Searching for Signs of Spring
March is typically a weather roller coaster here. The saying is that “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” This year, the lion arrived a day late. The first day of March was mild with a feel of spring. On the second day, a blast of arctic air roared in on strong northwest winds. By mid-week, cold gave way to mild air again, with Wednesday’s temperature rising to about 50F (10C). For the past two days, temperatures have been falling and the weather has featured strong winds and alternating blue skies and snow squalls as another cold front arrived. Tomorrow’s high temperatures are expected to be below 10 degrees Fahrenheit (about –12 Celsius). Meteorologists are forecasting a major snow storm with a foot or more of snow for the middle of next week.
The March roller coaster can make me feel impatient for the arrival of spring, but I know it is coming. I can see many signs of spring outside my windows. First is the rapidly lengthening hours of daylight as we approach the spring equinox. This weekend we will adjust our clocks as we “spring forward” into daylight savings time; next week, the sun will not set until almost 7 p.m.
March’s stronger sun and days of mild temperatures have been rapidly melting our snowpack. Only four weeks after our 4-foot “snowmageddon” snowfall, most of that snow has melted. Even the huge pile of shoveled snow by my front porch that I dubbed “Snow Mountain,” has already diminished by more than half.
|The snow is almost gone from the part of the back deck that I never got around to shoveling.|
And patches of bare ground have been spreading along the foundation of the house and under the trees.
And in those patches of bare ground, I can see new foliage of strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) and hardy geraniums (Geranium x cantabrigiense).
|In the fall, I looked forward to spring by planting hundreds of crocus bulbs. The first foliage of those crocuses has begun to appear, promising that March’s roller coaster will give way to flowers in April.|