Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Spring at last, a magic time!

Crocuses all in a row

Today I celebrate the arrival of Spring: spring sightings, magic and storytelling are on the agenda.

It is Spring at last; in fact today's Whimsy Wednesday is coming to you on the first full day of Spring. Spring officially started March 20 at 1:14 am EDT, this is called the Vernal Equinox (from "ver" meaning spring).


The start of Spring is marked by the equinox. Equinox is derived from a Latin word meaning "equal night", or equal daylight and night hours. The Spring and Fall equinoxes are the only dates of equal day and night and mark the time that the sun crosses the celestial equator, but it happens at a point in time and not actually on a particular "day". Here is an explanation from Wikipedia:
"At an equinox, the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator (i.e. declination 0) and ecliptic intersect. These points of intersection are called equinoctial points: classically, the vernal point and the autumnal point. By extension, the term equinox may denote an equinoctial point.
An equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when there is a location (the subsolar point) on the Earth's equator, where the center of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead, occurring around March 20 and September 22 each year.
Although the word equinox is often understood to mean "equal [day and] night", this is not strictly true. For most locations on earth, there are two distinct identifiable days per year when the length of day and night are closest to being equal; those days are referred to as the "equiluxes" to distinguish them from the equinoxes. Equinoxes are points in time, but equiluxes are days. By convention, equiluxes are the days where sunrise and sunset are closest to being exactly 12 hours apart."

Spring flowers, warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours, bring it on. In the past few days I have noticed several people cutting their lawns, the smell of fresh cut grass brought memories of summer days rushing back to me.

Spring sights are all around me. There is new growth on the trees, a bright yellow green.

The Weeping Willows are budding, which makes them appear to be wearing lovely light yellow shawls draped over their branches. First a picture of the tree followed by detail of one of the branches.

Weeping Willow in bud

The perennials are starting to spout, the rhubarb is unfurling, the salmon berries have their first leaves and flowers and the pussy willows are popping open, these too are sure signs of Spring.

First Rhubarb shouts and leaves

Pussy Willows

And there are flowers. Colours popping up everywhere.

Cherry Blossoms

Camillia in bloom

Spring blooms in the park

Early daisies in the grass at the park

The birds are very busy eating, pairing off and getting ready to nest.

American Robin

Sparrows (above and below)

All this is happening at this time of year. But I referred to magic at the beginning of this post and that had to do with an egg. Here is a picture of a raw egg, balanced on its end. Why and how you may ask, well read on.

A raw egg balanced on my kitchen counter

According to folklore at the equinox it is possible to stand an egg on its end. Now this is something that I thought needed some investigation, and I do try to take my research seriously! So I have tried this out, starting on March 16, I was able to stand two different eggs (out of 5) on their ends, one stayed for about 20 minutes the other until the counter that it was standing on was jolted; sad story here, you remember the Humpty Dumpty tale, well Humpty ended up in the garbage after rolling to the edge of the kitchen counter and diving onto the kitchen floor.

I tried this out a few times and then on March 20, I was able to stand five eggs on end. I did not wait until the exact start of Spring, that being in the early morning hours here, a time meant for sleeping; after all we lost that hour last week with the change to DST. Spring magic or not here they are standing on end:

This may have nothing to do with the equinox but it I thought it made a good story and segue into the next topic.

The Spring equinox is also cause for celebration as "World Storytelling Day":

"World Storytelling Day, is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn equinox in the southern. On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night. Participants tell each other about their events in order to share stories and inspiration, to learn from each other and create international contacts.
The significance in the event lies in the fact that it is the first global celebration of storytelling of its kind, and has been important in forging links between storytellers often working far apart from each other. It has also been significant in drawing public and media attention to storytelling as an art form." (Wikipedia)
At this point you will have to decide here whether I have been telling you a tale about the eggs or not.

Storytelling is a wonderful tradition, at times it seems to be a dying art form, so I was thrilled to discover that first there is a "World Storytelling Day" and second it is celebrated at the Spring Equinox.

As a blogger and a blog follower I delight in stories, I know that these are written and not oral, but I often feel I can "hear" the author telling me his/her story. On this first day of Spring, at the Vernal Equinox and on "World Storytelling Day" I want to thank all those who follow my blog, and thanks to all those wonderful bloggers out there whose blogs delight me daily.

So on this first day of Spring, take time to look at the flowers and watch the birds, tell someone a story and maybe even try to balance an egg. Oh-oh I see omelettes on the menu.

Here's a song to celebrate Spring: Morning has Broken - Cat Stephens

I have been busy painting again, this week flowers, in watercolour of course. I finished this one of tulips, called Pink Sunshine. I am almost finished another one of red tulips, but that will have to wait until next week.
Pink Sunshine


Happy Whimsy Wednesday, thanks for stopping by, until next week..............


