cherry bllossoms at basin 2012

“It is one of the first days of Spring, and I sit once more in the old garden where I hear no faintest echo of the obscene rumbling of London streets which are yet so little away.  Here the only movement I am conscious of is that of the trees shooting forth their first sprays of bright green, and of the tulips expanding the radiant beauty of their flaming globes, and the only sound I hear is the blackbird’s song — the liquid softly gurgling notes that seem to well up spontaneously from an infinite joy, an infinite peace, at the heart of nature and bring a message not from some remote Heaven of the Sky or Future, but the Heaven that is Here, beneath our feet, even beneath the exquisite texture of our own skins, the joy, the peace, at the Heart of the Mystery which is Man.  For man alone can hear the Revelation that lies in the blackbird’s song. –  Havelock Ellis, Impressions and Comments, 1918

First Day of Seasons: 2012

The four seasons are determined by changing sunlight—which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis.

  • On the first day of spring—the vernal equinox—day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
  • On the first day of fall—the autumnal equinox—day and night are each about 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days after the autumnal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going southward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
  • The start of winter—the winter solstice—is the shortest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting longer.

Credit: NASA

Source:  The Farmer’s Almanac

“Spring has come, Loudly sing cuckoo ! Groweth seed and blooms mead And springs the wood now. Sing cuckoo!” –  English Poetry from the Middle Ages

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