Editorial: Spring may have sprung

Residents of the east side of Whidbey Island witnessed a stunning sunrise Tuesday, a sign perhaps that this drawn out winter is over and spring is here, despite forecasts of more rain and clouds in the coming days.

That would be OK. Spring on Whidbey means rain and clouds, but it should be warmer than winter rain, which we’ve been having since the spring equinox occurred at 4:21 p.m. March 20. But the word apparently never got out that spring was here because the cold, hard rain continued. Coupled with a 15 to 35 mph wind, it doesn’t get much colder than that in real terms. It makes the dry, cold weather of other parts of the country look tempting.

But now it seems a bit warmer, definitely sunnier, with more breaks in the clouds and a change in cloud color from dark gray to whitish. The clouds are higher, not hovering at rooftop level all the better to drench their target. From the view of the ground, the mud is thickening up a bit; tire tracks into the driveway are getting firmer; the shoulders of county roads are solidifying, making walking easier. The imported trees have already blossomed, signaling their false spring, but the native alders are sprouting fresh green leaves and fat buds are forming on the rhododendrons growing wild along the highway. Before long the apple, pear and cherry trees will show the imports what real blossoms are all about.

Fortunately, Easter was patient this year, waiting until the Northwest weather warmed up to maked its appearance on Sunday, April 24, which the Web oracle states is the latest Easter in 68 years. Come Saturday and Sunday it should be warmer for Easter egg hunts, church services and family dinners. This is what we wish and we’re not going to ruin it by turning to the Web for a forecast.

The following weekend we have Holland Happening in Oak Harbor with its Dutch parade, carnival, street fair and friendly games. It will be the last week in April and spring will finally have set in for good, with sunny skies and temperatures soaring into the ‘60s. If it snows, don’t blame us. It’s just that Tuesday’s sunrise brought with it a newfound optimism that winter may finally be over on Whidbey Island.

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