The First Day of Spring
Wednesday March 21st 2007, 8:58 am

Technically today isn’t the first day of spring because that occurred last night at 9:07 pm, but today is the first full day of spring. You can’t really tell the difference yet, because it is still too cold and windy outside today. During the next few weeks, we will start to see the changes. I already see some of my perennials poking out of the ground, but those day lillies seem to poke up in the middle of winter, if we have mild temperatures. In April, my tulips, crocuses, hyacinthe, and daffodils will start to sprout, especially in the sunny areas close to the foundation. Spring flowers in the front yard take longer to bloom because it is shady, but they also last longer, and are still blooming into early June. Every morning during the winter, I look out my window to check the temperature, based on how curled the rhododendron leaves are. It doesn’t give me the exact temperature, of course, but it tells me if it is mild, cold or very cold outside. During the spring, that changes to faithfully checking the leaf buds on the trees every morning when I get up.

Spring flowers aren’t the first sign of spring. The first sign is the smell in the air, which comes with the March winds. I haven’t noticed it yet, and I don’t notice it every year because there has to be perfect conditions in March or early April for it to happen. It may be the direction of the wind, or the combination of milder temperatures and high winds. It blows away the smell of winter, and replaces it with the fresh smell of spring. It is unmistakeable, and very energizing and invigorating. It makes me want to start spring cleaning, and rake the yard of the remains of winter. It triggers spring fever, and makes the college kids start wearing shorts and T-shirts, even if it isn’t warm enough yet. Those March winds, April showers and May flowers are on their way, and everyone is waiting.

One of the other things I am waiting for is the return of the song birds. Most of them disappear in late summer, for their long flight down south. You don’t realize they have gone until one morning when you don’t hear them singing. We used to say that the sight of a robin was the first sign of spring, but I see robins in our yard for most of the year now, it must be global warming. As soon as we start going to the cottage again in May, we put up several bird feeders, which must be filled every few days for those hungry birds.

In Halifax, we have a street called Spring Garden Road, which is the busiest street for pedestrians, and the trendiest street in Halifax. This street is located near the downtown, and must have received it’s name from gardens filled with spring flowers in early Halifax. The sidewalks are always crowded with college students, shoppers, workers on their lunch break and retired people out for a stroll, regardless of the time of year. There are many restaurants for people watching, with outdoor patios which will be opening later this spring. The main entrance to the Halifax public gardens is also on Spring Garden Road. The public gardens is famous for it’s beautiful Victorian gardens, fountains, statues and ponds, and will be opening for the season the first of May, for everyone to enjoy the spring flowers.

Have a great first of spring day,