Flowers bloom between grape vines in Sonoma in early February. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The calendar says spring is going to arrive next week.

Depending on where you live it looks and feels a lot more like winter and that spring’s arrival will be in the distant future. That’s what happens when there is record snowfall, like what Tahoe has experienced this year.

Those in the flatlands, though, are already delighting in the green hills. Mustard and daffodils are a vibrant yellow, with some already running their course. The almond blossoms are past their peak and will soon be off the trees, ready for the nuts to take hold. Other trees are just beginning to bud.

Spring, outside of snow country, is about life, birth and new beginnings.

The spring equinox in March and autumn equinox in September are the only times when the Northern and Southern hemispheres have essentially equal amounts of day and night.

This is when the sun is directly over the equator, so the earth is not tilting toward or away from the sun.

And it’s the one day when the sunrise will be due east and the sunset due west.

The spring equinox is also known as the vernal equinox.

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