Spring 2014 is coming – but has it sprung?

March 5, 2014 by The Co-op Observer Tulips Yellow

Depending on which calendar you choose to work to, spring either starts on the 1st of March, or the 20th March.

The Metrological Office, working to the metrological calendar, names 1st March as the start of spring, although the equinox of the astrological calendar uses the later date of 20 March 2014.

The word equinox literally means equal night and day and comes from the Latin words aequss and nox, it’s the point where day and night are approximately 12 hours long across the whole world.

Spring is an exciting time of plants coming out of their winter slumber, and hibernating animals too will be tempted to raise their heads after sheltering through the worst of winter. Temperatures should start to rise, and it tends to be the driest season as the Atlantic Ocean has been gradually cooling through winter, meaning that the source of most of Britain’s rain has not been creating as many clouds through evaporation.

In Cornwall today I can believe the coming of spring is upon us as the hedgerows are yellow with daffodils, tulips are pushing through the soil, and even primroses are coming into flower where they are nestled in sunny sheltered hollows. But as for the start of the driest season? Well it has been lashing down with rain for the whole day.

In Britain we’ll often use spring as a good excuse for a thorough cleaning of the house. The warmer weather, accompanied often by strong breezes, is a traditional time to throw open all the windows and doors and scrub away at the house, with the dust carried off on the warm winds. We hope.

There’ll be festivities at the major pagan sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, but for most of us what we most look forward to most is the changing of the clocks to British Summer Time on 30th of March.

In Japan spring has an altogether different significance as people plan their Hanami, the traditional pastime of following the blossoming cherry trees over the few weeks between early March and mid-April. How wonderful to truly absorb the beauty of such a natural phenomenon that would be so simple to either ignore, or just notice in passing. A picnic under a blossoming cheery sounds so serene, especially as the wind is currently rattling the windows outside.

When you choose to acknowledge spring will probably have a lot to do with the weather, but there’s no denying that the hedgerows are bouncing back to life, and it’s a heartening thing to behold.

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