FRIDAY FUN: Favorite Sign of Spring

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: We have had a long, long winter here in New England. It isn’t over yet, but the season officially changes today! What is your favorite sign of spring? Or, put another way, when do you really know it’s safe to put your long johns away?

Lee Laughlin CU 7-13Lee Laughlin – I know spring is vewy vewy close when the “Road Posted” signs start going up. I live in a rural area and while the ground thaws no vehicles over 6 tons can travel on the dirt roads. There is too great of a chance the vehicle will get stuck in the mud and there is a risk the heavy load will damage the road itself. This concept of limiting access to roads amuses me. I guess it’s because I grew up in the suburbs and then lived in the city for 20 years before moving to the middle of nowhere. This is New England, I don’t put the long johns away until June 1!

headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace – Funny you should ask. I recently wrote a column about one of my favorite signs of spring – the return of our feathered friends. The view from my deck includes a bird feeder that attracts a fair number of winged neighbors. In recent weeks the frequency and variety of visitors has increased noticeably. This makes me very happy.

From the column:

Have you noticed the rising din of the morning chorus? Not long ago, the dawn hours were mute. But as we creep cautiously towards the elusive dream of winter’s end, we are cheered and encouraged by the unleashed trills, chirps, and whistles of our avian allies against the dark.

Whether returning from afar or revealing themselves after a season in hiding, these guardians of vernal transitions come winging to our aid, held aloft on hollow bones filled with promises and sky.

You can read the whole piece here if you like.  🙂

hennrikus-web2Julie Hennrikus: I think it is going to snow on Friday and Saturday, so we’re not safe yet. And I am still wearing the long coat, hat, gloves, scarf. I know it’s safe to call it spring when I can wear the short coat and not regret it. I don’t wear my hat. The buds on the trees aren’t covered with ice. You know, the little things. Happy spring. Or, as we call it in New England, late winter.

20 thoughts on “FRIDAY FUN: Favorite Sign of Spring

  1. Happy first day of spring to everyone here! I agree with Jamie’s comment above. My favorite sign of spring is the return of life that I can hear all around my yard. The cold silence of winter is finally broken by the birds during the day, and the spring peepers by night – they can get so loud it amazes me. We listen for them every year as the surest sign that spring is here to stay. Thank you for posing the question!

  2. I take my cue from my Magnolia here in Indianapolis–if it says it’s time to bloom, I know it’s safe to put away the heavy wools…but the cashmere stuff stays at the ready until the White Shoes are acceptable 🙂

    • Yes! And your comment reminds me of the beautiful forsythia that usually heralds spring around here. It’ll still be a while before we see its yellow blossoms, but it’s a day to look forward to!

  3. Once the azaleas, red bud trees, and pear trees are blooming, winter’s started to pack up. Duck flocks are barely touching down to rest on their way home. It may be ping-pong weather for a little bit, but summer’s getting out the GPS for a road trip

  4. Out here in California the signs of spring are very different and mostly limited to noticing people buying iced drinks at Starbucks and the local supermarket setting up displays of chocolate Easter eggs…

    • Ah, yes. We can always count on consumer brands to tell us what season it is (or, more accurately, which season is six or seven weeks away!).
      I encountered some intrepid iced coffee drinkers here the other day, despite temps in the teens. I guess they are thinking that the power of suggestion will melt the ice and bring on the sunshine!

    • Yes, I’m right with you there, Andrew. Spring? What’s that?

      I like to view the thoughts of others who have it, though. I think, “what a neat world they live in where there’s seasons.” Sometimes I think I might understand what a season is.

  5. The emerging of early flowering bulbs like crocuses, scillas, snowdrops, muscari, dwarf irises and such. Even the frost is still on the ground, when I see these flowers peeping from under the ground and autumn leaves, I thought: the spring is here at last…

    • The longer days that arrived with daylight savings time have been a HUGE bit of encouragement around here. I’ve never felt so inspired by a little extra light at the end of the day. Amazing what a difference that little hour makes. 🙂

  6. I’m enjoying the first days of autumn here! The sun has been fierce this summer,the air so heavy it felt like clotted cream. This morning everything has a lighter touch. Earlier, the garden thermometer read a chilly ten degrees and now is taking a slow climb to a lunch-time twenty-five. I think I detect a feint blush of red on the leaves of the jacaranda trees, but only when the first ones fall will I be really convinced that summer is over. I don’t posses long johns. But when it gets to be real winter I might put on a jacket when I go for a walk. I shouldn’t gloat, but for me it’s just another day in paradise. Enjoy your spring, you deserve it!

  7. Well here in the UK we have just started to see the first signs of spring and living in the north of England boy do we welcome any sign of those light mornings and longer evenings. When I leave the house at 7am I can’t tell spring has arrived by the warmth I am greeted with when I open my front door. I faint silence penetrated by the birds singing. I jump out of bed and welcome the day with open arms. Bring on the summer! 🙂

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