Spring Hare Moon
Spring and I met up this year in Seminole, Texas, Gaines County: #1 in Cotton, #1 in oil and #1 in peanuts. When we began our Intensive Journal workshop here in Tucson, the leader noted that it was the beginning of spring, a time of birth and rebirth. Yes.
Today, for the first time since I left Minnesota, I’m not pressed by travel and can reflect on the new season. This is the culmination of Imbolc, those lambs in the belly (imbolc) now gambol on the green. Or on the snow covered fields in the case of Minnesota.
And that’s a good thing to note. Spring comes astronomically when the sun’s center lines up with the earth’s equator. It come meteorologically with a nuance determined by your latitude. At Minnesota’s 45th latitude, half-way from that equator to the north pole, meteorological spring comes when the bloodroot blooms. (at least one naturalist I asked defined the coming of spring that way.) That could be well into April some years.
On the other hand, here in Tucson 32 degrees of latitude from the equator spring announces the upcoming dry season, aggravated this year by a persistent drought that has many southwestern parts of the U.S. facing another season of extreme wildfire danger.
In Manta, Ecuador which Kate and I visited in October of 2011 the equinox means the sun stares straight at you. It was hot when we were there, only a couple of weeks after the spring equinox (which comes in September in the southern hemisphere).
At Artemis Hives and Gardens it arrived with a couple of feet or so of snow on the ground. That means the activities of working the soil, planting the early crops will not come until well into April. But the shift in the earth’s relationship to the sun does mean that the solar gain per square meter of ground has taken strong purchase and will one day warm even the soil.
That’s the true promise of spring. It brings heat. Where the temperatures are moderate, this is a boon for agriculture. Where temperatures are already hot, spring can exacerbate them.
As the heat begins to change the weather, I look forward to seeing more and more of our land.