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Archive for March 20th, 2012

Ostara

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven—
All’s right with the world!
  –  Robert Browning

The apparent path of the sun crossed the equator at 5:14 GMT this morning, making today the first day of astronomical spring.  As far as the weather is concerned, though, it’s been spring in my corner of North America for weeks…at least since Imbolc,   though we actually had a number of warm days in January.  And I do mean warm; though no single day broke our previous January record (22.9 Celsius at 3:30 PM January 28, 2011), this was the warmest winter I’ve seen since buying my land in 2002 and the preliminary meteorological data seems to indicate it’ll be among the warmest on record.  If we compare it to other unusually mild winters – 1932, 1950 and 1970 – we find that they are often followed by unusually cold, snowy springs and mild summers.  Well, we’ll see; nearly anything’s an improvement over the weather we had last year, in which a premature spring was followed by a cold snap and a brutally hot, dry summer which totally destroyed my blackberry crop.  No, we don’t need them for money, but fresh blackberries (and blackberry pie, ice cream, jam, etc) are one of the pleasures of country life and I hate to be cheated of them.

In my column of one year ago tomorrow (leap year shifts everything after the end of February one day back) I discussed all the signs of spring that I love, and they all appeared in February this year; the little green shoots of grass and clover everywhere, the jonquils, the Canada geese heading north, etc.  All around us the world is awakening, and it rarely fails to inspire me.  At the beginning of March I always get my new chicks; I never tire of watching the seemingly-miraculous transformation of tiny balls of fluff into scrawny pullets whom I move from brooder to henhouse around the first day of spring.  All through April they gradually become more typically bird-shaped, then in the summer transform into fat hens; one of the signs of impending autumn is that they start laying.  As is my holiday custom, I’m going to take the day off to enjoy it; though for practical reasons we wait for Easter to hold our spring feast, that doesn’t stop me from going out to take in the beauty.

I wish all of my readers the joy of the season, and the renewal and growth of everything positive in your lives.  Blessed Be!

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