Spring Has Sprung, Sort Of

April 6, 2015

In the past week, spring has arrived in New Haven at last. All that remains of winter’s snow are a few patches here and there. (Fun fact: the pen name of one of the authors in the Yale Press Margellos World Republic of Letters series, Can Xue, translates loosely as “dirty snow that does not melt.”) In the yard at 43 Hillhouse, spring-flowering bulbs finally are peeking above ground. In nearby parks and wetlands, tiny “peeper” frogs raise their voices in chorus at the milder air, and ospreys can be seen circling over the marshes on the shoreline.

It is a favorite time of year for Marta, the green thumb of our household, for whom horticulture is both art and meditation. Some years ago, she completed the University of Connecticut Master Gardner Program, which she highly recommends to others who share her passion. (Just don’t ask her about the time a “helper” inadvertently mowed down her largest herb garden and a very special wildflower meadow!) And it is an auspicious season for all of us weary after months of damp and overcast chill: a reminder of the renewal that comes with the return of warmer weather. 

In so many ways, Yale is readying itself for spring and beyond. As snow yields to dirt to green grass, I am in awe of the efforts of our grounds maintenance team who coax order and beauty from every patch of earth. And it is an excellent time of year to appreciate the natural world tucked into our urban environs, from the peregrine falcons that nest atop Kline Biology Tower to the “no-mow zone” meadows dotted across campus.

For many in our community—students in particular—the end of the semester can feel overwhelming, with so much to be accomplished in seemingly so little time. This is all the more reason to step outside, breathe deeply, and take a moment to savor the arriving spring.