Are We Springing into Spring?

A Groundhog Predicts the Arrival of SpringThe official arrival of spring comes with the onset of many other things; lambing attendants being too busy to answer their phones and more daffodils in the hedgerow than you can shake a walker’s stick at.

With all the planetary changes that take place in our ever moving annual calendar and with recent shifts in our climate, I’d been pondering precisely when spring had actually sprung!

My interest on the topic was piqued further as I read in today’s Environment Blog in the Guardian that spring has been arriving far earlier than the equinox has announced, for some time.

This year, the 20th March marked that poignant moment in the astronomical calendar of seasons. Along with the autumn equinox, it significantly celebrates two days where there are almost equal amounts of sun and moonlight; truly balanced days indeed.

Apparently, the Met Office work to a completely different system and are led by date and temperature. They peg the date to a fixed (fence) post and proudly declare the beginning of spring is in fact the 1st March.

As our strange and relatively mild winter of 2013 forgot to send the ground to sleep with more usual chilly temperatures, the inevitable life burst forth far quicker than in other years, which made the arrival of the official equinox look like it was late getting to the party.

With meteorological volatility being the unquestionable order of the day it seems, perhaps we might have more luck predicting it’s arrival by quizzing our friends in Pennsylvania about the emergence of their beloved groundhog. If it is cloudy when the groundhog pops out from its winter rest, then spring will come early and if it’s sunny, the groundhog will see its own shadow and retreat back into the burrow and the chilly winter weather will carry on for a further 6 weeks.

I suspect it’s as good a method as any and alongside many other old wives tales, it will give us something to talk about as we get on with the necessary business of bowing to Mother Nature as she yawns and wakes up the weeds on our lawns!

If you’d like to read the the article I mentioned above, please click here and as a parting thought, it really is a good time to think about what’s required to maintain your grassland to keep it at optimum efficiency and beauty. If you’d like to look at our recommendations for the spring, click here.

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