Wednesday 9 March 2011

spring's progress: from chiffchaffs in cheddar gorge to snow on the shady side of the street in boston

The view from Kellie's window on the sunny side of the street
The zoologist @lillashaw tweeted BBC Springwatch today to wonder when she would hear the first chiff-chaff of the year. Forget the frogs, the bees and the buds:

"for me that officially marks the arrival of #ukspring
This weekend, @lillashaw says in another tweet, she is off to Cheddar Gorge to listen out for any chiffchaffs:

"that's where I heard them first this time last yr :)"

Meanwhile, our America-based co-editor Kellie Gutman sends an update on spring's late arrival in Boston:

The Paideia School in Atlanta tracks the rate of spring's arrival all along the East Coast by plotting exactly when the first daffodil is seen all the way along the 2,377 miles Route 1. It has been getting postcards from spotters of the first daffodil since January. Last year my Boston postcard reported a daffodil on March 30th.

Spring is reaching us slowly. A Boston friend has seen a snowdrop in a neighbor's garden. The snowpack on my front lawn has now disappeared, although across the street, on the shady side, there are still large piles. Today the temperature is right where it should be; the buds on the apple trees along the fence are starting to form and the ground is beginning to thaw.

But students at Paideia should be warned: it will probably be April before the first daffodil appears on our street.

Last year we followed this project in the speed of springthe melting snow and the results for 2010.

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