The warm winter and cold spring, both with a shortfall of rain, took their toll on the early bloomers in our yard, the crocuses and daffodils. Bulbs, I’m told, need a cold winter to blossom properly in the spring. I saw many healthy daffodils elsewhere in the neighborhood, leaving me to wonder whether our yard was even warmer in the winter and colder in the spring, due to the influence of the pond. It certainly felt colder this spring, with cold breezes off the pond.

Thankfully, the tulips, did pretty well, although they didn’t last as long as usual. We have only a few. One, in a far corner of the yard, planted way back in 1999, held up longer than the rest, no doubt because it received both morning and afternoon sun. I kept an eye on it.

One afternoon, I looked out to see its blossoms glowing with late, glancing light. They were so bright that the camera couldn’t capture the petal tips, which were brighter than the rest. In the parlance of photographers, they are “blown highlights, “appearing colorless in the photo. Thus, the photo is technically flawed, but it is bright and cheerful nonetheless, an anodyne to the unseasonably cold weather.

Soft, luminous light, producing long, delicate, tonal gradations in a photograph, often appears in late afternoons this time of year. Yet the glancing light on the tulips was harsh and unforgiving, like early morning light, producing the same abrupt transitions and strong contrasts. This has been a cold, dry spring. The soft light I describe comes with the warmer days usual this time of year, when there is a slight haze in the atmosphere to filter the light.

Correction. The wrong date appeared on the email alert for this post. March 2 is a bit too early for tulips around here. The photo was actually taken on April 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm.

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One Response to Yellow Tulips

  1. Fern Fergus says:

    Very pretty!

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