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Charting Spring Via Flickr Flower Photos

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….

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so)


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