A certain male member of our family keeps fanatical track of the number of days until Spring comes to Franklin County and Smith Mountain Lake. In our house, we are always educated as to the longest day of the year and the shortest, the dates of the changing seasons, and of course Daylight Savings Time. Here is an interesting taste of what he has taught us…
Starting from the longest day of the year, the length of a day decreases gradually until it is the shortest day. The occurrence of the longest or shortest day of the year is attributed to the “heavenly” event known as solstice which occurs twice in a calendar year. The first is when the position of the Sun is at its northernmost limit, which is referred to as the summer solstice (the longest day of the year). Then when the sun is at its southernmost limit, it is referred to as the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year). In 2011 the longest day will be June 21st (1st day of Summer) and the shortest will be December 22nd (1st day of Winter).
I have been told for months the exact count (not quite down to the hour, but almost) until the days begin to grow longer and things start budding. We give our daylight enthusiasts a hard time, but in truth, very few people do not look forward to the coming of Spring (officially March 20th this year).
Spring signifies all the good things we hope for after a winter’s chill; the warmth, the return of color to the earth, the fresh air and long hours of sunshine, and a renewal of our hearts as well. It’s marvelous how the seasons so eloquently reflect the progress of a heart as well as nature’s changes. The Creator was most wise in all His design.
Cherry blossoms, first love, honeybees, laughter, lemonade…Oh, and don’t forget to turn your clocks forward an hour on Saturday, March 12th at midnight!