I've done it now..
I've actually managed to miss it.....
How on earth could I possibly miss the First Day of Spring....?!?
All day long yesterday I kept thinking - tomorrow's the first Day of Spring - great!
Secretly rubbing my hands together... it would be official then: Winter would be banished, door closed! Wham!
Yet, in spite of all the subtle pointers around me... even people wishing me a Happy Spring Day AND me responding to it, my grey matter remained in fog: I missed it... !
I was so much wrapped up in my own little world, that I forgot to do what comes more or less as second nature to me: check facts before opening big mouth...
So here - a day late - are some interesting tidbits about Lady Spring:
In the northern hemisphere - up here, where we live - the "vernal equinox" or Spring equinox for 2011 occurred on 20th March at 23:21 GMT/UTC (Greenwich Mean Time, also known as Universal Time Coordinate). So I missed it by less than 12 hours! Vernal equinox is derived from Latin: "ver" meaning Spring, while "equinox" refers to "equal night", and relates to the time when the sun crosses the equator, moving northward.
At the equinox, day and night all over the world are almost equally long. 'Almost' because there is a slight difference in that the further you move away from the equator, the longer the day becomes while at the same time, the sun will take longer to rise and set in these locations. As the sun moves in a horizontal direction this also influences the time of rising and setting: it will take longer the farther away from the equator.
Only twice a year would you be able to see the sun pass directly overhead if you were positioned on the equator at the moment of the vernal or autumnal equinox.
The sun rises due east and sets due west only on two occassions during the year: when Spring and Autumn equinox take place!
Not taking into account the recent disastrous events in Japan that are said to have altered Mother Earth's axis, during Spring this axis is tilted toward the sun, thus increasing daylight hours, bringing along warmer weather, encouraging Mother Nature to bring forth new life. The opposite happens at the autumnal equinox.
And then there is a persistent myth - isn't there always - that only at the vernal equinox it is possible to stand a raw egg on its end. And there is of course an equally persistent rebuttal stating that it's impossible at any time to manage that feat! Well, neither is entirely correct:, or incorrect for that matter: with a fair amount of patience it is actually feasible to balance a raw egg on its end at ANY time of the year... Spring equinox does not interfere one bit!
I thought this might be the right place to help you get those Spring juices flowing...
My beloved husband came up with a brilliant idea of offering to you, my friends, HIS Spring Gift:
the blessed voice of Sir Harry Secombe in 1963 with
"If I ruled the World, Every day would be the First Day of Spring...."
Sit back a few moments and enjoy the tunes, they're truly wonderful! ...then read on...
From an astrological point, the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus have all moved into the zodiac sign of Aries, otherwise known as Ostara who is the pagan goddess of spring and fertility signifying the time of the year when new life will be emerging.
For the nature lovers among us, another good way to determine spring is by watching and tracking migratory animals (fish, bats, birds, butterflies...) These have an innate biological clock necessary for survival by means of eating, waking/sleeping, blooming, migrating, mating and more.
Checking the Seasons Calculator for the period 2000 - 2049 I discovered that Spring equinox only features twice, and we already had that in 2003 and 2007!
What I did not know is that contrary to general assumption (remember never to "assume" because it makes an ASS of U and ME!) whereby Spring starts on either 20 OR 21 March, those assuming will be proven wrong in 2044 and 2048 when the equinox occurs on 19 March!
Hmm, wonder whether we'll still be around to witness that...?
Fingers crossed and hope for the best!
Before signing off, let me remind you that during the equinoctial months we celebrate the change over to a new season, i.e. Spring and Autumn (Fall) another change takes place: in less than a week's time we shall be altering our clocks to adjust them to or from Daylight Saving Time... If you're anything like me, I always have to think what way the clocks will be going. Here's a little trick to help you remember:
SPRING FORWARD - FALL BACK
in other words, if Brussels doesn't take a last-minute decision to change the number of hours involved (there have been rumours of introducing a TWO hour change, instead of ONE) our clocks here in the whole of the European Union and associate countries (including Russia) will be reset to operate on Daylight Saving (or Summer) Time and this will take place on Sunday, 27 March 2011, at 01:00:00 when they are turned forward 1 hour to Sunday, 27 March 2011, 02:00:00 Local Daylight time instead.
On a side note: in the USA, Canada and Mexico this already happened on 13th March!
And last but not least: Since yesterday - or more precisely some 12 hours ago at the time of writing this note - marked the first day of Spring here means that it also marked the first day of Autumn or Fall in the southern hemisphere:
So, Happy Autumn to all our friends Down Under, wherever you may be...!
Spring smiles from