Today, the winter solstice, December 22, is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. It is also, despite the quantity of snow on the ground outside of my house as I type this, the first day of winter. That’s the bad news. The good news is that every day from now until late June the days will get longer. In fact, I would go so far as to consider December 22 not the first day of winter, but the last day before spring!

That is, of course, if you believe that there are really only two seasons, spring and fall. I like this approach to the seasons as it means that December 23 is the first day of spring! I can already see the wood-warblers and flycatchers and vireos coming back! Ah, well, maybe I am deluding myself but, hey, the sun goes down at about 4:30 PM and I wish I was in the southern hemisphere right now. So for all those who, like me, are sick of cold and snow and dark (especially you Clare!) here are some pictures that will make you think of spring.

clematis at my Nana's house

clematis blossoms

Mallard Duckling

Mallard duckling

American Robin egg

American Robin egg

female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

apple blossoms

apple blossoms

Never fear, (actual) spring will soon be here! And in the meantime be jealous (and visit the blogs) of Duncan and Trevor!

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.