Wednesday 27 January 2010

spring arrives at three times the speed

Two days ago this blog noted that Stephen Fry had said on the TV show QI that spring advanced in the UK - from the south to the north, obviously - at a speed of a third of a mile an hour.

Turns out things happen more briskly in the United States. The 4th/5th Grade class at the Paideia School in Atlanta measures the progress of spring - as defined by the first daffodil blooming. They do this, as my colleague Kellie reports,

by writing to post office directors from the tip of Florida to the top of Maine, and asking them to mail back a postcard with the date of the first sighting of a daffodil. The class follows it all on a map with colored pins, etc, and finds the speed of spring on the East Coast.

The research has shown that:

The southernmost daffodil arrived in Alma, Georgia January 21, and the northernmost daffodil arrived in Ft. Kent, Maine April 7, 2009. The distance was 1780 miles in 76 days, 23.4 miles per day or 1 mile an hour.

That's three times the speed that spring moves in the UK.

(Big hat-tip to Peter Richards.)

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