Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Getting Close to Spring

        "Spring" is approaching. It will arrive at 12:15 p.m. tomorrow in our area. As I remember from many, many years ago at school the arrival of spring means equal hours of  day and night and the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west. 

        Guess what? It's not exactly true due to the tilt of the earth. Equal hours happen at different times at different latitudes.  Where we live, at 43 degrees 13 minutes north, the equal hours happened already on March 17. The sun rose and set at east and west within less than a degree of difference yesterday the 18th and today, the 19th. Tomorrow, the official time when spring arrives, we will have 12 hour and just over 9 minutes of day time and the sun will rise 1 degrees north of east and set 1 degree north of west. So it goes.



        This first photo is from Sunday, March 18 at the minute the sun is supposed to rise i.e. the top rim of the sun is just above the horizon. Of course there is no way I can see that with trees and clouds in the way.



        So, this is 13 minutes later on the same morning when I first saw the sun rising above the trees. According to my compass it was at least 3 degrees south of east so I don't know if the compass was off or my information from the internet was off or if it moved south of east very quickly.

        Just for the record, below is one of the earlier spring flowers for this spring. It was found in a protected courtyard at the Royal Botanical Gardens and was planted there as a cultivated flower. I have seen them as naturalized flowers in a few locations over the years and was puzzled for several years as they are not in the wild flower guides.


Winter Aconite
Aconit d'hiver
(Eranthus hyemalis)
[er-AN-thus   hy-EH-may-liss]