Dressing The Spring Equinox In Yellow

Thanks to the National Weather Service for the good news.

As of 2:37 am, spring has sprung!

So the second part of the message shouldn’t be much of a surprise. 

It’s likely no surprise that we’ll kick off the astronomical season with showers across the area today!

Ah, the Spring Equinox. We’ve changed the clocks. Both the meteorological and astronomical seasons have changed. Those are our definitions. Nature has its own way of showing the change. Nature uses many colors, later. For now, the most notable color may be yellow.

Hello, daffodils and forsythia. You’re brightening flower beds and hedges, creating colorful contrast to grey skies. Nice to see you there. And nice to see you daffodils over there, and over there, and way over there. Furry gardeners spread around the bulbs wherever is convenient – for them. A squirrel may think it is stashing food for later, but they have a tendency to forget; which means volunteered color shows up without humans having to do anything. 

For something more natural, look in the places that are usually avoided. Whidbey’s wet spots can have crops of skunk cabbage. There are also names that we’ve affixed to them to make them sound more appealing, but that doesn’t change their aroma or their home. Swamps, meadows only a few inches of soil above what it would take to make them ponds, a signal that maybe that site isn’t the best place to park something heavy, like a house, or a car, or your foot. Ignore the smell and find a local that can be nutritious and maybe even medicinal. 

As the weather improves, projects advance. Yellow also arrives scene as the paint on heavy equipment lumbers onto work sites, sometimes on plots of land, sometimes as ditches are cleared. Flowers are quiet. Backup beepers announce their arrival. An early morning delivery can negate the need for an alarm clock as the machine backs up off its trailer and as it maneuvers to get to work. 

And then there’s the pops of yellow almost every homeowners knows: dandelions. Some fight them with chemicals as they are splotches in lawns the owners hoped to keep completely green. Others tolerate them as they help feed the bees. A few will even encourage them for the same reasons some welcome skunk cabbage: food and medicine. The bonus is that dandelions smell better, if at all.

Sure, there are flowers that span the spectrum. Sure, heavy equipment can show up in other eye-catching colors, for safety reasons. They all work together to give this part of the Evergreen State more diversity. Get out the cameras, the work permits, and maybe the gardening equipment. A limited time offer.

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