Weatherford Democrat

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March 23, 2014

NOW HEAR THIS: OK, now it’s springtime

By LARRY M. JONES

This past Thursday, we officially left winter behind us and began our spring season, a time for revitalization and renewal. Another season of life begins once more for Mother Earth.

Spring officially begins when the sun crosses the plane of the Earth’s equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth. This is referred to as the vernal, or spring, equinox. It normally occurs each year about the 21st of March. It varies slightly, and this year it was actually a day early, occurring on the 20th, instead.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this year it seems to really be a couple of weeks late. Everything has been very slow greening up, but it is most likely because of the very dry conditions across most all of Texas. Last weekend I received just over an inch of desperately needed rainfall, and hopefully this will be round one of a record setting wet year.

A few days ago, as I was ambling across my front yard to retrieve my morning newspaper, I was greeted by the intoxicating fragrance of wild plum blossoms from a tree in my yard. About 10 years ago I dug up a small plum tree on a rocky bluff in my pasture and planted it in my front yard. Now it is about 15 feet tall and is covered with brilliant white, fragrant blossoms. Each year in September, Helen and I gather the fruit with which she makes the most wonderfully tangy plum jelly.

Since I have been grousing all year about a prolonged winter, I decided to do a little checking to verify my facts. Since the advent of the digital camera, I have taken more photos than in earlier years. During the past decade, I have taken numerous shots of blooming fruit trees, both wild plums and those in my orchard. It turns out that every one of the photos of wild plum blossoms over the years have been taken within two or three days of the middle of March.

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