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The First Signs of Spring

2013 March 4

Greetings from New England!Each Monday we write about the New England environment and way of life seen through our local perspective. Previous posts

By Dave Deegan

There are always a lot of weather clichés: If March comes in like a lion, it will  go out like a lamb, etc.

I wonder if there is a rule to February. If it kicks off with a huge blizzard, and ends with soggy ground, well then I guess we’re just heading into New England’s Mud Season.  It may not be the prettiest time of year, but it is at least a sign that winter is losing its grip and spring will come.

Everyone remembers how mild last year was: we had crocuses blooming on February 26th.

Just a few weeks ago we had one of the bigger blizzards anyone around here can remember. But in the past few days, the temperature stayed (just slightly) above freezing, so we had buckets of rain, instead of feet of snow. Of course, with the ground still frozen, all that rain means a lot of standing water on the ground until it eventually filters into the soil. A soggy mess, or a sign of spring: your call.

It seems as if everybody up in New England pays special attention to the length of days during this time of year.  Even by late January, you start to notice that “Hey, a month ago it was dark at 4:30, and now it’s light half an hour longer.”  Meaning that by now, in early March, I see daylight through much of my commuter train ride home, until close to 6PM.

Right now, we’re only a few weeks away from changing the clocks for daylight savings time.  If only the temperature would catch up as quickly as the light!

The last few mornings I’ve also been cheered to hear the familiar “wheat wheat wheat” call of our resident cardinals, a familiar sound that I associate with the transition to spring. Of course the cardinals are a welcome presence at our backyard feeders all through the winter, but it’s only now that their activity changes and they start singing more.

All of this means that it is high time to dust off our seed catalogs and gardening books, and start planning what our early season vegetable garden will need, and what care will be needed for our other plants that are just now peeking out from under winter’s snowbanks.

About the author:  Dave Deegan works in the public affairs office of EPA New England in Boston. When he’s not at work, he loves being outdoors in one of New England’s many special places.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Arman.- permalink
    March 4, 2013

    Oh My God….! Oh My Scientist….!

    Amost the people in the world are confusing to feel this phenomenon. Why not?All the spaces…,all the habits…, all the rule… are changing. I knew your signed, God. But it is so heavy, God. Could your scientist interpret it? Could the people stride up and down, out from you…….?

  2. Master Melvin M. Lusterio permalink
    March 5, 2013

    The Good Force be with you!

    Nice article, Dave! How are you? Happy Spring Season in USA & Happy Summer in the Philippines!

    Live forever & prosper!

  3. Gianni Nocchi permalink
    March 7, 2013

    wonderful! :D

  4. Carl Ingham permalink
    March 10, 2013

    I myself am sitting in a subway sandwich store in Los Cristianos, Tenerife and I would definatley say SPRING has arrived last week was awful with very strog winds but now it is just gorgeous!!! So yes it did indeed come in like a lion a very verocious one!!

  5. Dave permalink
    March 11, 2013

    Many thanks to you all for the comments and enjoying EPA’s blog! In the last week, since this post went up, we had nearly 2 more feet of snow, but the past few days have been back to about 50 degrees F. Winter is slowly losing its grip and soon we’ll see crocuses and daffodils :-)

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