On this first calendar day of spring, there are few signs of the season. While changes induced by the lengthening daylight, such as birdsong and waterfowl migration, are on course, those dependent on warming of the soil are far behind. By now, the crocuses are usually blooming, the grass is greening and robins have abandoned their wetland haunts to snare earthworms on our spongy lawns. Alas, the ground remains frozen and there is little color in the late winter landscape.
While, here in Missouri, the afternoon highs are creeping into the low forties (F), the overnight lows are still dropping into the mid twenties and the soil has yet to thaw. Out in the wetlands, the shallows remain ice covered and the tree frogs (spring peepers and chorus frogs), usually singing by late February, remain silent, still entombed in the cold, winter muck.
Yes, spring, when it finally arrives, will seem especially glorious this year. We humans, often apprised of the value of hard work and suffering, expect our just reward. What better consolation than a warm, sunny spring after this long, frigid winter.