Culture · Environment/Energy When is it really spring for you? Eric Ringham April 6, 2011, 5:00 AM Apr 6, 2011 61 comments Spring officially arrived March 20, but for many Minnesotans it’s been a long, cold winter. Today’s Question: When is it really spring for you? ‹ Older How much confidence do you have that America’s commercial air fleet is safe? Newer › How would a federal government shutdown affect you? Browse by category Education Health Economy Politics/Government Culture Religion/Ethics Science/Technology Transportation Race/Gender Environment/Energy Security International affairs Immigration Media Military About the blogger Eric Ringham firstname.lastname@example.org Curt Prins When the lakes are fully defrosted. Cathy When I see a great blue heron flying overhead in south Minneapolis (in addition to the many airplanes) — I always count that as “official” Spring. Rich When I am lulled to sleep at night by the sounds of frogs croaking. And then woken in the morning to the sounds of songbirds and of ducks and geese preparing to mate on our marsh. Sue When I hang the clothes outside to dry (yesterday). jr When I can sink my shovel into the ground without hitting frozen soil. Lou When I see the kids in the neighborhood playing baseball. Once I hear the first cluck on my wall after an errant throw, I know that spring has arrived. Jo Taliaferro It is Spring for me on March 1 and when, from my kitchen, I can hear birds at my feeders that aren’t just crows, squirrels and the ones that winter over in Minnesota! So, Spring has sprung! Matt The opening of the baseball season is the start of my spring. April can still have some wintery surprises, but I know that spring, and eventually summer, are just around the corner when the first pitch is thrown. Stephanie The snow has to be TOTALLY gone, the grass has to be thinking about turning green, and the daffodils need to be ready to bloom. Chris It is spring for me when I can go outside without a coat! Audrey F. Of all the songs and poems written about springtime, my 9-year old granddaughter, the beautiful and talented Olivia Corcoran said it best. About the last large snowfall, whenever that was, she said: “Minnesota is like my big toe:. Every year when I start going barefoot, I stub my big toes and they are all sore and bloody and scabby, and just when they’re getting better I go and do it again…”, A true Minnesota spring is normally a one-day affair, Maybe a week, tops. Be vigilant, be alert, be ready to ENJOY… I love all Minnesota seasons. I have really loved having a good ole Minnesota Winter.! Lois Seeing my tulips and other perennials peek through the leaves, and then the clearing off of all my garden beds. (which i started yesterday!) spring has sprung! Leah When I can put the winter coat away for good! Katie In Eagan, spring arrives with wood ducks and slivers of open water on the shore line. Tim It isn’t spring until the street sweepers come by and cleanup the leftovers of winter. Brooke I know spring is here when I start obsessing about morels. John Desmond I’m originally from Toronto, and any Toronto hockey fan knows it’s officially Spring when the Leafs are out. As this is pretty well guaranteed to happen every year, it’s a really good indication. Tracy Taubert I know it’s spring when I step outside and can smell moist dirt. It’s a distinctive, once-a-year fragrance. At that point I know any more snow that falls will melt quickly. John P. When I take the cover off my motorcycle and go for that first ride. Dale When the garder snakes emerge from their underground winter dens. rose When the snow on the side of the road has melted. When I have finished the winter yard cleanup. James When I can shoot my guns without gloves. ∑ DTOM Adam When I put the patio furniture back outside. CC&H When I can put my top down! Guillermo When I daughter asks to take the bike to school in the morning, that is the sure sign that Spring has arrived. Chris The days lengthen slightly, the bird song changes and the sap runs. We start tapping our maple trees and hear that steady drip in the bucket and it is SPRING! Sweet! It can be as early as mid February with a foot of snow but for us it’s spring. Tina When I see/hear the first Robin. My mother and I have a contest each year to see who will be the first to spot one. Neil Its a combination of sensations: an organic freshness in the air, the increase in bird sounds, the angle of sunlight, etc. Kirsten When the trees start budding. Matthew Opening day in Major League Baseball. The first robin sighting. The late night sound of June bugs rustling in the dried grass and leaves from last year. Love it! Steve the Cynic When all my friends with Seasonal Affective Disorder start to cheer up. jesse when the ticks are out. followed by the sandhill cranes and then the hummers. Carrie It has to be the Twins home opener for me. I wish we could still hear Herb Carneal’s voice on the radio. Riding in the car listening to his voice always made me feel like Spring was finally here! Amy The sound of peepers as you drive past open water; buckets hanging on maple