The Birds and The Bees

I awoke last Thursday morning to the sound of bird song. It was the first bird song of the season, at least at that dark hour of the morning. It was a sure sign of spring. I’ve written before about the telltale signs of spring that I look for.

You’d think that the bird song would be annoying, but it isn’t. At least, it isn’t on that first day. It can be annoying, but only if it becomes loud enough to penetrate my sleep. The birds have woken me up before, and it once I hear their twittering, it is hard to get back to sleep. But on Thursday, I heard them a few minutes before I was set to wake up. They served as a kind of pleasant alarm clock.

Later that day, while walking around the block and taking in the warm sun (it was nearly 70 ℉) I finally smelled the smells of spring. Many of the cherry blossom trees that ring the office and apartment builds of the block were in full bloom, and the smell of them was yet another sure sign of spring.

There were more signs of springs on Thursday. When I went to take the empty trash and recycling bins into the backyard, I noticed a few bees buzzing around the bushes. Trees are blossoming and flowers are blooming, so the bees have gotten busy, too. The birds and the bees are good indicators that spring is on its way.

Reports are that spring arrived unusually early this year. That’s how it gets reported: “Spring arrives early!” But of course, that isn’t what has happened. Spring arrives on the vernal equinox, as it always does. What the reports mean is that spring-like weather has arrived early. To claim that spring has arrived early is to claim an alternative fact.

Has spring-like weather arrived early? It seemed like it had, until Facebook showed me a photo this morning, one of their “On this day” jobs. It was from one year ago today. I was sitting on our front steps, wearing shorts, and reading a book. Spring-like weather had arrived early last year, too, but we’d forgotten about that.

Spring-like weather might come early, and the spring equinox might provide a more rigid boundary between the seasons, but for me, the one sure sign that spring has arrived is spring training, when pitchers and catchers are called to camp to begin their workouts for the baseball season. In that sense, spring always arrives early for me.

Along the same lines, fall always comes later for me. The birds may fly south, and the bees may return to their hives as fall approaches. The autumnal equinox may fall late September, but for me, fall begins with the first pitch of the baseball postseason.