Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve used the phrase ‘…winter’s definitely here now,’ regularly, as I snuggled up into extra layers whilst either gardening or riding my bike.
It’s dark, cold, damp, and pretty miserable a lot of the time. The heating is on. There are Christmas adverts on the tele. The allotment looks scrappy, and I’m eating lots of kale. Yep, winter is definitely here.
Except its not.
A Statement of the Bleeding Obvious Post
For most, this is going to be a statement of the bleeding obvious post. However, for me, I’d never actually taken the time to realise that we’re not in winter yet. We’re still in Autumn.
I don’t know if I’d not worked this out because the dates of the seasons just hadn’t occurred to me before, but I only sussed it last week when I spent the rainy Sunday putting sowing dates into my new diary. Looking at seed packets and books, the advice was given to sow ‘…at the start of spring’, or ‘…until mid-summer’. Suddenly, after all these years, I twigged that it’s not as easy as saying sunny is summer and cold is winter.
So, I consulted google, the font of all knowledge – even start and end dates for seasons – and found out the following information.
The astronomical Autumn (Northern Hemisphere) began Saturday, 22 September 2012, and ends Thursday, 20 December 2012.
The astronomical Winter (Northern Hemisphere) begins Friday, 21 December 2012, and ends Tuesday, 19 March 2013.
The astronomical Spring (Northern Hemisphere) begins Wednesday, 20 March 2013, and ends Thursday, 20 June 2013.
The astronomical Summer (Northern Hemisphere) begins Friday, 21 June 2013, and ends Saturday, 21 September 2013.
Not Something I’ve Ever Considered
As I say, this is obvious to most, but not something I’ve ever pondered. The changing seasons is one of my favourite things, yet for me, they’ve always blurred into each other. There has always been a noticeable overlap, like when I’m out fishing and catching little bass and whiting during the same session, but I’ve never taken the time to check out the definitive start and finish dates of seasons.
Oddly, the December Solstice has always been a motivating one for me. The shortest day has passed, and I feel like I’m winning again. Now I know that actually, its also the official start of winter, so not such an inspiring day after all!
Oh well, only 130 days until Spring…