Last updated: March 18. 2014 3:51PM - 450 Views
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“Never mind March, we know you’re not really mad or angry or bad.

You’re only blowing the winter away to get the world ready for April and May.”

March is an in-between month when wintry winds are high, but milder days remind us that spring is coming. In case you were unaware, tomorrow, March 20, is the first day of spring. It will never be more welcome than this year. The past winter has been unusually harsh and cruel, not only in this area where we live but throughout the United States.

We usually think of the first day of spring as a return to flowering life, a rubbing of the eyes as we step out of the long, cold days of winter into the warm light of a new season. Between all the spring holidays and the happy return of outdoor activity, it’s easy to forget what’s really going on with our planet.

A little research has reminded me that the scientific term for the day is the Vernal Equinox. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” On this occasion days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the sun rises and sets due east and west.

Technically the equinox occurs when the sun stands directly above the earth’s equator. This phenomenon happens only twice a year, spring and autumn. To be ultra precise, the equinox lasts for only an instant, because as earth moves on its orbit, the sun’s center is directly above the equator for only an instant.

After winter’s keeping folks hostage for so many months, spring is always happily welcomed. The season is noted for ushering in warming temperatures, increasing daylight and the rebirth of flora (plants) and fauna (animal life). Nature’s renewal is amazing as the seemingly dead mountains burst alive into a bright verdant blanket of color. Worms begin to emerge from the earth, ladybugs land on screen doors, green buds appear, birds chirp and flowers begin to bloom.

It won’t be long before this clever little verse will not only be appropriate, but welcomed by all who will be happy to put the memory of this past winter out of mind.

“Daffy-down-dilly is now come to town, With a petticoat green and a bright yellow gown.”

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