  1. A great post. The eggs are amazing. The fourth image is better though.

  2. Some of my best memories are of my mother telling me stories and of me telling stories to my daughter. Sometimes these were about the early days of the family and sometimes they were fictional tales. In fact, I think one perpetual story I told my daughter is why she conjured up the first Penelope drawing. I like your spring photos, by the way. Spring seems a little bouncer in your area than in mine. :)

  3. Gilian , bravo for the magic eggs!!!It is impossible!!! Your watercolour tulips, are very beautiful and realistic!!! All your photos are perfect too!!! Congratulations! Kisses.

  4. i LOVE that you took the time to stand eggs on end! too cute! love all of your blooms! beautiful!

  5. Fantastic shots from spring. They are all great. Forsythia is one that got started too early here and then didn't do well so good to see it in your post as it's a favorite bush of mine. Your art is always so good.

  6. I, too, absolutely love that you took time to do your egg research, and then to tell us the story. Such a rich post, Gillian. It has beautiful photos (the pussy willow stands out) and an awakening feeling that I really enjoyed. Add to that great story telling, a favourite song (Morning has Broken) and you have brought Spring in with style :)



    "SPRING HAS SPRUNG" ( but what about the periodic Snow we keep getting?)

    see you


  8. Lovely pink tulips Gillian! I do appreciate all your beautiful Spring pictures. i would love to live at the West Coast again and these pictures remind me why. The snow is melting here but we have such a long time until we see the things you're seeing these days. Thanks for sharing Spring with us!

  9. Happy Spring, Gillian! Gorgeous flowers and blossoms! Your photos are wonderful and a great post for Spring. Loved video and the birds. Your painting is gorgeous, you are very talented.

  10. As usual I enjoy your pictures and I even loved the music. I have seen most of the flowers you had but no cammillias. That egg story is good, never heard of that before.

  11. You are the most balanced person I know!

  12. Loved the egg story! The photos as always are great!

  13. Great shots of the eggs, love your new painting.

  14. I had no idea that eggs could stand up, what an entertaining post!

  15. I love the eggs, it makes me holler.

  16. I love that shot of the willow tree. It is gorgeous. :)

  17. What a beautiful painting! And those crocuses - just gorgeous!

  18. Our forsythia is golden. That's about all that is though. The rhubarb is out in leave and growing. I lost two lots of it last year and this is the only clump I have left. Maybe we will get a stalk or two to just eat this summer.

    I like your "Pink Sunshine"\

    Since I was hacked I had to give up my old user name and the blogs that went with it.

    So this is the new birds blog and I hope you can come visit. Birds Birds Birds and Birds

  19. Spring has arrived here as well... work gets in my way to share it..

  20. Gorgeous...Happy Spring!!!

  21. I always love your reports about the changes of the seasons and the lovely photos and artworks that accompany them.

  22. Hi Gillian,
    Great to meet up with a fellow Vancouverite (even though I now live on the east coast) and discover your charming art work as well. I will be happy to catch glimpses of "home" through your postings.

  23. I always enjoy my visit here. I just love reading what you have to teach us. And your photos are beautiful.. I am so happy spring is here I just wish it would stay longer.. But here in the desert it will be hot before you know it.. Your painting looks amazing..

    Hugs, Linda

  24. Yessssss...I do love spring...and your photos are fabulous!!!

  25. Morning of spring has broken, and spring is going to spring! Egg's standing on its end at the equinox is interesting. There are many I used to enjoy doing but not lately, one of them is storytelling. I'll resume that art of storytelling to my granddaughter who is now one-year-and-three-months years old. Thanks for this post. Pink Sunshine” made me feel mellow.


  26. beautiful post ! spring is so nice after this cold winter !
    wish you a lovely weekend

  27. Gorgeous flowers and tree blossoms! Beautiful photos, Gillian! Nicely done.

  28. I love seeing how spring has arrived in your area. We are a bit behind yo. :) Isn't spring exhilarating?

  29. I love the egg story, how on earth? LOL.

    Spring, glorious spring, can't wait until it arrives up here.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  30. This is a beautiful post about spring. I love all your photos of the spring flowers and your paintings are exquisite.

  31. We still have patches of snow and not a single bud has appeared on tree branches. I'm eager to see some greenery pop up and warmer weather arrive.

    Love the egg stunt...will have to try that. Ha!

  32. spring is very fascinating! the eggs are ready for the hunting.

  33. Your painting is so lovely, and I may have to try the eggs next year. What fun.

  34. Gorgeous shots. What a wonderful talent you have in painting? I just discovered your blog and look forward to following your work:) Chris from Las Aventuras