Tuesday, March 31, 2009

maple buds, numbers, forsythia

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It's difficult to tell with buds, but these unfolding leaves, if my memory serves me right belong to a maple tree in the Grove.

Waking this morning I find that numbers have invaded my head. Nowadays billions and even trillions are in all the newpapers - billions of pounds or dollars of debt, and trillions of pounds or dollars of debt. Not used to such large numbers, I find it necessary to clarify the terms. When I was young, a billion used to mean a million million. But nowadays we seem to have adopted the American billion, a rather more modest thousand million. Trillion , it seems, steps in to mean a million million. The presence of such large numbers are of course explained by the bursting of the debt bubble all round us. It is interesting to reflect that the other, wide use of such numbers, which you often come across, is when they are applied to the age of the Earth (4.5 billion years) and the age of the universe, still believed to be in the throws of the original explosion, which gave birth to it, 13.7 billion years ago. You could, I suppose, apply them, to dimensions of the galaxy and that of other galaxies in the universe. But light years are used here, a measure which has not yet been applied to the exploding and collapsing global economy.

Poking through a tightly clipped, dark green leylandii hedge, are a few, golden four-petalled flowers of forsythia. I count the petals out of interest and for descriptive purposes.

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