The Weekend Assignment is posted each Friday at Outpost Mâvarin; a roundup of responses goes up the following Thursday, so if you'd like to join in, you've still got some time.
Weekend Assignment #208: Meteorologists define spring in the Northern Hemisphere as beginning March 1st; others define it according to the vernal equinox, the return of warm weather, or the appearance of a groundhog's shadow. What does spring mean to you, and what, if anything, do you intend to do about it?
I live in a locale where the arrival of spring doesn't really announce itself much. Coastal Southern California mostly eases into and out of changes in the weather. If it's a good and/or lucky winter, that's our rainy season; things dry out as we move into April. But if we have had rain, we get to see green hillsides, and it's nice to have that before the long warm, dry season that we call "summer" here turns it all brown. Any trees that actually did lose their leaves back in the autumn start to blossom again and get their leaves back, which heralds "allergy season" out here, as I think it does in most other places.
One thing I particularly like about spring's arrival is the longer hours of daylight, even if they are artificially accelerated by Daylight Savings Time (which now covers 2/3 of the year, so it's more the norm than "standard" time - hmmm). I appreciate being able to make both ends of my daily commute in the light, and later sunsets allow us to take a nearby trail on Gypsy's evening walks.
Spring means a change of clothing. In colder climates, people are advised to wear layers in the winter, but here they're a good idea in spring too. The low humidity here can contribute to fairly large temperature swings over the course of the day, and a day that starts out chilly can reach 80 degrees by afternoon. You'll definitely want to leave the house with a jacket, but you'll probably be carrying it around later on. For me, the warming trend also means I'll be wearing boots less of the time.
At work, spring is probably our busiest time, and that's because of the annual visit of the auditors. If we're lucky, it doesn't last too long and it's uneventful.
But for me, the biggest sign of spring is - and I bet you won't be surprised - my birthday, which is coming up this Saturday! The end of March has always been birthday season in my family, really - my dad, mom and I are all within a six-day period. And no matter where I've lived - even in places where it's snowed on my birthday and the leaves didn't start coming out until May - this has always been the case for me.
What does spring mean to you?