Nothing But

Windows 7’s default icon for an image file is a snapshot showing two flowers in muted orange and yellow. When I logged onto my computer at work this morning, my desktop was cluttered with files, half of them screenshots accidentally saved there due to missed mouse clicks. For the first moment that the icons appeared on screen, each of them showed a cached thumbnail version of their image. The thumbnails then disappeared and were replaced by the default flower icon in a pattern that cascaded from the top of the desktop to its bottom and from its left to its right. Just after the last flower bloomed in the lower right corner of the screen, the thumbnails started to re-render. Each flower quietly dropped away, following the same left-to-right and top-to-bottom pattern, the pattern broken in two or three places when a larger file took longer to load and its flower lingered on screen for one moment longer than the flower that came after it.