The Dansville Online
  • Jim Hillibish: Look for these signs that spring has sprung

    • email print
  • Sure sign of spring: Readers messaging us with reports of the “first robin of spring.” Sorry, that’s not quite a sure sign.
    While smart robins head south for the winter, a few dumb ones hang around here all seasons. If you look closely, you will see them when we get January and February thaws.
    The true bird sign of spring hereabouts is the red-winged blackbird. They always come back as the last snows are melting.
    The astronomical first day of spring, the equinox, is when daylight and darkness are equal at 12 hours. After that point, each day gets longer until time flips on us.
    However, just because it’s later than March 20, doesn’t mean the cold is past. Winter decides for itself when to loosen its grip and follows no calendar.
    Here are 10 other early signs of spring for those who cannot wait:
    When you see new lambs cavorting in a pasture, spring is near. They’ve spent the winter in the barn and have abounding energy to burn off.
    Suddenly, a town is deserted of college kids. They’re all at Myrtle Beach and warm points south for spring break. Those who cannot go are watching the antics live on MTV. Parents who complain are told, “This rite of spring is a right of spring.”
    3. FLORA
    Her appearance in Mediterranean nations every year around this time makes her the goddess of spring, flowers and fertility. She has become a fixture at early-spring drinking and flower festivals. These are kind of a precursor to American spring breaks.
    Flora symbolizes the renewal of the cycle of life — and of course drinking, which knows no season.
    4. KITES
    The gentle winds of spring make kite flying a must, and they’re not just for kids. Adults shun the drugstore variety for navigator kites costing up to $100 which make visiting a tree very expensive. In Greece, March 18 is celebrated by everybody heading to the hills for a massive kite fly.
    5. KISSING
    You’ll notice more public exhibitions of affection as spring approaches. People have instincts just like animals. Both in spring pay more attention to significant others, and as the saying goes, “spring blossoms love.” Anyway, it’s hard to smooch in a ski mask.
    When the crocus suddenly appear, pushing the old snow away, spring is near. Ditto the acronites, snowdrops, bloodroot and eastern redbud.
    That’s surefire. So are changing shadow lengths as the sun makes its journey back from the equator. Brilliant sunrises and sunsets are treats of early spring, along with swarms of mites enjoying the stronger sun rays.
    Page 2 of 2 - 8. THE PERFUME OF SPRING
    Skunks waking up from their long winter hibernation mean spring is near. You don’t need to see them. Just take a whiff. Soon they will breed creating more “swamp pussies.” Make sure your trash-can lids are secure.
    Well, not quite a sign of spring, as they sing on most sunny mornings when the weather thaws. A better sign is a bird with nest-building material in its beak.
    This English and Asian folk myth places a man dressed in black bounding over the last snow drifts of winter, a sign the seasonal shift is near. He brings misfortune and is rumored to be a thief. Watch out for this guy.
    Reach Jim at 330-580-8324. On Twitter: @jhillibishREP
Terms of Service

    Events Calendar