Friday, March 20, 2009

The First Day of Spring

The first day of spring always brings such joy. Today was a little cool in Marion County (about 50 degrees mid-day), a little overcast, but signs of spring were everywhere. Technically, the day is the vernal equinox, where the earth’s axis is oriented such that the sun is directly above the equator. The word vernal is from the Latin word ver for spring. Equinox is derived from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night), which refers to the fact that the night and day are about the same length.

I managed to find a bit of time just after lunch for my son and I to take a 45 minute or so walk on the Karr Trail just below the Cordova Tower at Lake Red Rock. What a treasure the trail is! A flock of red-winged blackbirds greeted us as we parked at the trailhead. The trail winds through rolling hills at the margin of the lake, and is covered with old oak/hickory woodland, with several interesting wooden bridges serving as fun resting points along the way. Several cardinals sang for us, accompanied by chickadees. My son is seven, so we spent most of our time discussing hickory nuts, snails, fossils, aliens and the physics of time travel.

When we neared midpoint of the trail we heard laughing ahead. Down on the beach were two boys and two girls--late teens probably. The boys were leaping off of rocks, barefooted, into the sand while the girls sat on driftwood laughing at their antics. They all smiled and waved at us as we neared, and the boys started acting even more silly, causing the girls to hold their sides with laughter as the sun broke through.

I smiled, and we waved back. Ah, spring is here…

Dr. Bob Leonard

For KNIA / KRLS News

(Photo thanks to Ron Huelse)

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