Categories
Uncategorized

Intermission: A Taste of Spring

Did you notice the line-ups outside of car washes this week? How about the crisp, clean sides of some well-loved cars and trucks?

Did you notice the line-ups outside of car washes this week? How about the crisp, clean sides of some well-loved cars and trucks? Winter’s swell has borne more (and more, and more) of Sudbury’s infamous pot-holes. And a keen eye will also pick out this year’s share of roadside, aluminum heat shields that have rattled free.

It isn’t just the roads changing nor the touchless washes being sent into overdrive. The days are getting longer. The sun is slowly climbing higher in the sky. Yesterday, I noticed the maple buds are beginning their annual campaign.

Seasoned Sudburians will not be fooled. Because we’ve each been down this road before. We know what’s yet in store. These warm advances, while a relief, are, at this point, mere lulls in Winter’s reach. This is an in-between time: We aren’t quite out of Winter yet, but Spring is already starting.

The 2023 Farmer’s Almanac takes a run at March:

Sunny chill lingers before rain-soaked fingers again seek a comfortable mitten. Snowing again — Remember back then when everyone wasn’t frostbitten? Equinox vernal springs hope eternal for just one warm breeze or two. Ha, ha, ha — Guess what? It’s more rain and snow for you!

(That “Ha, ha, ha” betrays some of the cruelty of this place. That this season leads with gasps of warmth while still holding several more days of iced driveways paired with countless shovel loads of wetted white mush.)

It had been a while since I considered why, really, we have seasons at all. Recall that the earth is continually rotating around the sun — like doing laps on a large outdoor track — a process which takes 365 days. Remember too that during a single day, the earth is spinning on its own axis, like a top.

Here’s where things get a bit more technical, but stay with me. The earth’s axis is not perfectly perpendicular to the sun but rather the whole planet is tilted sideways (23.5 degrees from the perpendicular, to be specific). Here it is in picture form: