Three signs of spring.

daffodils

I saw some of these today.

Spring is my favorite season.   You know why, if you read this blog.  The best thing about it (besides the end of the cold weather and short days) is it spells the end of my yearly bout of SAD.

Of course, Easter candy appearing in stores (sometimes as early as before Valentines Day!) definitely hints that spring is on its way.   There’s also the days growing longer.

But today I saw the first real signs of spring.  In spite of the nasty weather we’ve been having,  I saw bright yellow daffodils growing in the garden of a neighboring house.   I looked at my own messy garden, full of dead vegetation from last year that was never cleared.  Poking up through the debris were the bright green shoots of my daylilies.    I was surprised because it’s been so cold, but I guess not cold enough to keep them from sprouting.   The longer days might have also woken up the bulbs.

If you look closely at the trees around here, many of them have a reddish tint and swollen looking tips, which means the buds are getting ready to open.

Last night we had a thunderstorm.  Although winter thunderstorms in this part of the country  aren’t infrequent, they almost always appear toward the end of winter, and increase throughout the spring into summer.   So that’s a the third sign of spring.

The only thing I’m not looking forward to is having to mow the lawn again.  Ugh.

Advertisements

Happy Easter 2018!

Flowering trees.

We had a cold snap here over the weekend (and a little snow too) and I was afraid it would kill the blooms on the trees, but I guess it wasn’t cold enough because they still look great.   Here’s a couple of pictures from today.

snowtrees

cherryblossoms

 

I love spring!

It does wonders for my mood.

spring2016_2

spring2016_1

Spring is here! (well, almost)

It’s a few hours early, but…my favorite season is about to start.

happy_spring

Finally!

In spite of the continuing cold weather and all-around gloom of winter, I saw a welcome sight today–a cherry tree just beginning to show its pink blooms. Unfortunately I was driving when I saw it and couldn’t pull over so I couldn’t get a picture. I did find a picture of what it looks like though (the blooms on the tree I saw aren’t this full).

cherrytree

Who’s ready for Spring? I sure am.
This weekend is supposed to be beautiful–sunny and up around 70 degrees.

Signs that spring is near.

keep-calm-its-almost-spring

I don’t like extreme anything, and that means extreme weather.   I’m a fall and spring person.  Wait, let me correct that.  I would be a fall person were it not for the shortening days (I have Seasonal Affective Disorder), but I do like fall weather.

As for extreme weather, this has been a strange, X-treme winter so far.   We had a 70+ degree Christmas.  I actually sat outside wearing a tank top and flip flops.   About a week later the temperature dropped to the single digits and my pipes almost froze again.  Finally,  almost 2 weeks ago,  we had the biggest snowstorm we’ve had since 1996.  I was housebound for almost 5 days.  I’m ready for winter to make like a tree and leave already. I’m ready for spring!

Here’s a few things I’ve noticed that prove spring is just around the corner.

  1.  The days are growing noticeably longer.
  2.  My mood is improving because of the lengthening days.
  3.  The stores are carrying Easter merchandise.(but they’ve been carrying it since the day after Christmas, lol)
  4.  Lent begins this month.
  5.  I just got a catalogue in the mail that says “Spring edition.”
  6. The Lowe’s in my neighborhood is starting to stock its Garden center.

The groundhog did see his shadow, but that still means only six more weeks to go!

Can you add your own?

The best of fall and spring.

Here’s a collection of my favorite photos from each week I did this series.

Spring.

March 8th:
winter_into_spring1

March 15th:
spring_3-15

March 22nd:
spring322-10

March 29th:
spring329-3

April 5th:
spring4_5_6

April 12th:
spring_412_1

April 20th:
spring_4_20_3

April 25th:
spring_425_1

May 3rd:
spring_0503_02

Fall:

September 7th:
sep_7_5

September 13th:
sept_13_2

September 20th:
autumn_sept20_4

September 27th:
fall_sep27_2

October 7th:
fall_oct7_3

October 17th:
fall_oct17_5

October 24th:
fall_oct24_2

November 5th:
fall_nov5_3

My Seasonal Affective Disorder makes me want to hibernate until spring.

seasonal_moods
Graph I made showing my mood pattern throughout the year. It’s this way every year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my SAD.

SAD is triggered by the lack of light and shortening days for those affected with it. During the shorter days the brain produces more melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that induces sleepiness in certain animals, like bears. It’s the reason why some mammals hibernate until the warmer, longer days of spring. Unfortunately, some humans retain this biological urge to hibernate, but because we must continue to live productive lives, our natural urge to sleep is ignored and seasonal depression is the result.

I seem to suffer from a weird form of SAD. The fall is much more depressing to me than winter. Most people with SAD feel terrible in late fall AND all winter. But for me, I start feeling depressed sometime in mid-August, when the days are growing noticeably shorter. Obviously, for me, the heat as nothing to do with it.

My SAD really kicks in once Fall officially starts and the trees start changing colors. My worst months are by far November and December. I absolutely hate them. I can’t stand the holidays (too stressful), so they do nothing to lighten or bring cheer to my low mood. All I want to do is curl into a little ball and hibernate until early spring.

In mid-late fall, everything looks so grim and barren to me–shades of gray, brown, and black, and everything is dying/going to sleep. The cold, gloomy, overcast days don’t help either. It’s dark when I get up and dark when I come home from work. It’s everything I can do to drag myself through these dark, depressing days.

Although I hate ice and cold and snow, sometime around the end of January (which I read is statistically the most depressing month of the year) my mood begins to perk up as my body begins to notice the lengthening days. Actually, I feel relief after the first day of winter, just knowing the days are going to get longer for 6 more months. I feel even more relief once the Holiday season is over (which I find really stressful).

My mood continues to improve until mid-late spring, then starts to level off, until early August when it starts to sink again.

My mood is at it’s highest around the end of April/early May. I have no idea why. Maybe because the days are fairly long by then, but the oppressive heat (which I don’t really like) hasn’t kicked in yet.

I think it might also have to do with the fact there are so many happy colors in the spring–and they aren’t the dreary 1970s-like browns, golds and oranges of fall. They’re more like 1980s colors–or even 1960s colors in some cases (and weren’t both those decades less depressing than the 1970s?) Everything isn’t all the same boring shade of green the way it is in summer either. I love spring.

My body/brain seems to mimic the cycle of hibernating animals–except that in the winter I actually feel better than in the fall. That I can’t really figure out because I hate cold weather so much (and it’s coldest here in February, but my mood is not that bad anymore by then).

I face this same strange pattern every single year. I’m coming into the worst of it in about another month or so. Blah.

For further reading: How to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder/Winter Blues:
http://www.normanrosenthal.com/blog/2012/01/how-to-beat-seasonal-affective-disorder-winter-blues-infographic/

2 new photographs

I snapped these two photographs today. Enjoy!
Click on photos to enlarge.

azalea
Azalea in bloom.

leaves
Baby oak leaves.