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Welcoming an early spring

By Judith Victoria Hensley

Contributing Columnist

When I saw a headline on Facebook that read, “Earliest Spring in 100 Years,” I couldn’t help wondering what in the world they were talking about. Doesn’t spring come on the same date every single year? According to an internet search, Spring runs from March 1 through May 31.

The reference to the “earliest spring” actually refers to the spring equinox which will happen on March 19. It usually comes on March 20 or 21. Equinox means that the hours of daylight and nighttime are near equal in all parts of the world.

When I think of spring, I automatically think of the first blooming trees like Sarvis and Bradford Pear. Commonly seen early arrival of jonquils or daffodils which people in our region often call “March blooms,” make their appearance. This year, these blossoms first appeared in February! My rose bushes have new growth already showing.

The magnolia tree outside my kitchen window is also showing very large buds. I found mosquitos buzzing around my front porch light and was shocked to see them out so early. Huge black ants have started their annual exploration into my kitchen and I’m already trying to make it as inconvenient as possible for them to even want to come back.

I’ve heard frogs croaking in their ponds since February. There is also a change in the bird’s singing. They are singing songs which are absolutely joyful around my house. Even they have taken note of an early spring.

Black bears don’t usually start making appearances in our region until late March or early April. However, people are already reporting seeing them on social media with photographs offered as proof.

With St. Patrick’s Day less than a week away, we can expect to see the lacy petticoats of green decorating the trees and fringing the mountains as the days unfold. For many it is their favorite season of the year as life renews itself after a gray and dreary winter. It brings the hope of new beginnings, new life, more sunshine, and changing seasons.

One of the most well-known passes in the Bible says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 KJV)

I, for one, am happy to welcome Spring 2020. Fall and winter presented challenging months for me, but I have great hopes that spring will bring with it new hope, new adventures, lots of sunshine, and the beauty of God’s creation as the earth awakens and rejoices in its glory.