for poppies?

click photo to enlarge
One of the good things about the internet is that it's quite easy to find someone who thinks like you do. One of the bad things about the internet is that it's quite easy to find someone who thinks like you do. Consequently, creating an organisation or movement for beneficent change and progress is easier than ever before. But, mobilising a group of people who share the same bigotry, hatred and intolerance is not difficult either. In fact, such is the breadth of opinions to be found expressed on websites, blogs, forums, social media etc, it is possible to find written support for just about any proposition you care to make, no matter how extreme, ludicrous or unhinged it may seem to most people. The days of misunderstood youth or paranoid misanthropes languishing in the conviction that no one feels the same as they do must surely be long gone: a quick search will quickly throw up fellow loners who share their misery and delusions.

On a lighter note, the internet is also a place where you can take soundings. I tried this the other day in connection with my impression that 2013 has been a particularly good year for poppies in the United Kingdom. Sure enough, I found several pieces written by individuals who expressed the same thought. So I'm right. Or am I? Just because, out of the millions of people who have looked at poppies in the fields, roadsides and gardens of our country, a handful have expressed the same opinion as me doesn't mean we are correct. Perhaps the silent majority who haven't expressed a view publicly feel the number of poppies is no more, or maybe fewer, than usual. As a means of arriving at a reliable judgement simply looking for people with similar views is not a very sound method. Helpful though it undoubtedly can be, the internet has the capacity to very easily reinforce wrong thinking.

Today's photograph was taken in my garden. I posted a shot of "wayward" poppies earlier this month. I see the contre jour image above as one that shows them growing more typically.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 168mm
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On