Was Spring Actually Early?

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Today’s Blessings” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

On February 2nd Punxsutawney Phil promised an early Spring and was met with the cheers of a nation. I personally jumped for joy and halted my plans for groundhog stew. However, I may have been duped. We may have been duped. I have the sneaking suspension this devious rodent has no idea when Spring is coming. I can imagine this escapee from a Bill Murray film pacing inside his hole. “What am I going to tell them this time?” He asks himself. Finally he closes his eyes and spins the wheel at his desk. The needle lands on early Spring and the prediction is made. What brings me to think that we’re not having an early Spring? The Feature Image. This photo was taken on March 24 2019. It’s the little Bradford Pear in the parking lot of my day job. I have been watching it because I wanted to capture the first open bloom. One of the reasons that I do this is so I can track the metadata. The dates are important to me so that I can predict when the natural events in my area will give me a photo op. Photography is more than just documenting the way something looks. It’s about capturing the passage of time. So imagine how surprised I was to find out that this year’s bloom was about a week or so late!

Picture taken on March 16th 2018

As you can see in the photo above last year’s bloom was not only fully open on March 16th but also fully mature.

So what gives? Was it just the warmer weather last year? Well, yes and no. The warmer soil does have a little bit to do with it but short answer is that plants can see sunlight. (Sort of). It shouldn’t come as a shock that plants have photoreceptors. Chemical proteins that detect the presence of sunlight. They don’t really have a picture of the world like we do but they can tell what wavelengths of light that’s hitting their surface. Certain wavelengths trigger a response in the buds and they begin to grow and mature. The amount of light in combination with a wavelength just happens to coincide with the warmer weather. It all works together to get the timing right. But the original question remains. Was Spring early or late? In the grand scheme of things it was right on time. A few days in one direction or the other makes little difference. The real mystery is why the date that the wavelengths varies from one year to the next? Is the sun broken? No, the sun’s just fine. But it does experience it’s own weather and seasonal changes. That effects on what day the earth’s tilt, rotation and orbit brings us into alignment with those life sustaining rays. I’m sure that I’ve bypassed a lot of hard core science and complex calculations that would boggle the mind. When I think about all the factors that go into making the season change I began to appreciate the job that the poor Groundhog has. I don’t really blame him for resorting to random chance. And, I have those beautiful flowers to enjoy today. It would be a mistake to lose today’s joy by comparingit to yesterday’s happiness or tomorrow’s expectations.

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2 thoughts on “Was Spring Actually Early?

  1. Our blossoms are way out of whack this year. Last year the pear blossoms sort of half bloomed…they started blooming, but then, just stopped, it seemed. This year, everything seemed to bloom at once, instead of one after the other, like usual. You can imagine, then, the pollen levels have been extremely high. :-/

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