Saturday, February 28, 2015

A spring by any name will not necessarily feel as sweet.

March 1st is the first day of spring.  Meteorological spring that is.  There are two first days of spring and I had to look up the exact definitions to get the idea clear in my mind. Meteorological seasons are split into four periods each three months long.  These conform to our Gregorian calendar.  Somehow this makes it easier for weather people and statisticians  to compare seasonal statistics and forecasts.  In some parts of the US, meteorological seasons may be accurate but the farther north one goes, the  more inaccurate they seem to be.  

The astronomical seasons are determined by the earth's elliptical orbit around the sun and the first day of spring begins on March 20 (the spring equinox) and runs to June 21. This is the more accurate definition of spring in the north because it is related to the changing orientation of sun which is what drives the warming of the earth. Friday we had the coldest day of the year 25-degrees below zero.  That doesn't sound like three days before spring.  

So tomorrow when all the TV weather forecasters are talking about the first day of spring, I will not pay much attention.  There is something dispiriting about nasty blizzards with a foot of snow which always come in March after the first day of meteorological spring.  I will know it's spring the same way people have known and celebrated for centuries.  Not by a calendar but by the spring equinox.  


This is the tunnel that leads to the bird feeders.



Cold feet.



Where am I and where is the back door?

  Toby serves as my resident groundhog.  If he goes outside and there is snow on the ground, he proclaims it isn't spring yet.  


15 comments:

Betsy Adams said...

Hi There, Here in Tennessee, we 'sometimes' have what I call an early Spring ---in MARCH. However, it's kinda scary to us since there is ALWAYS a big freeze the first of April.. We have lost spring flowers because of those freezes... NOT FUN... I prefer to thinking of Spring on about April 15... ha ha....

Love your resident Groundhog, Toby.... He knows it's not anywhere near Spring!!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

BeadedTail said...

That snow is deep Toby! We hope you get real spring days soon!

Indie said...

Ha, I agree, since it's actively snowing right now, adding to the 6 feet of snow we already have on the ground. I can't wait until spring (the real spring, that is)!

Rose said...

Even the spring equinox isn't a guaranteed start to spring. I will know it is spring when the first daffodils begin to show and there is a different feel in the air, which might not be till April. Love the photos of Toby! It looks much the same here--poor Frank the pug looked like a chubby gopher yesterday trying to tunnel through the snow to find a suitable bathroom spot:)

Nan and =^..^= said...

I love Toby…what great photos.
I think you and I have a long way to go before spring with our mountains of snow. Wonder when we will ever see the ground.

tina said...

Cute Toby! For me spring is when the days start getting longer. I know then it's time to get to work and then I wish for winter again.

spurge said...

Love those shots of your cat walking through the snow tunnel! My cat will not go outside in the snow at all. Sniffs it from the threshold and then looks at me like - YOU go out there if you want to so much!

Hoping (real) spring will come soon to all of us...

troutbirder said...

Deep enough for the cat that's for sure. btw my book stuff goes on the other blog Troutbirder II which you can get to by clicking on the picture at the top of me and Mark Twain (naturally)....:) I love dog stories of course!

Anita Johnson said...

This was excellent and explains why it sure doesn't feel like spring here...I always look forward to the spring equinox! Our dog would like your tunnels!

Lowcarb team member said...

Well here in the UK the daffodils are beginning to come through nicely - can't wait to see their cheerful yellow heads.

All the best Jan

Indie said...

Aw, cute cat! When I lived down in North Carolina, spring started with the start of March. It's hard adjusting to a new definition of spring, especially as we live near Boston now and still have several feet of snow on the ground. It sure doesn't feel like spring! The temps have started warming up a little finally, so hopefully that trend will continue.

Indie said...

Aw, cute cat! When I lived down in North Carolina, spring started with the start of March. It's hard adjusting to a new definition of spring, especially as we live near Boston now and still have several feet of snow on the ground. It sure doesn't feel like spring! The temps have started warming up a little finally, so hopefully that trend will continue.

oldcrow61 said...

lol, I know what you're talking about. I'll know spring is on the way when I can see the ground. Toby is a beautiful cat.

Pam's English Garden said...

Thanks for the clear explanation of the difference between the two 'first days of spring.' Love Toby! P. x

Jennifer said...

We have a similar tunnel that leads to the back of the yard for the dogs. Our weather has been much as you describe yours. Today it is finally going to warm up and I can't wait for the snow to be gone!