2017-03-22 / Editorials

Don Lively


If you remember, last week we talked about the weird weather patterns, and how it was warm and balmy one day, frigid and rainy the next.


Last week?

Okay, yes, I am aware that many of you who read me every week are in the same basic age demographic as me.

For folks like us, remembering last night is tough.

Remembering last week is dang near miraculous.

Anyway, last week we did talk about how spring, around these parts, doesn't know whether to haul off and get warm, or, to let winter hang around a few more weeks.

But, now, I know that spring has officially arrived, for two reasons.

First, and most obvious, the calendar says so.

My calendar.

Your calendar.

Every 2017 calendar printed says the same thing.

Spring arrived this week.

Technically, it's called the vernal equinox.

So, what does "vernal" mean?

It means "appearing, or happening in the season of spring".

Well, that makes sense.

The vernal equinox is the day that the sun makes its crossing from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere. During that little sky show, the sun shines straight up over the equator and sends its rays almost equally onto both hemispheres. In our part of the world, the days immediately begin to get longer.

There you have today's science lesson.

The second reason that I know spring is here is not as interesting, and not as much fun.

Daylight Savings Time.

Whose brilliant idea was this anyway?

The time change actually took place a week before the official first day of spring, but, DST has had the most impact.

Every year, I barely get used to the "fall back" way of going about my daily routine before I'm forced to "spring forward". For the first several weeks of each time change, my body clock is out of kilter. You wouldn't think that one measly, little hour would make that much difference, but, it does.

And technology isn't much help.

The time change always occurs early on Sunday morning, so, before I go to bed on Saturday night, I can't remember which of my devices, be it my cell phone, my Kindle Fire or my digital alarm clock, are designed to automatically adjust to the time change.

Do I set my clocks for my normal time to get up, and hope that they adjust?

Or, do I take the lost, or gained hour into account?

I still don't know.

I'm usually so worried about being late for Sunday School that I am awake all night anyway, so, so far, I've never missed or been late due to a time change.

Whose idea, indeed?

And then, there's the pollen.

If anybody doesn't already have an ample supply of their own, I have buckets of it. Free. I'll even deliver. The only downside to having large, wrap-around porches is the sweeping. Sweetgum balls (which I still have no idea how so many of them end up on the covered porch.) in the autumn, pollen in the spring. The porches look like somebody sprinkled them with gold dust.

Very, allergenic gold dust.

I've been sniffling and sneezing for two weeks.

Still, there's much to be glad about, now that spring is here.

The second prettiest plant in all of the Blessed South, the wild dogwoods, are in full bloom and are beautiful.

The prettiest, not only in our neck of the woods, but perhaps in the entire world, the magnolia, is starting to push out buds that will soon bust wide open with amazing white blossoms.

The hummingbirds have found their way back to the wooded enclave, however, they strongly disapproved of my having left the old nectar in their feeder all winter. It must have gotten stale. They'd buzz up to it, take a sniff or two, and buzz off.

So, I relented and refilled.

The hummers are happy again.

Once spring gets here, the deer know that they are safe from hunters and that makes them more mobile. And unpredictable. I can attest to that fact as evidenced by two decent sized, young bucks, both having recently shed their antlers, darting straight in front of us as we returned from dinner down on the river. We skidded to a stop, literally, about two inches from the pair.

Too close for comfort, but, they sure were pretty.

Soon plows will be ripping soil and shortly after seeds will be planted. Before long the countryside will be green with row crops.

No doubt, spring is here and that's a good thing.

Except for the pollen.

You can keep the pollen.

Don Lively is freelance writer and author of two books of Southern Humor, Howlin' At The Dixie Moon, and, South O' Yonder. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.

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