Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Spring Is About to “Spring!”

In the Northern Hemisphere this year’s Spring begins on March 20, 2009 at 11:44 Universal Time or 7:44 AM Eastern Standard Time.  Therefore, the first FULL DAY of Spring is March 21, 2009.  On those two days the length of daylight and darkness will be almost exactly the same at 12 ‘n 12.  Of course, if there is a mountain up close to you, either east or west (or both) your daylight hours are more likely to be shorter than your darkness hours even though the time will be close to the Vernal Equinox.

Those of you who drive toward the east early in the morning to get to work and then toward the west to return home in the evening might have been noticing lately that you have been having the sun’s light directly in your eyes on both occasions.  Expect that for a while longer and be careful.

I live 18 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico at 29 degrees North latitude.  We’ve been here since early August, 2005.  I tell people that I escaped South Florida to return to the United States of America but remained in the low latitudes (barely).  The plants here are blooming like crazy!  My notion is that because they were stressed a great deal from repeated freezing episodes, Mother Nature has been telling them to procreate profusely for survival’s sake.

I took a few snapshots recently and thought I’d share them with you.  Most folks who photograph their flowering plants tend to stand back to get the whole structure but I prefer to get in close enough to see features of some of the individual blossoms.  Like people, they are each beautiful in their own way.  Most of the images in this posting are of azaleas but I did throw in a couple of loropetalum or “fringe flower.”  At the end I was unable to resist showing one of a complete bush behind two oaks.  Today the plants are even denser with blossoms than when I took the photos just a few days ago.

In time, once they’re out, I hope to show you dogwood, crepe myrtle, agapanthus, lilacs, and roses – all on our heavily wooded property.  And, if I’m lucky, the wisteria, which has been struggling in the shade, will bloom this year.

To enlarge the images fully, left click once, pause, and then left click again.

Enjoy!

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ANOTHER FREEZE EPISODE IN MUCH OF FLORIDA

LEFT CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

TWO INDEPENDENT LEFT CLICKS TO ENLARGE IMAGE

In the infrared satellite image above the cold front that raced through Florida on Saturday is clearly visible via the cloud pattern over the Atlantic.  It travels through Maine and continues southward toward Hispaniola.  It appears that there is a linear trough over Atlantic waters closer to Florida.

There are freeze warnings for many counties of northern and central Florida tonight.  Please consult your media weather reports or on-line resources  for details.  Expect the coldest temperatures of the week to occur from approximately 6:30 to 7:30 am on the morning of Tuesday, March 3.

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