As the great wheel of the year turns, few months are as eventful as March.
Most years, the first sign of warmer days ahead is a glimpse of winter aconite in our garden. These small yellow flowers are very early bloomers, and I usually spot them around St. Patrick’s Day. The first photo in the slideshow is from March 3, and the snowdrops, and aconite with bonus crocus are from March 11.
Daylight Savings Time began at 2:00 a.m. on March 14. But even before the clock change, the days were getting noticeably longer. In Albany, on March 1, the sunrise/sunset times gave us 11 hours and 14 minutes of daylight. By March 31, we had gained 87 minutes of daylight, bringing us to 12 hours and 41 minutes total.
In 2021, the Spring Equinox happened on Saturday, March 20. Technically, in Albany, the closest we came to an equal day and night was on March 17, with 12:01:03 of daylight, but who’s counting?
Around that first day of Spring, I heard in quick succession my 3 favorite early season songbirds: Cardinal, Black Capped Chickadee, and Robin.
But more than just the longer days and warming weather, I allowed myself to feel some hope and a bit of relief for the first time in a long time, as I:
I saved the last page in my “COVID Diary” for the day I got my second shot. I started it back in March 2020 as a crude contact tracing tool. The second entry was “3/11 – Roundtable Lunch” – which is the last time that 40+ year old institution met, and the last time I went to the University Club.
I managed to fill up a lot of pages in the intervening 12 months, though. Not with events, but with observations about the simpler things in life – what I was cooking, reading, and dreaming.
As we march tentatively into 2021, what are you observing?
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Colleen M. Ryan is an