Last frost, first buds, and other big news


I’ll be darned: The spring equinox happened on Sunday!

Somehow, I had the mistaken idea that it was March 22 this year, so I missed the chance to mark the official occasion. Well, I hope some of you were more on the ball and remembered to bark at the supermoon in celebration.

Meanwhile, there are always plenty of spring events to notice and record. I like to write down in our garden journal when we notice certain birds returning, when various trees and flowers bloom, and when the last frost occurs. (Right now, the last frost at our house stands at March 14. It’s always interesting to me how in lower spots than our hillside home, frosts occur more frequently. Makes one realize how the "last frost" date for a given region can be quite inaccurate for specific spots within that region.)

Recording these kinds of things isn’t just a way of paying attention, or a fun ritual, though it is both of those. It’s also a way to gather data that’s useful in gardening and helps us know our spot on the earth more intimately. After we’ve been here 10 years and have that many last frosts recorded, I’ll be able to calculate a halfway meaningful average last frost for our house. And I can notice if it seems to be changing.

This is basic planet knowledge. If you’re Derrick Jensen, you go one step further and actually get your hands dirty to save some of your neighboring creatures when your observations reveal that they’re dying off. I think that’s admirable. So are the lovely maple blossom photos on Piedmont Discovery’s blog. Marking the arrival of a new season is practical, and it’s beautiful, too.

Anyone else out there writing down spring milestones?