AAAaaaahhhhh…..

It’s finally starting to feel like spring around here!

Eli and I went for a walk this evening on the trail, to enjoy the warmer weather.  (Our high was in the upper 40s today, which feels warm after low 30s.)  We didn’t go very far, because we’re both out of shape.  Eli’s worse than me; at least I’ve been able to go to the gym and ice skating.

As I was walking I realized that the world doesn’t look that much different than last week.  The grass is still brown and dormant.  There are still pockets of snow frozen to ice, in the pools of shade under trees.  The trees themselves are still bare, waiting for leaves.

The warmth makes a difference, though, and there are subtle signs that winter is in decline.  Cardinal calls fill the air, loud and insistent.  The river is once again flowing, although the water level is still low.  I even saw a bluebird, a species that leaves our area for warmer climes in the winter.  (Of course, it was chased off by a junco, a species that is only here in winter.)

It was nice to get outside, stretch all six of our legs, and breathe in the fresh air.  Here’s hoping it lasts for a while!

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Spring has… sprung?

The sky is blue and clear, the sun shining.  The calendar says it’s spring.

Our clocks already made the great leap forward.
Once again the sun hits my eyes as I head to work.  (I’ve never been sure where the savings come in.)

But the grass is still brown, dormant, waiting.
The ground holds patches of ice that used to be snow, dirt captured within.
The wind carries the same sharp bite it’s held for months.

I am tired of jeans and sweaters and sleeves and coats.
Spring should mean t-shirts and sandals and warmth.

I survived my first northern winter in a decade.  I’m ready for a weather reward.

Is it spring yet?

 

Seasons

The official first day of spring is next week.  That doesn’t mean that it’s really spring everywhere.  It’s probably been spring for weeks in Texas, and it still feels like winter here in South Dakota, but March 20 is what divides the calendar.

There are many commercials that are playing into the concept of upcoming spring, and they got me thinking.  In fantasy, you generally see worlds that are variations on our own planet.  Science fiction is different, of course, as it often features different planets.  But fantasy is still speculative fiction, and who’s to say that an Earth with magic, or a magical realm different from Earth, needs to function the same as our planet?

It’s an interesting and very unfamiliar thing to think about mixing up the seasons.  Would it even really be possible?  If there is a hot season and a cold season, there would by necessity be a cooling-down season and a warming-up season to transition between the two.  Perhaps that’s why no one has really played with seasons, because there isn’t a lot of room for play.

There are places on our planet where seasons are different, and often fantasy stories will take place in rainforests, deserts, or mountains, taking advantage of the change in climate to work in a variation on weather.  The necessary logic of seasons might preclude toying with them in a fantasy novel, but it might be interesting to consider incorporating some the other variables that can change when you free yourself from the world we live in.