Thursday, March 11, 2010

Winter 81: Tidings of Spring

Today is the 81st day of winter; the vernal equinox is less than two weeks away.

The two weeks prior, until this past weekend, have been unrelentingly cold. I've always been glad that there's a dial thermometer outside across from the kitchen window; but for some weeks it has been a grim herald, unfailingly pointing to 20°F (-6°C) when I get up, and scarcely improving throughout the day.

This past weekend, it got up into the 50s, nearly to 60°F (15°C); it was up into the 60s on Monday. Yesterday it started in the 50s, and got up into the 70s (and would have done the same today if it wasn't threatening rainstorms). That's the kind of weather that really hearkens to Spring, to the first warm rain, and the first day that cyclists appear en masse. But now I'm not merely yearning for the Vernal Equinox to mark progress towards the end of winter's dire chill, but also for all the delights of spring, and the growing season. KET premiered "Thoroughbred" last night for pledge week, which certainly seems to me like an omen of the Derby, and our coming warm weather.

Sunsets are now noticably later, and the irises out front seem to be perking up, although everything in the yard is still very dormant, of course. My arborist friend identified the main tree in the backyard as a red maple, which appears not to have the expected flower buds, although leaf buds are present. The red maples in Central Park are blooming, the crocuses are blooming on St. James Court, and a few daffodils are getting ready to open their blossoms.

If I was starting seeds, I'd have to start them about now, if not earlier. But I don't really have plans for that, so I'll likely have to buy some tomatoes and peppers in a month or so, and plan on starting seeds next year.

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