Mariton: Spring’s Here

February 28, 2015

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Turnpike trail

I have been snow shoeing on Mariton’s trails quite a bit this winter.  It has been great to get outside, even if it was cold in February.  I have some friends that are real winter enthusiasts, but this winter seems to be wearing them down.  That puzzled me, since I felt last winter was worse.  It was definitely harder to get around last year with the deep snow.  Last year, I spent more time managing snow.  When I wasn’t plowing a recent snowfall, I was moving piles around to make room for the next snow – and that was draining.  We also had some intense cold spells last winter.

Rhododendrons in snow

So I pondered this one day while out on the trails and realized that January 2015 was a cloudy month.  Checking my work journal, I have some days marked as sunny, but I can’t recall many of them.  I think the extended cloudiness of January really affected peoples’ psyches and it has carried over through the winter.  As I get older I find I am more sensitive to the effects of short and cloudy winter days.  They call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  It can be debilitating for some people and this January seems to have affected a lot of people I know.

This winter didn’t bother me as much as last year.  I think the difference is that I did a lot of easement monitoring in January.  I think all the extra physical activity got me through January.  Then February has been sunny.  Yes, it’s been cold, but the sun shone almost the entire month!  It just made me want to get outside.

Chimney Rock

Today is the end  of meteorological winter.  Spring starts tomorrow (even though the equinox is still a few weeks off).  Daylight savings starts in another week.  Your body craves sunshine at this time of the year, so go outside.