The February Surprise

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

In the final days of February, a solitary tree in the Crab Apple Grove of Riverside Park in NYC burst prematurely into flowering song. Quirky 70- degree weather a few days before may have hastened the blooming. Amidst the bare-branched trees in the grove, this one drew the attention of passersby for its unexpected early beauty.

Still intrigued and armed with the Lensbaby Velvet 56, I tried a series of shots wide open and closed down, from afar and close-up. In some images, the blossoms resembled a floating pink cloud aglow in a diffuse mist, impressionistic and painterly.

Those that were published in the local West Side online newspaper, drew interesting responses. One commenter noted that this flowering while beautiful was “not normal.” Another wondered whether the tree would bloom again in the spring. Be that as it may, the camera recorded this event, more evidence in keeping with phenology experts who note that the northern hemisphere is experiencing an earlier spring as a result of global warming with consequences for crops and plants.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II in Aperture-Priority mode and the Lensbaby Velvet 56.