No matter where you live, spring is fickle. Around here, it arrives unexpectedly-usually in mid March. Winter temporarily loosens its grip, the sun sends temperatures soaring into the 50's, ice and snow give way to the sound of running water, and the thick, fresh smell of hummus hangs in the air as the soil begins to thaw. Your senses start to sharpen, your body starts to come alive, and suddenly you're filled with a sense of inspiration and hope. "Yippee!" you shout. "Spring is coming!" Then comes the inevitable heartbreak. The clouds roll in, the mercury plummets, water turns back into ice, and spring retreats for a few more weeks under another blanket of wet, heavy snow.
The vernal equinox usually lands on March 20 or 21 of each calendar year. We can beg and plead all we want to, but we gardeners have nothing to say about it. The movements of the sun and stars are solely responsible for determining its official arrival. On this day, everyone on the planet experiences a day that has an equal length of daylight and darkness (sans those that tamper with daylight savings time). As the Earth continues orbiting around the sun, the days will start to get longer in the northern hemisphere and shorter in the southern hemisphere. Of course, what the calendar says is of little consequence to the plants and animals in the garden. It may also be of little consequence to use gardeners. After all, some of our springs start as early as January, while others of us may be kept patiently waiting until May.
Wherever you live, keep an eye out for the very first harbingers signs of spring.
If you take a moment to step outside, you will be amazed at just how different spring sounds.
Has spring arrived where you live? If you were to ask a dozen people what their favorite sign of spring is, you would surely get a dozen different answers. What is yours?
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services.
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