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..............