Friday, 20 March 2015

Happy vernal equinox!

Diagram of ecliptic coordinates, depicting the ecliptic,
equator, ecliptic poles, longitude and latitude, and the
vernal equinox direction.

author: Tfr000
Today's Google doodle of flowers informs me that it is the first day of spring for those of us in the northern hemisphere. I prefer to call it the vernal equinox (4.45 pm Calgary time) because telling anyone here in Calgary that it is the first day of spring could get a rather sarcastic response. It is a gloomy, rather chilly morning and the only signs of spring I have experienced in the last few days has been a small group of young male magpies fighting it out over an apparently absent or imaginative female, and a local woodpecker starting one of Calgary's first construction projects of the season. The grass is still mainly brown and some snow is still visible in shady areas. The March hares (jackrabbits) have not even started acting mad.

Spring, as a real experience for us, is still a long way off: sometime around Victoria Day (the last Monday before May 25th) we can be fairly optimistic that we have seen the last frost. That is the busiest weekend here for the garden centres, and the customary start to the camping season, although campers have often experienced a late snow storm on that weekend.

In the mythosphere, however, Blodeuwedd, the Welsh goddess of spring is being assembled from flowers and the Greek Persephone is back home with mother Demeter.

Beneath the doodle, Google also tells me that it is the International Day of Happiness and that certainly works for me because, as of today, I am officially an FSA.

So I wish every happiness (and a great weekend with fair weather) to all of my readers, and I'll be back on Monday.

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