The Beauty of Spring

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth.

| April/May 1999

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    It's spring when bluebirds brighten branches.
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    Butterflies enchant from spring until frost.

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Celebrating the season of renewal

April and May—spring rising to its height. In January and February we all long for the first signs of spring: robins returning, crocuses and daffodils blooming, first spring peepers peeping. But by midspring, there is such an incredible richness of living things growing, blooming, mating, and birthing, we hardly know where to begin looking or listening. Is it possible, nevertheless, to pick out some representatives of "high spring," those things that seem to capture our attention more than others? That seem to symbolize this burgeoning moment of the living world's year?

I have some nominees for the representatives of high spring. I also want to look at some religious celebrations held in the spring, many of which seem truly fitted to the season. Finally, we will consider that fire-colored planet, Mars, now putting on its best show since the decade began.

April's Ambassadors

What plants and animals stir us more than any others during April and May? The answer depends to some extent on where you live, of course. And every person's list will be somewhat subjective. But here are some of my favorite candidates.

Let's begin with cherry blossoms. While apple, magnolia, peach, and many other blossoms may be no less beautiful, cherry blossoms seem to have a special place in our hearts.

And nowhere do they bloom more famously in the U.S. than in Washington, D.C., around Easter time. Their lightness, delicacy, and beauty can make one forget the scandal and hot air of politics and politicians and treasure these days before the summer humidity blankets the capital.

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