I’m not saying that winter is over, but there is a definite change in the air – it just feels different – even though it was very cold when we sauntered down to the Dolphin for the quiz last night (it felt much warmer on the way back…) it is not just the feeling in the air, as if its quality has changed, but the light is different too. I know we have more of it because the days are longer, but the light has changed; even on a fabulous bright winter day, the light on a fabulous bright spring day has a different feel to it… yes feel, it somehow feels different going into my eyes.
No doubt we will have miserable days, we days, dull days, dire days, but they will be miserable, dull, dire spring days. it was the spring equinox last weekend, we maybe didn’t notice because we were away for the weekend with friends, but on the 21st of March it changed from winter to spring, and today we have every window in the house open!
I didn’t realise that in terms of meteorological, the seasons were measure differently, divided into four equal periods of exactly three calendar months each. This is so forecasting can be easier; the meteorological seasons are:
- spring – from March 1st to May 31st
- summer – from June 1st to August 31st
- autumn – from September 1st to November 30th
- winter – from December 1st to ending February 28/9th.
I guess most people, however, think of astronomical seasons, measured by the equinoxes and solstices:
- spring – March equinox to June solstice,
- summer – June solstice to September equinox,
- autumn – September equinox to December solstice
- winter – December solstice to March equinox.
If you live in the southern hemisphere the seasons fall differently and are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere.
And the difference between solstice and equinox? Both words come from Latin, equinoxium means equality between day and night, and sol stitium means the sun stands still, which is what it appears to do. read about it here:
Both of these terms refer to the path of the Sun throughout the year. The equinox is either of the two days or periods each year when the Sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length. The name equinox comes from Latin equinoxium, or ‘equality between day and night’. The vernal (spring) equinox happens around March 20-21 and the autumnal equinox occurs around September 22-23 in the northern hemisphere (and vice-versa in the southern hemisphere). The solstice is one day when the Sun is at its northernmost point (Tropic of Cancer) and another day when the Sun is at its southernmost point (Tropic of Capricorn). The summer solstice in the northern hemisphere (also the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere) happens around June 21-22. The winter solstice in the northern hemisphere (also the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere) occurs around December 22. Latin solstitium translates to ‘Sun standing still’, which is what it appears to do.