Rugged Month

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The Anglo Saxons called the month of March Hyld monath which means stormy month, or Hraed monath which means rugged month. I rather like this, and it’s particularly true this year! We have another batch of heavy snow in Sussex that descended on us quite suddenly and a little unexpectedly. I knew some snow was forecast, but here on the coast we always take that with a pinch of salt (pardon the pun) as the sea air often melts the snow more so than inland. It wasn’t very welcome I have to say, but as always with nature, we are at it’s mercy.

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So everything sleeps for a bit longer under this snowy blanket, meaning spring will come even later

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When does spring actually, spring?

An odd idea I know, but the other day I heard the weather forecast chap say that meteorologically spring begins on the 1st of March. It has never occurred to me that there are different markers for spring’s beginning, as far as I was concerned it began after the spring equinox on 2oth March or thereabouts.

After a bit of research it seems different cultures and countries mark spring in different ways. As for our country it seems you can swing one of three ways, following the astronomical equinoxes, or the meteorological theory of the 1st of March, or you can follow folklore and look out for natural phenomena, such as the blossoming of primroses and daffodils. Traditionally in recent times, most people seem to lean towards the astronomical theory (spring being called the Vernal Equinox) as this is based upon a time in the year when the light and dark hours are equal (12 hours of each) Vernal in Latin means to bloom, hence when it is appropriate to use this term to call the spring equinox. Even if this traditional view is upheld, is it a correct marker of spring? The meteoroligical angle surely makes more sense, they suggest that there are 3 months in spring- March, April and May, and three in summer, June, July and August and so forth. It does seem a bit absurd to think that if we adhere to the astrological marker, then most of June is still spring as the Summer Equinox doesn’t fall until 21st June.

Anyway, I guess the experts could deliberate about this until the cows come home, but realistically nobody can ever be correct as the weather fluctuates from year to year bringing spring at different times. I did love a theory I read on Wikipedia though that states one of the signs of spring could be ‘ the special smell of soil that has reached the temperature for micro flora to flourish’. I can definitely relate to that!!

When do you believe spring starts?