Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekend Wisdom: Spring Officially Started Three Weeks Ago
You thought spring started on Friday, didn't you? Well, you would be right, IF you're talking about spring based on the tilt of the earth on its axis. Astronomically, spring began on Friday, March 20th this year, when the earth was halfway between its extremes of tilt towards and away from the sun.

This is what we've all been taught as soon as we were old enough to understand the seasons. Never mind that it doesn't always occur on the same calendar date; it's usually within a couple of days of each other no matter which year we're talking about.

Some years (most years, if we're honest), that date rolls around on the calendar and we're frustrated because even though it's technically spring, it many times doesn't feel much like it. There's often snow still on the ground and the temperatures are anything but springlike.

The red-winged blackbird is a true harbinger of spring
for us here in Ohio.
But then there are the years when we notice signs that spring just might come a little early. The crocuses emerge from ground that is seemingly frozen solid and birds that take a hike for points south during winter are once again munching at the feeders and advertising that they're on the market for a mate.

So what gives?

It's called meteorologic spring and it began on March 1st. It's not based on the earth's tilt and only a little bit on the calendar for convenience's sake, though it is three months long, just like astronomical spring. Average temperature is the biggest determining factor and it also makes it easier to compare seasonal forecasts and trends for people who depend on the weather for their business or pleasure, such as agriculture (that's us!), travel and tourism, etc.

Though it seems like spring didn't come a bit early this year, there were signs in nature that it was well on its way before it felt like it got here. And I like the idea of celebrating all the goodness that is spring as early as possible.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

You have some spring beauties popping up no matter what the calendar says.

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ These are the only crocuses in bloom and they really just opened up a little yesterday. I've got two patches of snowdrops blooming, but that's it for blooms so far. There was a LOT of snow to get rid of first! I'll bet you have a bunch of things in bloom where you are! It's always so much warmer there, even though it's not that much further south from us.

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Yes, I totally agree with your last sentence. I tend to favor meteorological spring, myself. Enjoy the plenty of the season!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

I'll take spring whenever it comes, but this yr in the NE it is stalled again....but we wait for the snow to melt with the birds who are starting to sing. I also love to celebrate the season starting on the 1st which is why I started my meme, Seasonal Celebrations....I try to celebrate them all. Great post!

RobinL said...

Spring has really been playing hide and seek with us this year, hasn't it? I did have some flowers pop up last week, but then we got that cold blast last weekend. Argh! But I think this week is going to be the real deal. Spring!

Chris James said...

It is great to see some signs of spring - it has been incredibly frigid and I am looking forward to fresh flowers and green grass again.

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