cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

This is unreal, February 27, and the flowers are out on my plum tree. I knew it was crazy early, but was curious about the dates I had posted first plum tree flowers in previous years. Well actually I tweeted something about this, and Tony Hirst prompted me to futz around with my photo data

I had not tagged them consistently, but using the Flickr organizer, I was able to find the first photos each spring, and tagged them firstplumflower

These dates where:

  • apr 3 2006
  • mar 27 2007
  • apr 4 2010
  • apr 2 2011
  • apr 4 2013
  • feb 27 2014

I was also able to come up with data on the first daffodil flowers, tagged as firstdaffodil

Not content with that, I put them in a spreadsheet, and for comparison, converted the dates of each to the day number of the year:

and charted up nicely….

So what have I shown? Probably not much. Over a long time period there is likely an average first day that the data here is fluctuating about, even with today being more than 4 weeks earlier than previous for the plum blossoms.

I was intrigued that I had this data, though with the caveats:

  • I was not living here full time until 2008, so before that year was dependent on the weekends I came up yo Strawberry
  • I was not here at all in 2012
  • It assumes I took a photo of the first flower, I might have missed it by a few days.
  • The dates selected the first open flower, not just the buds
  • It’s interesting that the plum flowers came out first in 2014– usually the daffodils are the first flower out of all. What does this mean?
  • The plum tree was trimmed only in December of 2011 and 2013
  • I could do this for tulips as well… usually out about 2 weeks after the daffodils.

Still, as I think Tony was suggesting, if this was done by more people, in different location, it might be something worth doing less manually then my lame charting.

Mmmmm data….

The post "Charting Spring Via Flickr Flower Photos" was originally dropped like a smoking hot potato at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2014/02/charting-spring-via-flickr/) on February 28, 2014.

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