trees and the sap-fire burning; but perhaps most indicative: pulling the first tick of the season off the dog! YIKES!! Christine When the sun warms the inside of a parked car, it is SPRING to me! In my opinion, this occurred on T 3/29 in the Twin Cities area. Chris I would say when new phenological events take place such as buds breaking and oven birds appearing. The University of Minnesota has put together a great Facebook page called the “Minnesota Phenology Network”. I would highly recommend “liking” it because people from all over the state write in about what they are seeing as spring comes. What is really cool is that there are experts and non-experts that regularly communicate about their findings on that page. I think the U is also putting together a website where people can share data too. I love spring! JBlilie When I hear my first spring peepers and see my first crocus. Both happened on Sunday! Jason When my neighbor removes the cardboard from the front grill of his truck. Andrea When the street sweepers come and I can ride my road bike! Lisa It’s spring when I can comfortably leave the house wearing fiip flops and a cardigan…when I can leave the front door open to the porch and the cat can happily be out there in a sun spot…today feels like the first day of spring to me! Kevin VC When Target puts Easter stuff on clearance… so… Mid March?? Michelle I agree with Chris! I love reading about signs of spring other people are seeing throughout the state on the Minnesota Phenology Network. So, besides hearing the birds sing and the snow melt, I know it’s spring when I start seeing the flurry of discussion on their Facebook page, with everyone sharing their “spring” observations from all over Minnesota.Very cool! Luke Van Santen When I can go barefoot outside with minimal discomfort When the redwing blackbirds trill from the cattails When the kids ask if they can ride bike When I hear Van Halen 1984 When the yard looks like hell and I forgive it When birds start singing in the morning When hot tea doesn’t taste as good in the morning Donna When I do not need to wear socks to bed (last night). steve maupin you know its spring when all the saps are running like me in shorts! Stan When I can snip fresh herbs from my garden and do not have to buy them again for 7 months … Sunday the chives were peeking through the mulch 🙂 BT When I can open doors and windows in the house. Audrey Kletscher Helbling When I can hang laundry on the line in the morning without the clothes instantly freeze-drying. Randy Schmidt When a thunderstorm brings a heavy rain. The musty dusty smell and look is gone, replaced by clean and green!!!! James When I can have a window open at night. When days (24 hr) where my furnace comes on are less common than days where it doesn’t. Cristina It is really spring for me when I feel I can go out without wearing long johns. Sam When I umpire my first high school game. Kathy Tande When it is light after 5 o’clock and hits 70 degrees sometime during the day, gin and tonic season has arrived. Ceremonial beverage mandatory Rachael When it rains and you smell that smell of earth that you haven’t smelled for six months! Tom Castonguay Spring in N MN is when the smoke from brush & forest fires replaces the dirty snow on the ground & flooding on the news. Susan It’s not spring until I see the first shimmer of green on the grass, the trees and shrubs sprouting leaves, and the first flowers peeking through. Jamie Kaiser First paddle on the river. DNA The first inner stirrings between Imbolc/Groundhog’s Day and Valentines … slowly melting and trickling on thru March … Equinox speeds it up as it is the Dawn of the Year, and April is all out, flowing with smells and wetness and warming freshness. May Day/Beltane is the first inkling of Summer with warmth and fecundity … in June in the Northern Hemisphere it’s the High Noon of the Year. Shiva Elayedath I was listening to the program earlier today. I heard one caller saying that America needs to be a melting pot and I don’t agree with that. I’m a first generation immigrant who is not a citizen as yet. I remember listening to an African American poet about 6 or 7 years ago ( it’s a shame I didn’t catch his name) on morning edition who said that we should be a salad bowl where every piece brings in its own flavor, instead of a melting pot where everything has the same flavor or no flavor at all. Islam I never felt American, ppl generally selfish uneducated about minorities Peter The average American has the attention and foresight of a rabbit. Anything that moves slower than a TV commercial or is farther out than 3 months cannot be mentally processed. People are too stupid to understand that in 20 years from now, the language, culture, civility, infrastructure, and politics will resemble that of the same 3rd-world countries where all the immigrants come from. Instead, they are talking about “melting pot” and social utopian romance BS. So, what does “truly American” mean, if it does not exist anymore? Btw, I am a white immigrant from Western Europe, and feel like an endangered species.