The annual crop circle calendars from Lucy Pringle and the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group are available now. ALLAN BROWN casts his eye over them…
The halcyon memories of a summer of wonder and amazement are slowly giving way to that other not so mystical seasonal activity, Christmas. For those of us who think nothing about attempting to unravel the secrets of the universe, and yet find ourselves unable to buy the most rudimentary of gifts for our loved ones, fear not, help is at hand!
Yes, you guessed it, it’s crop circle calendar time, and to save any further retail angst, I’d recommend an immediate bulk purchase of this year’s fine offerings. With due consideration and strategic planning, a calendar could find its way onto the walls of all your friends, family, the local shop, doctor’s surgery, hairdresser and indeed the nearest police station. Not only will your social standing as a giving, caring and loving individual be greatly enhanced, but whatever the coming year has to throw at you, at least you’ll never be more than a stone’s throw away from an astonishing crop circle image.
I have been given the unenviable task of reviewing two of this year’s offerings, namely Lucy Pringle’s and the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group’s’ calendars.
Lucy’s calendar does not feature any formations from this year, but chooses, instead, to concentrate on some memorable classics from seasons past. The calendar is printed on nice thick card and ring-bound, and this, in combination with its layout, makes it a very practical and useable calendar. The format is simple, but well thought out, with each month consisting of a large crop circle photograph, accompanied by two smaller supporting photographs of local flora, fauna, architectural features or landscape panoramas. In addition there is a small well chosen quote, on which to ponder.
Beneath the page of images is the calendar itself, with a good sized square allocated to each day on which to write. The phases of the moon are included and, if lunar planting times are adhered to, I predict a flush of oversized organic vegetables across the country in 2002. In addition to the calendrical information, this page also contains a black and white diagram of the main formation featured for that particular month.
I thought the introduction was very well written and if the calendar finds its way to those who’ve never stumbled across the crop circle phenomenon before, reading this introduction would put them in very good stead for further enquiry. On the whole the quality of the photography is excellent and the reproduction does justice to the original image, although in a couple of instances the consistently high quality of the supporting photographs surpasses that of the main crop circle image itself.
My only real criticism is with a few of the black and white diagrams of the formations. In a couple of instances it is clear that they have been taken off the Internet or from some digitised source and, as a result, have pixellated on enlargement and reproduction. Whilst not detracting from the overall quality of the calendar, I think that if diagrams are to be included then they should be given as much care and attention as the main photographs, which they presumably are meant to enhance. Where the reproduction is true they certainly do add an extra dimension to the formation featured in the main photograph.
Overall I think this is a lovely calendar and, because of the diversity and high quality of the supporting images, will probably have a wide appeal. Not only does it look good but it’s practical too, and if it weren’t a calendar I’d certainly be asking it out on a date!
Francine’s calendar is a similar size, but laid out in a slightly different format. This is an unadulterated crop circle-laden calendar which consists purely of formations from 2001. As with Lucy’s calendar we have two pages dedicated to each month, but in this calendar the top page is host to a large, stunning single image of a crop formation. The lower page hosts two additional supporting photographs of related formations or another view of the main formation itself. In addition to these there is a diagram for each of the main formations featured and, again, these work to great effect.
The working calendar itself is assigned to a band along the bottom of the lower page and also highlights the phases of the moon. Admittedly, the space available for writing down events is limited to the point of being impractical, but hell, who needs to be reminded of the school disco, dentist appointments and the imminent pocket-emptying car service and MOTs, when you could be putting your feet up and staring at wonderful crop circle photographs instead? I’d suggest buying a Pirelli calendar on which to record the mundane.
This is a very professional-looking calendar and again has a good written introduction to the phenomenon and is supported by well-chosen quotes and observations of a spiritual nature. The calendar’s strength is its wealth of images of this year’s formations and the layout of the calendar is such that it throws the images out to the fore.
On the whole the quality of the images is good, although there are a few instances where the reproduction has failed to do justice to the formations. Although the apparent colour adjustments to the photograph on the cover, for instance, enhances the beauty of the landscape which frames these wondrous glyphs, in a couple of other images I feel it detracts from the impact of the formations themselves.
These criticisms, however, are offered lightly, as from past experience I know it is notoriously difficult for printed reproductions to ring true, and for the main part this calendar hosts some stunning crop circle images.
I shall go out and get my own copies of these, and I’m going to save myself from any decision heartache by buying them both. I recommend you do the same.
CONTACT FOR LUCY PRINGLE’S CALENDAR:
Lucy Pringle, 5 Town Lane, Sheet, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 2AF. Tel: +44 (0) 1730 263454
CONTACT FOR WSCCG’S CALENDAR:
WSCCG, PO Box 939, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 3TA, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1380 860304
Lucy Pringle's calendar