Saint Patrick’s Day, Equinox, and Signs of Spring

By , March 17, 2013

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day. Despite being largely Irish in my heritage (the last name doesn’t necessarily indicate blood dominance) I’ve always thought of the day as more of a New Yorker’s holiday than an Irish observance. Of course, Patrick has never been a favorite saint of mine. My favorite Irish saint has to be Saint Brendan, he of the voyage of discovery in a leather boat. Mostly, though, I think it’s my aversion to New York and green beer that keeps our Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations low key.

We’ll have something Irish for dinner, of course. We got a great cookbook from the library, Real Irish Food by David Bowers, but we’re likely to turn to an old favorite for dinner, colcannon. Simple, easy, and delicious; we can’t ask for more than that. We are enjoying some delicious rock cakes made from the book’s recipe, however.

Today the “homestead” reaches the equilibrium between daylight and darkness, the local Vernal Equinox, 3 days ahead of the “official” equinox on March 20th this year. Even with a cold snap and snow on the ground, there are other signs of spring: rhubarb buds in the garden, and small, busy crowds of songbirds—notably ruby crowned kinglets, largely silent, but bustling and officious. No doubt they’ll start singing before long. That will be our cue to start watching for signs of herring in Lynn Canal. When that happens, we’ll “wake up” to our season of high activity.

3 Responses to “Saint Patrick’s Day, Equinox, and Signs of Spring”

  1. Linn Hartman says:

    Spring was here yesterday, but cold weather came back to visit today. The flowering pear trees and flowering shrubs got a surprise this morn. All the folks that ran and and bought garden plants at Wal-Mart yesterday will get to do it again in a couple weeks. Same old game every year.

  2. Astrid says:

    Rhubarb buts in the garden? are you kidding? we still have about 3 or 4 ft of snow and more is coming according to the weather network.

  3. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi Astrid, we’ve had a pretty mild winter, but all of a sudden we’ve got snow and low temperatures. I think the rhubarb got punked, but I’m not worried. Ours is the toughest patch I’ve ever encountered!

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