Thursday, March 20, 2014

The first day of Spring

For some reason I always think spring begins on the 21st.... a quick google search reveals I'm not the only one who is confused. And apparently for good reason. Spring it would seem, is determined by the vernal equinox, which can fall anytime between March 19 and 21st. It turns out that calendar manufacturers (who have more power than groundhogs in determining spring starts) have changed the traditional date in recent years to more closely match the equinox. The springs of my childhood however never did seem to manage to start any time in March anyways, so the actual date was somewhat meaningless.

In fact, is this photo tweeted at me from home by my cousin seems to indicate that for Sault Ste. Marie, at least, winter is still as alive as ever.

After the last week and a half here in Calgary on the other hand, I certainly thought we'd come through the cold to find spring arrived early. I mean last Wednesday you could go out without a coat on, and this past Sunday, I ran 10km in just a light jacket (Lulu's spring forward jacket, which I couldn't love more!) and it was beautiful. A little windy to be sure, but the paths and sidewalks were nearly completely clear of snow and ice. It was a refreshing day to be outside! A huge change from the St. Pat's 10km I did this same weekend last year, in a snowstorm!

Although yesterday was a bit nippy, I went to bed last night warm and cozy, awaiting the first day of spring, expecting to awake to sun on my face and the sound of birds singing.

That was not the case! Rather than the sound of birds, it was the sound of 50km/h wind gusts telling me that this false spring was really just the last Chinook of winter. Winter which was back with a vengeance this morning. So much snow and slush was on the road that my poor little civic couldn't even make it up the very hill pictured above to get to work. In fact that hill was so bad, there were police cars limiting access to people in 4wd SUVs. So, dedicated grad student that I am, rather than take this as a sign to go back to bed and hibernate until true spring; I pulled a 3pt turn, and slowly found another route round to Foothills and my lab.

Seriously winter, that's enough now. I'm cutting you off. You're drunk. Go home winter!

In better news, only a little more than a month until I get to escape to San Diego for Experimental biology. (more on that to come).

So was Spring the first as big a disappointment for you as it was for us here in Calgary?


  1. Glad (in a way) that that's not just happening in Pittsburgh- we had a beautiful Tuesday last week, but then it progressively got colder until it SNOWED yesterday! :( Seriously craving some persistent nice weather... San Diego at least sounds like somewhere warm to look forward to! I have no reprieve in sight.

    1. Ugg I think pretty much everywhere, we're all pretty sick of this winter. The crazy thing is that it's not even going overly long for us up north, I think just the intensity of the last few months has worn all of us Canadian's down. Sometimes I lament that if I had been smart I'd be doing gradschool in California rather than Calgary!