Spring is here.
Officially today, March 20, the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the earth’s equator – from south to north, marking the vernal equinox.
After many bone-chilling snowy days during the shortest month of the year, Whidbey Islanders reveled in the outdoors days ahead of spring’s calendar arrival.
Kids skipped around playgrounds, dogs took walks without wearing ridiculous sweaters, friends gathered around cafe patio tables, gardeners reveled in almost warm dirt and sailors unfurled their sails.
“It’s been a long winter,” commented Christian Gonzalez as he played with his three children at Freeland Park. “Actually, it was just February that seemed really, really long. It’s good to be out again.”
Members of the South Whidbey Yacht Club pulled their Laser racing boats to the water’s edge Sunday at Holmes Harbor. They zipped and tacked through windy conditions as wet suits and long-awaited sun kept them warm.
Inside Flying Bear Farm floral and gift shop in Langley, spring burst onto the scene in vases and displays — white helibore, rainbows of tulips, orange ranunculus, pink tree blossoms and pussy willows, a sure sign of spring for many people.
When mid-February’s snow and icy roads kept people home, Flying Bear owners Melissa Brown and Ben Courteau experienced a painfully slow Valentine’s Day, usually the busiest day for flower sales.
But instead of complaining about the white stuff, Courteau got busy clearing Langley’s sidewalks for merchants and shoppers. For his efforts, he was given an appreciation pin by Mayor Tim Callison at Monday’s city council meeting.
“It’s been so long since I’ve been out,” Brown remarked Sunday. “Finally, I was able to get out in the soil Friday. I even got a little sunburned.”
The spring equinox this year holds an extra-special treat — a full moon. It’s the third and final full supermoon of 2019 when the moon is particularly close to Earth and appears to be much brighter.
The confluence of spring and a full moon hasn’t occurred since March 20, 1981 and it won’t happen again until 2030.
According to the Old Farmer’s Alamanc, the spring moon is known as the Full Worm Moon by Native Americans who named the full moons in order to track the seasons. In March, as spring arrives, the earth softens enough for worms to come out.