March 20th is the vernal equinox and marks the first day of spring. This and the autumnal equinox, on September 22nd, are the only two days of the year when day and night are almost exactly the same length. On March 20-21 and September 22-23 the sun shines directly on the equator which is why the length of day and night is about the same amount of time.

Spring has always been celebrated and observed by many cultures all around the world. There are some common myths associated with the first day of spring. One such myth is that that you can balance an egg on its end or a broomstick on end on the vernal equinox. A few years ago our family traveled to Ecuador and visited the “Mitad del Mundo”, a monument that marks what was once considered the exact location of the equator. (They actually miscalculated  many years ago, before the invention of  GPS technology.)  The real location of the equator is a short walk down the road  at “Intinan Museum”. While at the museum, we had the opportunity to balance an egg on the head of a nail. Amazingly, we were successful in our egg balancing attempts but have always wondered if it was a hoax. Well, today is the first day of spring; time to try the egg balancing act once again.

Spring has arrived in full splendor – a warm bluebird day with a few billowing clouds and a light breeze.The Mountain Chickadees have made their way back and begun nesting in their usual houses in our backyard. The Steller Jays are also busy nesting in their usual spot. What little snow we had has all melted and my favorite meadow walk is wet and muddy. This weekend I will have to get started on my springtime tradition which is to clean out the closets. To find out about spring traditions around the world visit:

Also, don’t forget to smile because today is the second International Day of Happiness!