Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wintpring or Springinter?: Photos from the Forest

Dear George, 
Weatherwise, Cincinnati is right on the edge.  We seem to be done with the snow and ice, and the temperatures at night drop below freezing only about half the time.  On the other hand, there aren’t many budding blossoms to be found.  We seem to be right at the juncture between winter and spring -- sort of a transitional period that might be called “springinter”, or maybe “wintpring”.  It makes me wonder why we get so rigid about dividing the year into four seasons anyway.  In southern India the Hindu calendar recognizes six seasons: Vasanta (Spring), Grishma (Summer), Varsha (Monsoon), Sharad (Autumn), Hemanta (Fall Winter), and Shishira (Winter).*  Cincinnati usually has six or seven distinct seasons, though the authorities have never formally recognized this.  I set off to Burnet Woods with my camera the other day to pinpoint just what season we’re in this week.  Here is what I found out. 

It’s just as I thought.  Half of these pictures could well have been taken in early January.  Despite the lack of snow, they are wintry as can be.  The other half, with their little spriglets of spring peeking out, could only have been taken after mid-March. Since full-fledged spring is imminent and winter is steadily backing away, I think “springinter” is the best name for our current circumstances.  I am posting this photographic evidence in the hope that a professional climatologist will come across it and take appropriate action.  In the meantime, we’ll wait patiently for the balmy breezes.   

*, “Ritu (Indian season)” 

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