Friday, March 11, 2011

The Faces of Spring

This started out to be a post on Spring and the different faces it presents.  I was about to state that Spring arrives every year on March 20, but decided I should check my facts.  What I found out was that March 20 has not always the definitive beginning of Spring.  Traditionally March 21 was hailed as the first day of Spring, but in recent years that became the exception rather than the rule. 
The vernal equinox landed on March 21, only 36 out of 100 years. And from 1981 to 2102, Americans will celebrate the first day of spring no later than March 20.
In the years 2008 and 2012, those living in Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific, Mountain and Central time zones will see spring begin even earlier: on March 19. And in 2016, it will start on March 19 for the entire United States.*

Crocus, one of Spring's pretty faces.
Simplified, some reasons for this include the fact that a year is not made up of an even number of days, nor are the seasons.  Also contributing is the fact that the earth's elliptical orbit is changing relative to the sun.

Spring's face can also be fierce.
Another interesting seasonal fact is that Spring and Summer total more days combined than Fall and Winter, but actually Summer and Fall are gaining ground each year.  Spring is losing one minute and Winter is losing one-half minute per year, respectively.  Summer is gaining the minute lost from Spring and Fall is gaining Winter's half minute.

In many parts of the world, Spring's faces are in evidence before the calendar date, and in addition to the pretty flowers and trees and milder temperatures, she is also unpredictable, unleashing drenching rains and violent storms. So go forth and experience all the faces of Spring.

*Reference:  http://www.space.com/881-date-changed-start-spring.html

8 comments:

  1. All so interesting, Linda. Nice to know the reason whey Spring arrives on a different date...grew up with it being the 2lst and that's sort of always stuck in my brain.

    We're getting snow today...seems she's reluctant to show up in our part of the world. No signs yet, but I keep looking :)

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  2. All very interesting, Linda. I always think of April as the beginning of spring, but I know better now! Thank you!

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  3. Hi Linda .. the Spring Equinox has always fluctuated a little .. but your explanation really helps.

    I'm not sure what Climate Change does .. or did .. interesting times .. at least Spring comes! Dashing in - as in Florida I gather, here more gently .. we are easing forward.

    Have a good weekend .. Hilary

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  4. Go Summer Go Summer Go Summer!!! I like that it is gaining some time. Less cold and flu season!

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  5. Wow, get OUT! I had no idea things were changing that much for our elliptical path and for our seasons. I had NO idea.

    I better dance and sing while the sun still shines.

    :)

    xoxo

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  6. Talon- Sorry Spring hasn't shown her face in your part of the world. Hopefully it won't be too long now. We had 70s this weekend. Just meant yard work, though.

    Linda- The calendar says one thing, Mother Nature sometimes says something different, be it sooner or later.

    Hilary- It is all interesting and something I would not have known if I hadn't done this post. You learn something new everyday.

    Katherine- Yeah, let's go Summer! My favorite season with Spring and Fall tied for second.

    Jannie- Neither did I. Sing, dance in the sun, in the rain, whatever, and don't forget to make hay, too.

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  7. Linda,

    What an interesting post! I didn't know about Spring and Winter losing time to Summer and Fall.

    I liked this take on the faces of Spring and your photographs are lovely:~)

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  8. Sara, Yeah, I didn't know it either. That's the great thing about blogging. I am constantly learning things.

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