Around the middle of March we all get a touch of spring.
We see water trickling down the streets, almost all of the snow disappearing from our lawns and buds popping through on the tree branches. We see the return of geese to the city. People get busy cleaning up their yards, raking and digging up the flower beds.
This is the time of year when we welcome rain. It’s the only time we welcome rain. Some of the insects are becoming mobile and some lawns even look a little green.
This year we have had record temperatures in mid–March and everyone was so excited about the early spring. We’ve already had some rain and the local golf courses have been open for a few weeks.
I’m not sure if this is related to global warming or not, but this has been a very unusual spring. Yes, even though we had a great winter, everyone is super excited about the vernal equinox.
This the scientific term for spring, which happens in our hemisphere every March 20 or 21.
There is some folklore and verse affiliated with the vernal equinox. It’s been said that you can stand a raw egg on end at this time of the year. I’ll have to try that next year since I discovered this too late.
Here’s some verse about spring:
Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring.
Don’t say that spring has come until you can put your foot on nine daisies.
Spring time sweet! The whole earth smiles, thy come to greet.
In spring, no one thinks about the snow that fell last winter.
One swallow does not make a spring, nor does one fine day.
Actually, that last verse is what I’m worried about. Not that we’ve only had one fine day this spring, but I’ve seen how terribly mean Mother Nature has been in the past.
On April 3, 1979, the temperature dropped to a chilling -26 C and on April 6, 1997, we also had a major snow storm. Some areas of Manitoba had up to 65 centimetres of snow.
It was April 3, 2003 when we received 20 centimetres of the white stuff and that storm halted the spring celebrations. We’ve even had snow on some of the May long weekends over the years.
I suppose what I’m getting at here is that even though we have experienced some record-breaking warm temperatures this spring it might be too soon to celebrate.
The best advice I can give you at this point would be to keep your snow shovel outside the shed so you have access to it if Mother Nature decides to play any more tricks on us. I hope she doesn’t, but I’m not counting it out just yet.
Rick Sparling is a North Kildonan-based writer.
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