Cherry plum

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It was another stormy day here – not especially wet, but dark, cold, and windy. I am now very definitely ready for this dreary winter to end.

I spent the morning at my desk, mining old photos in search of assessment entries, and in the process I managed to cull quite a few images that I’d originally liked enough to keep, but which no longer make the grade. One of the problems of taking daily photos, of course, is that you end up with so many, and since I discovered that I was running out of space on my main drive I’ve been housekeeping: every couple of weeks I revisit an old monthly folder, clean out the rubbish, and then move the raw files onto an external drive. Every time I empty the trash on my Mac I simultaneously feel a lightening of the spirit, and a tiny frisson of anxiety in case I’ve overdone the culling – but I’m really only treating those old images with the same ruthlessness as I now do new ones.

By this afternoon I felt that I couldn’t bear to stay in the trench any longer, and I needed to buy a couple of things from the farm shop anyway, so I went up to Hillers and popped into the hide in search of garden birds. Despite the gloom and the gale I managed a few reasonable shots, but nothing I especially liked, and I arrived home feeling quite flat and out of sorts. It was as I was squelching round the garden, filling up our own bird feeders, that I noticed the first blossom on the cherry plum trees, and my spirits immediately lifted because to me there’s no clearer sign of spring.

It was, of course, a ridiculous project to try to photograph blossom on whippy branches in a strong wind, but I didn’t get where I am today by being sensible, so I fetched the camera and gave it a go. Several dozen frames later, this is the sole keeper – but you only need one, don’t you? And given my current enthusiasm for spring cleaning, a 98% cull rate feels almost like something to be celebrated.