Today is the Vernal Equinox, and it actually looks like spring. Normally in this part of New England, everything is muddy and gross. In honor of that, early spring is referred to as mud season, also known as the fifth season. While other areas are enjoying the first signs of spring, we usually suffer through the underbelly of early spring. Dirty snowbanks. Garbage. You get the idea.
But not this year.
This year’s weather has been very unusual. Therefore, our typical signs of spring–the ugly side–are less apparent. The images from above were taken today, but I had to search for that lone ugly snowbank; and that’s fresh garbage, not the kind that was chucked to the curb in late November and has aged over the past few months.
With so much less snow this year, there is not much runoff. In fact, the mud is really more like dirt. There is some mud, but it’s nothing like our usual. We’ve had so much warm weather that yards look neat. Sometimes in late-March, there are lawns scattered with half-melted snowmen, or even better those deflated plastic holiday lawn ornaments. There are still remnants of winter, like Christmas lights or a forgotten scarf, but just like the lone dirty snowbanks, you really have to make an effort to find these things. People are just way ahead on their spring chores and yard cleaning. Which means, this year typical signs of spring are actually coinciding with the official start of spring for us in southern New Hampshire.
Ice out is another sign of spring. It usually does not happen this early. The ice is certainly out; though, I am not sure that the ice was ever really completely in. There were a couple days this winter when it seemed like the ice would be sturdy, but there were so many warm days sprinkled here and there that I never felt like I needed to test it.
In fact, rather than testing the ice, I decided to test the water. If you are wondering, it was chilly, but very refreshing. (Look, I am kind of walking on water!)
Here are some other signs of spring I found today: Flowers are blooming.
Buds are budding.
- Buds on the Trees
People are puttering. Legs are showing. Car tops are down.