Better late than never, I suppose. An essay from a month ago, with its prepared pictures. Back to current photographs next week.
April seemed a little more fickle than I remember or hope for
Ubiquitous computers have allowed crackpot ideas to be presented as convincingly as normal truth. It is a trivial task to find supporting documentation for any notion at all on the internet. Spell and grammar checking programs screen away what used to be telltale illiteracy. Social media allows wide dissemination _ and sometimes viral acceptance _ of idiotic rumors throughout the world.
Forsythia finally blossomed despite the challenges, welcome addition of gold to the landscape
Worse than that, computer programs allow experts to distort even scientifically valid data into dubious projections. Any selected statistical points can be stitched into a convincing graph or two to illustrate a pet theory. I am sure I could come up with a chart showing how phases of the moon affect the results of coin flips, if I were able to cherry pick the time period or carefully ignore conflicting results.
Mist settled on Oyster Bay, where already clam boats are plying their trade.
Scientifically-oriented twentieth-century historians debated fiercely whether civilization was driven by great men or the inevitable sweep of circumstance. They assumed that if we just knew everything at some point, our predictions as to what would happen next would be logically infallible. Aware now of subatomic uncertainty and chaos theory, we no longer trust that notion. Next year’s weather cannot be predicted accurately except as averages _ maybe.
Hardly the view one would expect as Easter passed by and May loomed nearer.
“Black Swan Events” such as individual assassinations or accidents have always been recognized as disrupters. There are longer-term cultural disrupters as well. No one surveying 13th century France could anticipate the effects of the Black Death, or of the end of the “medieval warm period.” It remains hard to understand how a small chunk of Europe _ enduring brutal fratricidal religious clashes in the 16th century _ could within 400 years come to dominate the world politically, economically, and culturally.
Never sure if I am feeding feathered friends, falcons, or furry feral cats. Or all of them.
Unexpected massive social upset caused by gas-powered automobiles has been extensively documented. In the future, equivalent theses will be promulgated concerning a ten year period during which both information and disinformation became instantly accessible to everyone in the world via smart phone. Now I wonder what happens when supermarkets and private transportation vanish, when privacy is eliminated, when gene-editing roils the very meaning of life.
Roses inched towards blooming spectaculars, but emerging leaves were lovely accents.
I distrust cherry-picked statistics. I do not believe fancy graphs projecting future “likelihoods.” I assume there will be Black Swan events and shocks of which I can know nothing at all. I do not think I can predict anything that is likely to occur within the next 20 years.
Snow glories, originally planted elsewhere, transferred by squirrels in seasons past
Others quaintly seek to retain the past. Saving even the present is impossible. Knowing what is good or what is better outside of what we do today or tomorrow (and I mean only the real day after today) is much more complex than words and graphs can tell.
View down our hill in dormancy could be anytime in the last four months.
Patch of woodland daffodils on a south-facing hill at Caumsett
Here and there a burst of green brought hope for the coming weeks