Thursday, 18 March 2010

as the snow melts

A friend emailed yesterday to say how much she had liked:

the poetic and truly participatory project that was on your blog about school kids and postal workers tracking the flowering of daffodils and the coming of spring in the States.

The school was the Paideia School in Atlanta. After we blogged about the project, which charts the speed at which spring arrives each year along the east coast, my co-editor Kellie Gutman was asked by the teacher, Peter Richards, to be one of the spotters.

Kellie fits the target area for spotters, as she lives within five miles of Route 1, which runs from Florida to Maine, and takes in Miami, Jacksonville, Augusta, Columbia, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, New York, New Haven, Providence, Boston, and Portland. Peter Richards sent her the postcard (above) ready to be filled out and mailed at the first sighting of a daffodil:

When you see the first outdoor daffodil blooming in your area, please let us know. We will send you the results of our research in the late spring.

Two weeks ago, Kellie went to the spot in her garden where she expects to see the first flower (left). Nothing but snow. But Boston hit 65 degrees this Wednesday and it's expected to be warm all week.

The first flower there may not make the first day of spring (20th-21st March), but the students at Paideia will be told as soon as it does.

Update: Peter Richards informs us that 'as of March 12th, the daffodils are up to Falmouth, Virginia.'


  1. I've seen my first daffodil and sent my postcard to the Padeia School! It wasn't in my garden, where I was hoping to see it, but along the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass. Bunches of them! What a wonderful sight in spring.

  2. I thought the Charles River was as chilly as it could get. I'm reading Kim Stanley Robinson's climate-change novel 'Fifty Degrees Below', which has a scene by the Charles River. One of the characters, who is shivering away, quotes the Antarctic explorer Richard Byrd. He said the coldest he ever got was on the bridges over the Charles.