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Saturday, March 21, 2009

You Call This Spring!

To a scientist (i.e., meteorologist) spring comes down to the position of the Sun in relationship to the earth, alignment of heavenly bodies and the length of a day. It’s about celestial coordinates, the affect of classical orbital elements, some inclination of orbital stuff and when we switch from one equinox to another. My head hurts thinking about it!

When I was a youngster knowing when it was spring was pretty much a physical thing. If I wore shorts and my knees didn’t turn blue, it must be spring. If the front yard was green instead of brown, it must be spring. If the class got to go outside without a coat, gloves and a hat, it must be spring. Speaking of coats, when it was spring we all shed our coats and other winter gear and suddenly you could tell the boys from the girls! When spring actually arrives really depends on where you live. I rarely looked at the thermometer when I was a kid. I knew without looking that if was a warm and sunny day, it must be spring. However, when you live in the Appalachian Mountains you learn not to believe anything anyone tells you about the weather, the seasons or how to dress before you leave the house for work or school. Up our way springs arrives when she arrives and not a day sooner.

You would think I would be used to it by now, but a shivering crisp 28 degrees just has no relationship to spring whatsoever. I’m ready to paint flowers, budding trees, blue skies and lots of spring colors. However, all I see around me is pale green stubs of grass and gray brown twigs. It is hardly conducive to getting into the “spring” mood.

I’m ready for spring. I’m ready to till the soil. I’m ready to step out into the warmth of spring. After all, isn’t the Spring Equinox, March 20th this year? You know because astronomically the sun is supposed to be directly above the Equator and the Earth has begun to tilt pointing the northern hemisphere towards the sun. Well maybe somewhere, but this morning the old thermometer says it is 28 degrees and I’m staying pretty close to the fireplace for a while longer. You know, until spring really comes to the High Country sometime in early May or maybe by June.

I hope it is warm and sunny wherever you are.




  1. Hey Joe, Loved your spring post-my sentiments exactly! Before long we'll all be whining about the heat. Tomorrow,Tues,we take my daughter to UVA in Charlottesville for more tests. It's supposed to be a beautiful day so I'll charge my camera battery tonight. Now, I'm going to go click on your follow widget! Take care, Sue

  2. Spring in the South is a fine thing. After living in Germany where Easter was the day you tried finding eggs with an umbrella and gloves on, or living in Colorado, where the eggs were frozen into the snow on easter, the South most certainly is my "Springtime of Choice". Of course, we've had our share of molten Chocolate bunnies and sunburns on Easter - but as long as chocolate fondue is at the kids' favorite food top ten list, it's all good.
    As they say: when life throws you melted chocolate bunnies, make chocolate fondue. If it throws icecicles, I'd say: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!
    Spring IS on it's way - hang in there!


  3. Joe,
    Great post on spring...but when will it come? Have a great week, let me hear from you soon.