Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 29th, 2020

Leaping into spring

with 39 comments

Today is this year’s quadrennial* Leap Day, and sure enough, wildflowers have been leaping up in ever greater numbers. One of the first native species to flower in Austin each year, sometimes as early as January, is the ten-petal anemone, Anemone berlandieri. I photographed this purple one along Balcones Woods Drive on February 22. Of the nearby anemone flowers, most were white.

*Technically speaking, we add a day to the calendar not quite once every four years. To do so every four years would be an overcorrection of the discrepancy between the sun-earth cycle and our calendar. We normally add the extra day to years that are divisible by 4, as we are doing now in 2020. However, when it comes to century years we add a February 29th only if the number represented by the first two digits of the year is divisible by 4. As a result, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years (because 18 and 19 are not divisible by 4); 2000 was a leap year; 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not be leap years (because 21, 22, and 23 are not divisible by 4); the next century leap year will be 2400. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be around to take advantage of that extra day.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 29, 2020 at 4:45 AM

%d bloggers like this: